Perhaps the best way to get started is to dive into your new site and start playing with it to see what you can do. In addition to the other content on this page, there are a few key concepts that are helpful to understand, which we outline below:
Here is a general overview of the Dashboard. (Some items may differ from what is available on Community. )
Your new site will come with a default theme. You can change your theme easily through the Appearance -> Themes in the dashboard. It is generally best to choose your theme before you customize your site. The theme customization area of the dashboard provides many options you should look through, these are theme dependent and will vary.
Pages vs Posts
Pages are for content that you don’t need to update very often such as your syllabus or lessons. Posts are for new content that will be organized by date published, most commonly these are used for blogging.
Typically, student discussions fall into two organizational structures in WordPress:
- Instructor creates a post and instructs students to reply or comment on their post. Images are not allowed in reply/comments so that is a limitation of this structure.
- Instructors allow students to create their own posts and reply to each other’s posts. Students are able to insert media such as images and video. This is the more common method.
You can set up custom menus in the Dashboard->Appearances->Menu area. Once you have a new menu created, choose items (pages, posts, categories, etc) from the left side menu. Drag/drop to rearrange them, customize the titles, and to create indented menu structure. You may need to declare where this menu will appear on the site as well.
Posts can be assigned categories, such as lesson 1 discussion or lesson 2 and then those categories can be added to your menu structure individually. When a visitor to the site clicks on the category in the menu, they will be taken to a page that contains a list of posts that have that specific category. This can be an easy way to organize student posts around a topic or lesson.
It depends on how you are using WordPress for your class. If your students are posting and commenting on the site, you need to change the status of comments and posts from the previous semester to ‘pending review’ or ‘draft’ (not delete). Also, change previous students to ‘subscribers’. Please come into eLearning for Open Lab or Virtual Open Lab if you have questions.
Common Questions about Community
What is Community@UAF?
Answer: Community@UAF is a WordPress installation for the University of Alaska Fairbanks primarily serving the needs of UAF eLearning faculty in terms of course blogging and open course materials. Community@UAF is a service of the UAF eLearning & Distance Education.
Can I get a site at Community@UAF?
Answer: If you are affiliated with the University of Alaska, you may request your own site. Please provide your name, UA email address, and requested site address on our contact form. At this time automatic signup is disabled. A Community@UAF administrator will create an account and basic blank site for you – most requests will be handled within 24 hours but please allow up to 1 week processing time.
I have a problem with my Community@UAF site. Can you help me fix it?
Answer: If you are an instructor, please join us during one of our Open Lab sessions, where we can answer questions one-on-one. We also recommend WordPress.tv for how-to tutorials or just googling your question.
We will attempt to notify site administrators of major updates and changes that affect everyone. If there is an issue you are concerned about, you may contact an administrator via the contact form.
I have a WordPress site that I want to move to a different WordPress installation outside of community, can I export/import my site?
Answer: Yes, in the Dashboard, use Tools->Export/Import.
I have a site on Community@UAF and I want to point my own domain name to my site, can I do this?
Answer: Currently, this functionality is not enabled for general use.
Can I install a new theme?
Answer: We have attempted to provide a variety of current themes with customization options. If there is a specific free theme you need to have installed, please use the contact form to make the request. The Community@UAF administrator will make the determination whether the theme will be installed.
Question: Can I install a new plugin?
Answer: If you would like to install a plugin that is not currently available, you will need to make a request to the Community@UAF administrator. Please use the contact form to make this request. The administrator will make the determination whether the plugin will be installed.