1. Identifying the blog from which posts will be syndicated. Students “sign-up” so their blog is connected to your course site.
2. Filtering and sorting posts based on the categories that have been assigned. Students may be using their blog for multiple courses, so you probably want them to add a basic category to their posts so that only relevant material appears on your site. Typically this category will be your unique course/section number. You can also add subcategories to further sort posts, by specific assignment, for example.
Go to your site’s Dashboard>Plugins menu and activate two plugins:
ALT Lab Mother Blog
While still in the Dashboard go to Syndication>Feeds & Updates
Set Update Scheduling to “automatically check for updates after pages load”
Click “Save Changes”
Now go to Pages>New Page to create a new page (not a post) on your course site that will be the sign-up place for students, publish it. (If you created a custom menu don’t forget to add it to the menu, so students can find it.)
Copy and paste the appropriate shortcode below (including brackets) on the sign-up page you’ve created. Make sure you’re in text view. The category you define here will be the category created on each student’s site. They MUST use that main category to get their content to show up on your site.
Category names should be UNIQUE to all rampages sites. if you just want one category, replace “some-category” with whatever category name you want to use and paste the following text into your page.
[altlab-motherblog category=”some-category” sub_categories = “cat1, cat2, cat3, cat4” ] Now publish your page.
You should now see a mini-form on your sign-up page. When students navigate to your sign-up page, they are prompted for answers to basic questions that steer them either to create a Rampages account if they haven’t done so yet, or to enter their blog’s URL to connect it to the course web site. When they sign up, their own site will now have the categories you created, enabling them to simply check off the appropriate category when submitting a post to your course. (Choosing a subcategory automatically selects the main category, too.)