Grading with FeedWordPress

Professors spend a notorious amount of time grading. Because of this, you might wonder how integrating BYU Domains into your syllabus is going to affect the amount of time you will be reviewing your students' work. We are happy to tell you that there is a simple solution to grading content online. This solution is called FeedWordPress, and it is a tool that can streamline your grading process when you need to look at the content that your students post throughout the semester.

In order to understand how FeedWordPress works, it is useful to compare it to LearningSuite. With LearningSuite assignments, students click on an assignment hyperlink and upload a file in order to turn in the assignment. As the professor, you can log into your LearningSuite account, click on the assignment, and view all the student submissions in one place. FeedWordPress is somewhat similar to LearningSuite in that it allows you to look at all the content students post to their individual blogs in one place instead of having to go to 50 or so different webpages.

The technology behind FeedWordPress is called RSS it informs the user when new content is available on a different site. Setting up FeedWordPress for your class will set up a webpage that displays all of the content posted across your students' blogs in the order they posted their content.

In order to set up FeedWordPress, you will need to install and activate the plug-in called “FeedWordPress”. If you do not know how to work with plug-ins, please see Using WordPress Plug-ins and follow the instructions to find and install FeedWordPress.

Once you have installed and activated the plug-in,

1. A new tab will appear in your left menu near the bottom called “Syndication”. This is where you can configure the plug-in and set up a class feed.

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2. If you click on the “Syndication” tab, there will be several sub-categories for the settings. For the most part, we will leave the default settings that the plug-in came installed with. However, we will be changing a few of the settings to better function as a class feed for multiple sites.

3. Under the “Feeds and Updates” section, go to the second box called “Update Scheduling” and change the first option to “automatically check for updates after pages load”. This option allows your feed to update automatically without having to set up any type of coding program. After you change to this option, scroll down to the bottom and click the “Save” button.

4. Under the “Posts and Links” section, scroll down to the “Links” section and under the “Posts from aggregated feeds” option, select the bottom option “Give the original source of the post as the source, not the aggregator”. Then click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page. This allows you to look at each student's blog individually if you have questions or need to see more of their website.

5. Now that we are done changing the settings, we need to add a blog to pull posts from. In order to add a blog, click on the “Syndicated Sites” tab on the left.

6. In the upper right of the screen, there is a box where you can enter a website. Enter the first website name that you want to input, and then click “Add”.

How To Enter A Website

Make sure to include the http: before the website name. If you don't, you will get an error message from FeedWordPress saying that there are no feeds on that website. If you want to add multiple sites all at once just click “Add Multiple” on the screen and enter all of your website URLS, making sure you start a new line of text for each one.

7. In some instances, a website you have entered will have multiple feeds. If this happens, you will get a screen with the different feeds and a prompt to choose one of them to import. As a general rule, import the first feed that shows up on the list by clicking “Use this feed”.

8. Once a feed has been successfully imputed, it will show up on your feed list. This feed list is also the place where you can unsubscribe to a feed if needed.

9. Once you have all of your feeds, you can click the “Update” button to update all of the feeds and sync them with your site. Please note that when you update your feed, FeedWordPress will not sync old posts from the sites on your list. It will only pull in posts that have been published after the day you added the blog to your list.

For more information on FeedWordPress, you can visit FeedWordPress FAQ blog post or FeedWordPress 101 blog post. Happy grading!