MUniversity of Minnesota

September 06, 2005

Class Blogging and upgrade update

• Hello everyone. Welcome back to the University! I've been noticing a lot of class based blogs being created on the system, and I received a question concerning what could be done on class blogs so that a group blog adheres to FERPA guidelines, or more specifically, assuring that a group blog for a class allows for anonymity for the students participating. In other words, can you set up a UThink blog, attach students to that blog, but also allow the students to post anonymously? The answer is yes.

I've written instructions about this before, but even I think the instructions are a little daunting. So, today I have made the default templates FERPA friendly, and I have made all the templates in the Template Changer FERPA friendly. And what do I mean by FERPA friendly? I have placed into the templates that option of displaying a person's nickname rather than a person's Internet ID when the web page displays the author of a post or entry (the "Posted by" section). So, if you are attaching students to a single class based blog, before they begin posting encourage them to enter a nickname inside the "Edit Your Profile" section of the Movable Type interface. That way, when they make a post it will display their nickname rather than their real name.

And yes, I have also altered all the RSS/Atom feeds, too.

How do you make use of this new functionality? If you already have a blog on the system, simply use the Template Changer (found with the "Templates" section of the administration interface) and pick a new one, or the same template. If you are creating a new blog, this functionality will automatically be a part of your new blog.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. And just to clarify, it is still currently impossible to create an anonymous personal blog. But it is possible to give additional authors of a single blog anonymity as noted above. Again, if you have any questions leave a comment or drop me a line.

• We are still dillegently working on upgrading UThink to MT 3.17. I am hoping we'll be able to make the switch this week. There may be a morning that UThink is down for a short period of time. If all goes well, we should be using MT 3.17 by the end of the week. Thanks for your continued patience and sorry for the delay!

Posted by snackeru at September 6, 2005 04:35 PM

Thanks, Shane! That's a helpful change as I was doing that myself for many of our class blogs before!

Posted by: Jon at September 7, 2005 07:52 AM
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