March 2006 Archives
March 28, 2006
UThink featured in the Star Tribune
UThink was recently featured in the Star Tribune in an article entitled: "Online combination plate aims to build community." The article begins:
To keep up with rapid changes in Internet technology, the University of Minnesota is offering students, faculty and staff a combination of three popular online services: blogs (written material), podcasts (spoken audio) and amateur digital movies.
"I wanted to see whether we could build a university community out of blogging software," said Shane Nackerud, Web services coordinator for the University of Minnesota Libraries. He supervises the free "UThink" project. "I get calls about it from other universities, because it's a young technology that not many other schools are using."
Read more if you are interested!
March 20, 2006
A Survey of Undergraduate Bloggers
Kurtis Scaletta, M.A., Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota, is conducting a survey of undergraduate bloggers, the purpose of which is "to get a general sense of the preferences and perceptions of students on the usefulness and purpose of weblogs." In addition:
We will investigate how and why students use blogs, as well as comparing the characteristics of blogs kept on private/anonymous blogging tools like LiveJournal with blogs kept on public blogging tools like UThink. If you participate, you will contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the characteristics and benefits of blogs.
If you are an undergraduate please consider taking this 25 question survey by visiting the following URL:
And if you are an instructor of undergraduates, please encourage your students to take the survey. Participants have a chance to win a $25 LiveJournal gift certificate (good for merchandise, upgrades, or a one-year paid subscription), a $25 gift card to the University of Minnesota Bookstores, or a $25 iTunes gift card.
UPDATE!: Enough responses have been received. The survey is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!
March 03, 2006
Concerning unmoderated comments
Hello everyone. I've been monitoring blog usage and I have some suggestions for new bloggers concerning comments. New blogs have comment moderation turned on by default. This means that when you create a new blog, it will allow for comments but it will only display those comments on your blog when you approve the comments. Some people might find this annoying, especially if you are using a blog to generate discussion in a classroom setting. To turn comment moderation off (which will allow comments to be published immediately), follow these instructions:
Login to UThink and enter your blog. Click on "Settings" in the left hand menu, and then click on the "Feedback" tab. From there change "Accept comments from:" to "Anyone" and change "Immediately publish comments from:" to "Anyone." Please also note that authenticated commenting does not work. I have a ticket into Six Apart (the makers of Movable Type), but I am not optimistic that they can fix our problem for various reasons. We will probably be taking these choices out of the menu shortly.
Also, if you start accepting unmoderated comments you may want to drop down into the Junk settings of the Feedback tab at the bottom of the screen. I would change your "Junk Score Threshold" to 4 or higher. This should assure that you are only getting true comments, and not spam.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this or any aspect of UThink!