Blogs in Canvas

Campus Pack blogs have been integrated into Canvas as external tools for courses taught in the School of Arts & Sciences. These are the same blogs that have been available in Blackboard. Here are instructions for creating a Campus Pack blog in Canvas and for creating a link to the blog to make it easy for students to find.

Creating a Blog in Canvas

Before you create a Campus Pack blog, seriously consider whether a Discussion would meet your pedagogical objectives. A Discussion is much easier than a Blog to set up; it allows you to upload or record audio and video; and you can create it as an Assignment to keep track of entries.

In Canvas, you can create a Blog in two ways: in Assignments or in Modules. There are fewer steps when you create a blog within a module, but it will not appear in the gradebook or have a due date. If you need it to appear in the Gradebook or if you need it to have a due date, create the blog in Assignments. Either way, you'll probably want to create a link to it.

Creating a Blog in Assignments

Watch a video demonstrating this procedure.

1. In your Canvas site, go to the Assignments area. (The link is in the Course Navigation Menu in the left sidebar.)

2. Click on "Add Assignment to" in the right sidebar. (In the process, you will choose an Assignment Group to which you're adding the blog. The default is "Assignments," but you could create a new group for "Blogs".)

3. A form will appear. Provide the name of the Blog. Then click the "More options" button.

4. You can now provide instructions (for example, "Click on the button to use the blog.") and grading points (if any).
 
5. Click on "Show Advanced Options".

6. Choose a Grading Type. (If you choose "Not Graded", the blog won't appear in the Gradebook.)

7. For Submission Type, choose "External Tool."

8. When you choose "External Tool", a blank will appear for "External Tool URL". Click in the blank.

9. A dialog box will appear, titled "Configure External Tool". Click Campus Pack Blog. Then click "Select".

11. You'll probably need to check the box for "Load This Tool In A New Tab". (Some browsers require that the tool open in a new tab.)

10. Select a due date, if you want one. (If you run the blog throughout the semester, you probably don't need one.)

11. Click the "Update Assignment" button to save your work.

12. You'll then see the assignment you created. Click on the "Load Campus Pack Blog [in a new window]" button.

13. Whenever you see the "Security Warning" dialog box appear, click "Continue". 14. The blog will open. It's now ready for you to configure it.

15. Give it a title and a description. Then click the Add button.

16. At this point, you can modify the Settings and Permissions to suit your pedagogical objectives.

17. Each user can click the "Add New Entry" button to post a blog entry.

Creating a Blog in Modules

1. In your Canvas site, go to the Modules area. (The link is in the Course Navigation Menu in the left sidebar.)

2. Choose a Module — or create a new one (e.g., a module named "Blog").

3. In the title row of the module, click on the gear icon and choose "Add Content".

4. For "Add", pull down the menu and choose External Tool.

5. Select "Campus Pack Blog" from the list of tools that appears.

6. If you wish, change the Page Name; for example, to "Course Blog".

7. You'll probably need to check the box for "Load This Tool In A New Tab". (Some browsers require that the tool open in a new tab.)

8. Click the "Add Item" button to save your work.

9. You'll then see the blog you created. Click on the "Load Campus Pack Blog [in a new window]" button.

10. Whenever you see the "Security Warning" dialog box appear, click "Continue".

11. The blog will open. It's now ready for you to configure it.

12. Give it a title and a description. Then click the Add button.

13. At this point, you can modify the Settings and Permissions to suit your pedagogical objectives.

14. Each user can click the "Add New Entry" button to post a blog entry.

Creating a Link to the Blog

We recommend adding a link to a Campus Pack tool from a prominent page (e.g., the front page) or relevant page (e.g., a page with related content). Because Canvas does not allow users to create navigation menu buttons, linking is the most direct way for users to access a Campus Pack tool.

1. Go to the page where you would like to add the link.

2. Click on "Edit this page."

3. Place the cursor in the spot where you would like the link to go in the Rich Content Editor (the text-box in the center of the page) and click.

4. Under Page Tools > Links, click Assignments (or Modules, if you created the blog in a Module).

5. In the drop-down menu, mouse over the name of the assignment or the module. Once you do this, a message will appear that says, “Click to insert a link to this assignment” alongside a blue, leftward-pointing arrow. Then, click on the tool. It will appear in the Rich Content Editor in the spot where you placed your cursor.

6. Click on Save Changes.

Help

If you need help with Canvas, contact our team at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu. We'll be glad to assist.