Tip: Students can subscribe to posts via email or RSS
January 20, 2011 in Tips
While students can easily forget to check course blogs each day for new posts, there are a couple of strategies you can employ to help keep everyone on the same page.
The first way to subscribe is via RSS. All blogs at clevelandhistory.org have RSS feeds for both posts and comments. Some themes include an orange RSS button, while others do not. But you can easily find and post your RSS links using the following rules: for the posts feed, add /feed/ to the end of your site address (e.g. http://sola227.clevelandhistory.org/feed/); for the comments feed, add /comments/feed/ to your site address (e.g.
http://sola227.clevelandhistory.org/comments/feed/). If you would like to learn more about RSS, check out whyrss.com for a basic description and a list of some popular tools. While RSS is one of the great tools of the Internet, it can admittedly be frustrating to teach students to use, since it involves them changing some habits. For many students and instructors, email may be an easier alternative.
You can add email subscriptions to your blog in just a few easy steps. The first thing you need is a FeedBurner account (if you already use other Google products like GMail and Google Docs, then you are already set). Now, sign into FeedBurner. Next, enter the address for your site and submit.
Choose which feed (posts or comments) you want to syndicate.
After choosing your feed, you will be asked if you want to activate any additional features; you can choose these if you like or just keep pressing next until you get to the end. When you are done, you will see a message reading “Your feed is ready for the word. Now what?” From there click on the Publicize tab and choose “Email Subscriptions.”
Activate email subscriptions. You will be given some code, which you can copy-paste into any area of your site (the sidebar is recommended since it is on every page). The form will resize to fit anywhere you choose.
Here’s what it looks like (live form):
Repeat for each course blog. Once you get it down, the whole process can take as little as 30 seconds for each site.