Blog help, tips and advice

Some things don’t load

It’s probably because you’re using an earlier Internet Explorer on campus. Switch to FireFox as your browser and it should work. To use Firefox:

  • If you are using a UC Information Commons computer, go to: Start > Programs > All Programs > A-Z of all programs > Mozilla Firefox and launch Firefox from there.
  • Download it for free from the Mozilla site and install it on your computer.

Some functionality is limited in Safari, Opera and other, less mainstream, browsers

Not all  functions are supported in all browsers. We recommend you use FireFox.

Save often!

If you find you are entering a lot of information at one time, save often so that you do not risk losing your data.

A word on Word …

Our advice is that you do not construct your work in Microsoft Word and the paste it into your class site. There are two reasons for this.

  1. The cognitive style you adopt in Word will be different from the style you adopt when contributing straight into the web service interface your class is using. We tend to associate using Word with writing essays, which may encourage you to adopt an inappropriately formal style and tone for your online work.
  2. You are likely to come across formatting problems: the transfer across formats may mean that when you paste your Word document into the web service your class is using things may look ‘wonky’ — and you just end up reformatting things, anyway. (It’s also a form of double-handling.) These types of formatting problems also occur when you transfer material across Microsoft programs, e.g., when you move text from MS PowerPoint into MS Word, which is why you would be unlikely to construct a PowerPoint presentation in Word and then paste it into PowerPoint when you have finished.

You may think that writing something in Word provides you with a form of ‘backup’ if you are writing a long or complex piece for the site. To a certain extent this is true, but it’s probably better to use Word only to paste into, and not from (for the reasons outlined above). In other words, if you are writing a long or complex piece, then it would be a good idea to copy what you’ve written and just ‘store’ it in Word or a text editor every now and then until you have finalised your piece and published it. Once you’ve done that, you can then save the page your published work appears on as an html document (see below) as proof to your lecturer that you published your work when you said you did. In the end, though, how you manage your workflow is up to you.

Making copies of your work

Although your lecturer is backing up the course site regularly, you, as a student, are still expected to retain a copy of your own work — just as you are expected to retain a copy of other assessment items, such as essays. The easiest way to keep a copy of your online work is to save the page where your work appears as an html file.

To do this, go to the page you want to save and, in your FireFox of Internet Explorer browser, go to:

  • File > Save Page As
  • Download the page to your hard drive (or flash stick or other drive) and keep it safe.

Each time you publish something new on the class site, you should make a copy of it. If you claim that your work has disappeared, then you will be expected to provide your html copy to your lecturer for assessment. If you cannot provide an html copy of your work, you may be asked to submit the work again. Saving as html, rather than as a Word doc, proves to your lecturer that you published your work when you said you did … and that you didn’t put everything together after the due date. Saving copies of your work is your responsibility.

Tips for using WordPress

If you think you have made a change to your page, but you don’t see the change after hitting save, hit F5 to refresh the page and to view the latest version.

For trouble-shooting,

  • Google
  • YouTube — find a video tutorial
  • Phoning a friend!

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