Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Blog Start-Up Experience

I have finally started a class weblog with my Erasmus group (Cat-Cult Blog)

I have had a few snags getting them all registered to Blogger, and I thought I'd record them here for reference.

I set up the blog some time ago, and at our first session, took a list of their e-mails. Of course, sometimes it was difficult to interpret their handwriting (why don't people write clearly when they print their e-mail address!) and not all of the students got my invitation.

Those who did had problems logging in and we had to have a 40 minute session together (even after this 7/30 of them are still not registerd) This is where we had problems:

1. Those who followed the link from a hotmail account were left in a Hotmail frame, and it proved impossible to register (they had to copy/paste the link into a new browser window)

2. Non of them had a Blogger account, so they should have clicked on the 'Create new account button' instead of signing in (it's not obvious from the Blogger window that they were supposed to do this)

3. When these students had created the account, one of three things happened:
a) Success - their account allowed them access to the blog straight away
b) Failure - The account showed no link to the class blog. Going back to the e-mail invitation and following it once more, but this time signing in changed this for most of these students.
c) Failure. As above, but the only way to get the class blog to show in their account was to resend the invitation and get them to follow the link again, this time signing in.

Conclusions: It's not possible to rely on the students being able to accept your invitation. You need to have a session and go through it with them together, ideally in a computer room with an overhead projected PC. I think this is the easiest way to get all students registered for a class blog. the other option (what I have done with the other seven is to set up the accounts for them yourself and e-mailed them their username / password)

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