Assignment headlines on a page for commenting

Per a request from Indrani yesterday, I’ve put together a quick Javascript to pull the most recent headlines and excerpts from each of your personal websites into one page. You’ll be able to use this to automatically collect all of your posts for a given assignment into one page like this:

At the top of the list, it will show you the total number of responses to the assignment. You can then use the commenting functionality at the bottom of the page to hold threaded conversation on the assignment.

To get started, create a new page, switch to the HTML editor, and copy the entire text from this GitHub gist:

Where it says “REPLACE THIS TEXT…”, you can add the text describing the assignment. The HTML div you see is where the headlines and excerpts will be added. Within the Javascript, you’ll want to replace the value for ‘tag’ with the slug of the tag you’ve agreed upon for the assignment. If there’s a value for that variable, the script knows to load the first post from each website with the specified tag. Otherwise, it will just load the most recent post.

Lastly, to have your first and last name appear before the title, you’ll need to update your profile information to include your first and last name. You can do so in the WordPress admin by going to “Users” -> “My Profile” and filling out the requisite fields.

Hit me with any questions you have in the comments.

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About Daniel Bachhuber

Daniel Bachhuber is Digital Media Manager at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and fascinated by structured data, open source projects, and technology's increasing role in the production of journalism. In his free time, Daniel is involved in a few open source projects including Edit Flow, a WordPress plugin to bring more of a news organization's editorial workflow within the content management system. A native Oregonian, Daniel enjoys skiing, climbing, backpacking, travel and long distance running.

3 thoughts on “Assignment headlines on a page for commenting

  1. Your description sounds like what we talked about–headlines with threaded comments–but the functionality doesn’t sound at all familiar.

    Specifically, I thought that to open a new assignment, a professor would just open a type of post — instead of having to dig up your github block of code and paste it into each assignment. It seems kind of onerous and prone to error, no? As it looks to me now, it seems like the initial overhead to create an assignment would block people from using it.

    And how do students use it? I thought that our part involved posting an assignment on our personal blogs and tagging it with the assignment tag so it would get sucked in as a headline. Is the assignment tag the variable the professor has to edit in “var tag”?

    • Given the limited amount of time I had to put a solution together, this was the best I could come up with. In either case, the professor needs to create a new page for the assignment. With the Javascript I’ve written, all the professor needs to do is copy a block of text about the assignment and change the tag value.

      To answer your second question, my intent is the professor would create the page as soon as the assignment is created, make the requisite changes, and the page would auto-populate with post titles from the students’ blogs. All the students need to do is publish a post with the established tag and it will populate in the page.

      Does this make sense?

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