Using WordPress Blogs for Teaching and Learning

Blackboard Learn Tools

Monday, March 17th, 2014

What are easy tools to create personal or professional blogs and portfolios online? WordPress is a ready-to-use self-hosting blogging tool with numerous plugins and themes available.

First, blogs enable both faculty and students to publish thoughts, comments, images, links to other sites and multimedia through a blog post, which consists of a title, a publication timestamp, an article body and is often tagged by one or more categories (Rollett, Lux, Strohmaier, Dösinger & Tochtermann, 2007). Blogs have frequent updates (at least once a month) and posts that are displayed in descending chronological order.

Second, why use blogs for teaching and learning? Blogs have the potential to 1) increase online social interaction (Beldarrain, 2006); 2) promote students’ analytical skills and critical thinking (Oravec, 2002); and 3) improve student-teacher relationships (Ferdig & Trammel, 2004) in both small and large classrooms.

Last, Purdue supports two blog platforms. Bb Blog is embedded within the BlackBoard Learning Management System. The other one is WordPress. Here is a detailed comparison between WordPress and Blackboard Learn Blog:

Here are some use cases of WordPress for teaching and learning on campus:

  • Students set up WordPress blogs/Portfolios to write reflections on seven cases in the class and provide comments. – Professor Abdelfattah Nour in Basic Medical Sciences 
  • Display and archive students’ projects. – Associate Professor John Lumkes in Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Students set up WordPress blogs/Portfolios to document scientific investigation in the discovery learning activities. – Associate Professor Kari Clase in Technology, Leadership and Innovation

If you are interested in more information about integrating WordPress blogs into teaching and learning, please contact us at


Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139–53.

Ferdig, R. E. & Trammell, K. D. (2004). Content delivery in the ‘Blogosphere’. Technological Horizons in Education.

Oravec, J. (2002). Bookmarking the world: Weblog applications in education. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 45(7), 616-621.

Rollett, H., Lux, M., Strohmaier, M., Dösinger, G., & Tochtermann, K. (2007). The web 2.0 way of learning with technologies. International Journal of Learning Technology, 3(1), 87–107.

Wei Liu Zakharov, PhD
Educational Technologist

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