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Customizing contributor post formats

  1. Hello, I am new to wordpress and not very good with computers, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
    I am trying to create a blog where students can be added as contributers and post information about the projects they are working on. I would like to set it up so that when a contributer logs in to create a new post the post has several labelled categories/boxes that there post can be divided into.
    For example: Group members, Project name, Project Summary, Reflection on work to date, etc. (each heading followed by a box to enter this information) which will all appear together as one post. Is this possible? How do I do this? Thank-you!

    The blog I need help with is projectcaptureuoguelph.wordpress.com.

  2. Hi projectcaptureuoguelph,

    What you are asking about, having a template for students to fill in on your site, is possible.

      You must be clear about the user roles you assign to your students. http://en.support.wordpress.com/user-roles/#contributor
      You will have to instruct your students how to use the template http://en.support.wordpress.com/writing-helper/copy-a-post/

    I've not personally used this feature so don't know what sort of problems you might encounter with having newbie users (contributors) working with it.

    That caution aside, I'd suggest making a template something like this (paste code in text (formerly html) editor) with perhaps some instructions/reminders how to use the format.
    "Add new post. In the "writing helper module" chose "copy a post use an existing post as a template" (have you template post named in these instructions to your students for them to choose in the writing helper module)"

    I'd suggest using divs to make boxes for the students to type into like so:

    Instructions:
    Add new post. In the "writing helper module" chose "copy a post use an existing post as a template" (have your template post named so it will be easy for students to find.
    <div style="border: 1px solid #7C7C7C; padding-left: 10px; padding-right: 10px; padding-bottom: 10px;"><strong>Group Member</strong>
    highlight this text then type your name here</div>
    <div style="border: 1px solid #7C7C7C; padding-left: 10px; padding-right: 10px; padding-bottom: 10px; margin-top: 15px;"><strong>Project Name</strong>
    highlight this text then type your project name here</div>
    <div style="border: 1px solid #7C7C7C; padding-left: 10px; padding-right: 10px; padding-bottom: 10px; margin-top: 15px;"><strong>Project Summary</strong>
    highlight this text then type your project summary here</div>
    <div style="border: 1px solid #7C7C7C; padding-left: 10px; padding-right: 10px; padding-bottom: 10px; margin-top: 15px;"><strong>Reflection on work to date</strong>
    highlight this text then type your thoughts here</div>
  3. I am new to wordpress and not very good with computers

    Please don't be intimidated by the code. It's just a language that simple-minded (follow exact instructions only) computers/browsers need so they know what to do.

    You only have to make this coded post once for your students to use it.

    Some interpretations of the language follow:

    The div you see in my code is their word for a container, like a box.
    The style with its instructions is telling the browser to put a line around that box. (further info for the browser is the padding so your text is placed a little inside the box, not right against the edges)

    Your student contributors won't need or see the code: all they need do is to activate the template. Then type in the information in the visual editor.

  4. Thank-you so much for the quick response! I am going to try it out right now.

  5. Yes, good. Do you have a test blog to experiment with? That is something very useful for new and old wp.com users. It allows you to experiment with things without out being seen live on search engines. Private is good, or the middle option:
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/settings/privacy-settings/

  6. It worked perfectly, thank-you.
    I still have lots to learn but at least I now have a template to work from :)
    I like the idea of a blog to experiment with... I will look into that.
    THANK-YOU!

  7. You are very welcome. The test blog is essential so you can experiment with different things. It was one of the first things I did as I began using wp.com

    You can even export your "real" blog then import it to the test blog so that you can see what it would look like with your own posts.

    Happy blogging…

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