COMM 497R - WordPress Practicum
Students in the WordPress practicum course explore the WordPress content management system and learn to develop an optimized website/blog. They will learn how to install a self-hosted WordPress site, customize the site using templates and plugins, track and analyze traffic using Google Analytics, and launch an integrated eCommerce solution.
This first block course is designed for students with no previous knowledge of WordPress or HTML/CSS. Students need a basic knowledge of word processors and web browsers. If students need help with either of these they can learn these skills on their own or through the Student Technology Center.
This course requires you to use a specific WordPress theme, use prescribed plugins, and give administrative rights to your instructor.
At the end of this course, students will achieve the following outcomes:
- Create and maintain a self-hosted WordPress site/blog.
- Acquire an optimized web presence through the utilization of built in WordPress SEO features and manual SEO techniques.
- Analyze and employ plugins that enhance and customize a WordPress site.
- Launch an eCommerce solution to sell goods and services.
- Track and measure site traffic throughout the course using Google Analytics.
Hosting Domain Name
Hosting can be purchased through the BYU-Idaho University Store. This is listed as a recommended material and can be purchased from the Bookstore.
You will need to purchase hosting for this class. The suggested hosting can be found available for purchase from the bookstore. It is not required that you use this hosting, but if you choose to go with a different hosting company you will not be able to buy it through the bookstore, and you will need to do some additional research on your own.
Students who already have hosting don’t need to purchase additional hosting. However, the WordPress website we will be installing needs to be located on the main domain and not a sub-domain. You can purchase another domain name for $10–$15 that can be added onto your current hosting. Talk with your instructor if you need to purchase another domain for this class and need some assistance.
Students are expected to follow the Learning Model by taking an active role as a learner and teacher in the class. Points are awarded for being actively engaged in the course discussions, teaching peers, and demonstrating skills.
This course has been setup with a clear weekly pattern to help you be successful. The weekly pattern is as follows:
- Class Discussion: You will share and learn from your peers and instructor. This is broken into two parts, and you will be graded on your active participation each week.
- Initial Post: You will post an initial thought, question, or comment before the first of the week due date listed in I-Learn.
- Peer Comments: You will be graded on your active participation on this discussion board. You will need to respond to at least six comments on this discussion board, before the lock date listed in I-Learn.
- Website Setup: Each week you will complete the assigned tutorials from the UnderstandingWP.com website (the text for this class). These tutorials will walk you through setting up and customizing your website.
- Checklist Submission: You will install a checklist on your website that will track your progress as you complete the tutorials. Each week, you will take a screenshot of the associated portion of the checklist that will be turned in to I-Learn.
The schedule for the first and last week of the semester varies from this pattern slightly. During the first week, you will be completing some initial website setup, reviewing the syllabus, and getting to know those in the class. During the last week, you will be making a screencast video that will be shared with your peers.
Late Work & Deadlines
Late work will not be accepted. It is encouraged that you finish your coursework well before the deadline to avoid unforeseeable complications.
This online course is based in Rexburg, Idaho, so due dates and times have been set to Mountain Time. Due dates in I-Learn should adjust to your time zone. Be sure to check your I-Learn calendar for your local due date and time. Know that due dates and times will not be convenient for everyone. If you are having troubles with the course deadlines, you might look into setting up earlier personal deadlines that work for your schedule.
The Courtesy Policy
Courteous and professional interaction about coursework and grades is expected and rewarded. Instructors may award students up to five bonus points for the following:
- Exceptional courtesy and professional interaction.
- Respectful participation and prompt communication.
- Outstanding and prompt participation.
- Respect for grading procedures. Concerns about grades are emailed to your instructor, with the intent to improve on future assignments.
Rationale: To foster more professional communication, students are expected to follow the Courtesy Policy used in all Visual Communications courses.. Employers tell us that many interns and recent graduates lose their chance for successful employment because they complain about insignificant issues. This behavior also shows up when students complain about grades. Some fight unsuccessfully for a few points, then end up losing opportunities and other unrealized benefits. These bonus “courtesy points” can compensate for minor discrepancies and subjectivity. Visual Communications instructors work together in a teaching group and use the same rubrics and grading approaches, so grading is consistent across all sections of a course.
Students are expected to observe the BYU-Idaho Honor Code. All work must be original. Copyright laws will be strictly observed, and violations may result in project or course failure, depending on the seriousness of the violation.
In compliance with applicable disability law, qualified students with a disability may be entitled to reasonable accommodation. Students must disclose to the teacher any special needs she/he may have before the end of the first week of class.