Week 1: Course Intro / Tech Set-up

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Tuesday, August 29

In Class

  • Set up a hypothesis.is account using these instructions:
  • Together, let’s annotate The Benefits of Writing Letters
    • remember to indicate annotations with our group
  • Annotate our class syllabus.
  • Annotation tips:
    • Annotate with your questions, comments, thoughts, ideas. You can also respond to others’ comments.
    • Use tags: “question” (when you have a question), “answer” (when you have an answer), “suggestion” (when you have a suggestion); add new tags: be creative!
    • You can use text, and images, and insert hyperlinks.
    • Don’t forget to click the Post button
    • Make sure it posts to our Group, not to Public!


  • Think of what you would like to call your website/blog for class on Thursday.
  • Think about how you want your website to look.

Thursday, September 1

In Class:

We will be building our personal blogs/websites together in class on Thursday. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a HTML/CSS ninja to create a nice website for yourself, but you do need to be able to follow some simple directions. We will be building our website using BergBuilds, which is supported by Muhlenberg’s Digital Learning Team. Bergbuilds offers approved students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to claim space on the Web, and create a digital presence there through various media such as blogs, portfolios, and wikis.

BergBuilds: Let’s build our own blog

  1. Let’s get started! Review these sections about what BergBuilds is and what it has to offer.
  2. Your homework for last class was to think about what you want to call your domain or subdomain. What did you decide on?
  3. Go to the Onelogin portal and click on the Berg Builds image – it may not be on your front tab, but under Muhlenberg or Everything.
    • berg build icon
  4. Next, you should see something similar to this:
    • domain
  5. Fill out your subdomain name in the box: http://help.bergbuilds.domains/general/choose-subdomain, bearing in mind the suggestions for a good name. You can use an alias if you want. It should be unique to you and not to this class or any other class.
    • Some examples may be:
      • name (tinahertel)
      • name+hobby (tinasthoughts)
      • name+place (tinaatberg)
      • unique to you (serendipitina)
  6. Click on the continue button once you’ve filled in your subdomain. Follow the prompts on screen to confirm your choice. If you see a screen stating “Your shopping cart is empty” please refresh your browser.
  7. Once you Berg Builds domain has been created, you should see something similar to this:
    applications menu
  8. Install “Wordpress” using these instructions. (Note that the examples in the videos are from a different college, but the interface and process are the same)
  9. Pick a theme and customize the look of your website.
  10. Update our class links list with your website address (URL).

Let’s get personal

That’s it! You’ve created your first website. Now we’re going to start making our sites more us! If you need to come back to this, you can use this quick tutorial:

  1. Navigations Tips
    • from the portal
    • using your dashboard
    • getting help
  2. Navigating in BergBuilds
    • WordPress
    • MyApps
    • link options
      • navigating in WordPress
  3. Update your profile:
    • Name & Display Name
    • Email
    • Bio
    • Image
  4. Let’s create an “About” page, which tells us a little about yourself. Feel free to include pictures, video, links, etc.
    • Include:
      • Text
      • Image
      • Links
  5. Manage Menus
    • Add a menu for your page
  6. Create a category called “fys183”.
    • Go to your ‘dashboard’
    • Click on ‘Posts’ and then ‘Categories’
    • Create a new category and fill in the boxes.
    • Click on ‘Add new category’
  7. Create your first post, using this prompt (optional, but will help with doing certain tasks):
    • Search & Share
      • Think about a topic on letter writing that is aligned with your interests or what you want to learn more about.
      • Search for a Creative Commons image and add that image to your post.
        • include a caption, which includes the source of the image
        • include “alt text”
      • Include text about your interests/topic.
      • Do a search for an article on letter writing that is more aligned with your interests or views of letter writing. Include a link to that article and why you selected it.
      • Add the “fys183” category.
      • Add 2-3 keywords describing this post.

Weekly Writing

  1. You will have a weekly writing assignment, called “Weekly Writings” For the first week, the prompt is below. For most, you can use the prompts ideas in the Weekly Writings assignment.
  2. This post will be used in your first meeting with Annalise. Sign-ups are in Canvas.
  3. Your blog post should have two headings: “Letter Writing” and “My Writing Process”
  4. Heading “Letter Writing,” reflect on these questions:
    • What does ‘letter writing’ or “epistolary practices” mean to you?
    • What are you excited about in this course?
    • What concerns do you have about this course?
    • Add the ‘fys183’ category.
    • Add 2-3 keywords about your post.
  5. Heading “My Writing Process,” reflect on these questions:
    • What do you like most about your writing process?
    • What would you most like to improve about your writing?
    • How do you hope to grow as a writer?
    • Add the ‘fys183’ category. Create and add a “weekly writing” category.
    • Add 2-3 keywords about your post.
  6. Weekly Writings will be due by Monday of each week.
  7. Submit your post URL in Canvas.