Setting up the Student Site

The concept of the student site is to provide each student with their own virtual studio space. Since the site is part of a multi-site network, students work in close relationship to one another, in which research and artistic work is aggregated into the class site.

By: Randall Packer |

At the beginning of the semester, each student is given their own WordPress site, a completely unique Website in which they have control over its design and content. The first step is for the instructor to provide the OSS administrative team (needs further work) with a list of students and email addresses so that the sites can be generated. Students will then receive a notification with their site URL, id, and password. Once this is accomplished it is necessary for each student to setup their site according to the following steps:

Students should setup their during the first week of class. It is advisable for faculty to review the OSS User Manual during the first class meeting.

User Information

  • Name: first go to the WordPress dashboard, enter “Users/All Users,” click on “edit” for the appropriate user, and open up the settings (see figure below). Fill out the “First Name” and the “Last Name,” which will show up exactly as indicated when you roll over the student’s avatar on the class site. Also fill out the “Nickname.” Be sure and click on “update user” before leaving this page.
user-settings_Screenshot 2014-05-08 15.26.40
  • Biographical Info: further down the user page, fill out the biographical info, choosing whatever information the student wants to convey when someone clicks on their avatar on the class site. Be sure and click on “update user” before leaving this page.
settings-bio_Screenshot 2014-05-08 15.30.59
  • Avatar: The best to way to create an avatar (visual ID representation) so that is can be used on WordPress, as well as many other social media sites, is to go to Gravatar.com and signup for an account. When arriving at the site, click on “Create Your Own Gravatar” and fill out the form. Fill out the signup on WordPress.com as well, unless the user already has a WordPress.com account. Fill out the form (see figure below) and then Gravatar will request to upload an image for the Gravatar.

It is critical to use the same email address for the Gravatar account as the address for the OSS site. If the email address doesn’t match, the avatar won’t show up. The avatar is essentially linked to the email address.

  • Site name: in the WordPress Dashboard, go into “Settings/General” and give the site a title. This can always be changed. Also, choose a name for a tagline or subtitle (see figure below).
settings-title_Screenshot 2014-05-08 15.47.26

Although there is a great deal of personalization that can be done with each student site, the above steps constitute the initial establishment of an online identity in the OSS Virtual Studio.