This is a continuation of my ‘start of term’ setup process…
My students contribute weekly blog posts in-class. Aside from a qualitative review of their contributions, I need to quickly grab a list of who actually made a submission during class time (as a part of their participation grade).
There is a function in Google sheets that makes it pretty easy to pull a list of blog posts into a Google sheet.
The IMPORTFEED Function
This is a Google Sheets function that takes an ATOM or RSS feed, a few attributes, and generates a list of blog posts. You can find full information about this function on Google’s support page on IMPORTFEED.
Here’s a sample
To make it easier to get you started, I’ve created a sample document that shows a few ways this function can be used. To get started, click the button below to copy my sample Google Sheet.
This sheet includes a few samples, and basic instructions for replicating what I’ve done in the main Sample ATOM – items sheet.
Does my blog have a feed?
If you are running a WordPress blog (like the ones found on wordpress.com or blog.ryerson.ca), it’s easy to find the ATOM and RSS feeds for your blog. Not only that, but you can get feeds for specific categories and tags! More examples are listed in the sample spreadsheet, but here are a couple of really useful ones for use with your course.
Here are some samples from this blog:
- Atom feed for all posts on the blog:
- Atom feed for the posts in the category ‘blogs’ (use category slug, not the descriptive text):
- Atom feed for the posts authored by the user ‘sgoetz’
Some things to keep in mind
- This will not work with a private blog. If you run a class blog that is not open to the public, unfortunately, this will not work for you. This works for my course because we purposely keep the blog open to the public (as a part of the learning experience)
- The author name listed is not their username. This is the display name in WordPress, and the user may customize it at any point. Keep this in mind when assessing student entries, as they may change their display name part-way through the term.