Activity Stream on Individual Courses (Groups)
January 15, 2021 at 5:48 pm #8783
Hi, first thanks for the incredible work you all do on this project.
Second, apologies if this is something blindingly obvious which I have missed.
We have program running in the Openlab version and some instructors have requested an activity feed in the courses group.
More specifically, much of the course assessment is via posts on the individual student’s blogs and the instructors would rather not return to the Site Home page to access direct links to these posts.
My exploration through the code indicates that it should be possible to have a group-filtered activity feed, I’m just curious if there is an easier way in interface to do such a thing.
I already have a child theme in place doing some other stuff and could also add in there if necessary. Just thought I would make sure I was reinventing any wheels first.
TroyJanuary 19, 2021 at 6:36 pm #8786BreeParticipant
Thanks for reaching out, Troy!
I can’t answer your question myself, but I’ll reach out to our developer to see if he has any thoughts.
BreeJanuary 19, 2021 at 7:20 pm #8787Ed BeckParticipant
I spent some time thinking about your problem today Troy.
Our Commons in a Box Openlab is hosted on Reclaim Hosting. One thing that I noticed early on about their blog, was that they used 1 WordPress blog as a hub, but that was really just an aggregator, and when you clicked on the link, you actually were brought to each one of the team members individual sites.
Check it out:
Is the central hub, but if you click on any story in the blog role, you are actually transported to the original place on the website. Might be Jim’s blog at https://bavatuesdays.com/ or Meredith’s at https://meredithfierro.com/ or Tim’s at https://blog.timowens.io/.
Basically they have a plugin that converts posts from an RSS feed into WordPress post, while simultaneously linking back to the home base blog.
I think it would be exactly what you are looking for, because it could turn the course blog into a one-stop shop, and if there were students that wanted to just share some of their posts with the course blog, they could do a category and give their instructor their category rss feed instead of their entire blog rss feed.
The only trouble is, I can’t figure out what plugin they are using!
Closest I can was this article of paid and free RSS aggregators.
EdJanuary 20, 2021 at 10:33 am #8788
Thanks Ed. It looks like they are running Elementor Pro plus some addons, it may be something associated with that. But you have given me some ideas to dig into.
Our installation is program-specific with Site providing course content and the CBox set of functionality. Students each have a portfolio sub-site on the installation that they use to do assignments which typically manifest as blog posts on their portfolio site for one or more courses.
While I’m not keen on filling up the main site with posts derived from RSS feeds, what would work well is an RSS feed stream driven by just the students in the given class. What the faculty are after (also of use to participants to access each other’s work) is notification that a student has work ready and a convenience link back to their portfolios.
RSS would work wonderfully for that. I’m planning a rework of our child theme following the completion of this term. The more recent versions of OpenLab provide better customization access to the side bar and the potential to add widget areas. A perfect spot for such a feed.
TroyJanuary 20, 2021 at 11:52 am #8789Boone GorgesKeymaster
Hi all – CBOX OpenLab is specifically designed so that each site (aside from the primary site) is associated with one group, and each group, in turn, cannot be linked to more than one site. As such, it’s not possible at the moment to pursue the most natural solution, which would be to link more than one site to a group (thus pulling all of the sites’ activity into the single group’s activity feed).
A workaround may be the plugin BP External Group Blogs. The CBOX team supports its own version of this plugin, which ships with CBOX Classic but not CBOX OpenLab. See https://github.com/cuny-academic-commons/external-group-blogs. This allows a group to “subscribe” to multiple arbitrary RSS feeds. New items from those feeds will then appear in the group’s activity feed. I don’t see any reason why the plugin wouldn’t work on CBOX OpenLab. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Another option – and this might be what Ed is suggesting – is to designate the site linked to the course group as the “aggregator” site. Then, use a plugin like FeedWordPress to pull RSS feeds from student sites into that “aggregator” sites. These aggregated posts will then appear in the group activity feed for the main course group.January 21, 2021 at 5:31 pm #8790
Thanks Boone, I’ll give this a shot. It should fit the use case perfectly.
Probably scenario 1. We haven’t been running with a course site.
TroyJanuary 21, 2021 at 8:38 pm #8791RayKeymaster
If you’re talking about adding an “Activity” tab to a group’s (course) sidebar nav next to the existing “Course Home” and “Discussion” items, it’s possible. However, it looks like OpenLab wasn’t designed to have an activity stream for a course.
If you want to enable the Activity page for a group (course), you’ll need to do the following in your child theme:
1. Copy over
openlab-themeand in your child theme, rename this file to
2. Copy over
openlab-themeto your child theme. Open up that file and replace
bp_get_template_part( 'activity/activity-loop.php' )with
bp_get_template_part( 'activity/activity-loop' ). Also in the same file, replace
bp_get_template_part( 'activity/post-form.php' )with
bp_get_template_part( 'activity/post-form' ).
3. Copy over
openlab-themeto your child theme. Open up that file and replace
bp_get_template_part( 'activity/entry.php' )with
bp_get_template_part( 'activity/entry' )
The last two items are bugs in @openlab-theme@. I’ll open up a pull request to fix this up, but in the meantime, this should enable the “Activity” tab on a group’s sidebar nav. You will also need to add your own CSS styling to make things look good since there is no styling for the activity stream.January 22, 2021 at 1:06 pm #8793
Thanks Ray. This sounds great. Some updating/work on our child theme is on my project list for the next couple of months, so this will fit nicely.
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