Our Open Education 2015 presentation yesterday on the UDG Agora project was scheduled in the big vast main ballroom. The big house. Along with Tannis Morgan, Brian Lamb, and Terri Bateman, we tried to cram a lot of stuff into a 30 minute box.

My “weird idea that my colleagues should laugh it off dismissively” was to do it as listicle. Hence before working on my portions of the content, I was playing with Webmaker X-Ray Googles:




Our plan was to present each 2 “things” as topics we could present, first brainstormed in a google doc. For the presentation itself we used a setup I had done last year as part of my TRU Fellowship– the “slides” are actually in a WordPress site, using a theme that puts images up large, and then allowing the body of the “post” to be more or extra material.

Well, rather than over explaining, here is our presentation/site:

Open Ed 2015 UDG Agora presentation

Open Ed 2015 UDG Agora presentation


Audio recording of presentation (15.4 MB mp3)

The Eight Topics:

In the spirit of Not Starting With a List of Bullet List Outcomes, Tannis opened with an idea we had done previously for a presentation on this at the ETUG Fall Workshop; a series of True/False questions about the University of Guadalajara to highlight how little we likely know about this impressive system.

udg quiz

The night before I left, I had an idea to change it up a little (personally, I loathe true and false quizzes) into a fill in the blank format. I had some idea that I could rig up something that could pop up or reveal the answers after clicking on a blank.

As usually with WordPress, the first cut at searching revealed a few possibilities, but most were about revealing blocks of text for those accordion toggles like reveals. With a few more plays of search terms, I landed on A Plugin That Saved Me From Coding It – the Peekaboo plugin in. When you land there it does display that notice that often sends people running:

This plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

The key term is “may” – that does not rule out trying and it worked out well; with some shortcodes I had something where we could show/hide the answers (below as an animated GIF, but go try yourselves)

The quiz in action

The quiz in action

Okay, that was a gimmick.

I was thinking I had to blog again how this was made, but apparently I had done this a year ago (#whew)

The ingredients again (beyond having in your kitchen a self-hosted baking dish of WordPress). Each “slide” is a post.

  1. One Intergalactic Theme (free in WordPress repository)
  2. One Post Types Reorder plugin (there is more goodness and an advanced version from NSP Code) – this lets you set an arbitrary order of the posts, rather than monkeying with the publish date (which does work if you do not want to deal with a plugin, or it would work on WordPress.com).

    There is a bit of mind flipping, you actually do want to use this plugin to re-order your posts (simply by dragging and dropping via the Re-Order link under Posts in the Dashboard), but it must be in reverse order.


    This is because of the way the bottom navigation links work- the “next” button on the left is actually the “previous” post link. I am sure my explanation is causing more confusion, but you will see the issue the first time you try it– if you put them in order from first to last, the “next” button will be the left arrow!

  3. A sprinkling of Custom CSS. On a multisite WordPress (like ours) I always enable the Simple Custom CSS plugin that adds a a Custom CSS box to any theme (under Appearance in the Dashboard) since not all themes provide this.

    This does some trickery to hide content in the theme’s footer, and reduce the navigation to have just giant arrows, rather than links with the post names:


This is why knowing something about CSS (Custom Styling Spices) takes you a notch above the other cooks. Here is the CSS:

Oh there is a bonus ingredient you can see in the screenshot above, the Creative Commons Configurator plugin, which adds a license to the bottom of all posts/slides.

It was (I hope) an interesting presentation experience at Open Ed; well we had fun. It is still way way too much to try and fit into a presentation, but hopefully should do what these events should do. Rather than trying to communicate everything about a project, it’s just a sampling, small bites, to get people intrigued to ask more.

Heck we even had a UDG Agora Studio on this called Bocados Pequenos.

Learn more about more Top Things About UDG Agora at http://udg.theagoraonline.net/ because eight was not nearly enough.

Top / Featured Image Credits: Found unattributed on Max Woolf’s blog, so I am compounding the problem. Oh well. I like the image, whomever made it/ owns it.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so)


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