Feed Me: Adding and RSS to your Online Course

You may already subscribe to RSS feeds from your favorite blogs or news sites but did you know that you can insert RSS feeds into your ANGEL course? Do your students know that they can add their own feeds to their personal ANGEL pages?

Are you still wondering what exactly is an RSS feed? Never fear, all will be explained.

Q: What is an RSS feed?

A: Incorporating RSS feeds allows you to automatically stream news, podcasts or stats from other websites into your course. No need to go to the actual website, it get’s delivered to you.

Q: Why should I use RSS feeds?

A: RSS feeds help you stay top of interests and issues that are important to you and your students.  Because the feeds point to other sources they can help connect communities of teachers and learners.

Q: How do I add a RSS to ANGEL?

A: It’s simple. From your course page click the “Edit page” in the top left part of your screen. Click the “Add Component” and scroll down to the Course feed, scroll down and check the box for RSS feed. Open the Course RSS Feed component and using the pencil open the Headline Settings Screen, click “Add Feed”. You can search for a feed, or paste the link directly into the box to the right.

Q: How you can use RSS feeds to engage your class?

A: This all depends on whether you teach an online, hybrid or web enhanced course. Here are some quick ideas to get you started. If you are interested in more detailed ideas, you know who to call.

1. Both Sides of an Issue/ Track a Topic Take a current issue that has pros and cons. For an example lets say, Ethics and Biology. Divide the class into groups. Each group tracks a specific journal/news source. Each week the group reports on the coverage and comments on any prejudice or leaning tendencies of the website, author, or journal. This can be used as an in class or online discussion.

2. Show and Tell Have each student research and subscribe to a different RSS feed. Throughout the semester have each student submit a journal or give a two-minute presentation on a topic that pertain to the course. This lesson is an excellent platform for discussing reliable resources and a great opportunity to collaborate with the librarians.

3. Make it Real Keep your examples crisp and current by using examples from your course’s RSS feeds. Having your students find examples of theories put into a real-word context will enhance their understanding. Statistics, Economics and Marketing courses lend themselves to this method.  Instead of using a problem from the text-book, why not look at the news for the data and let your students apply what they learned.

Do you already use RSS feeds in your ANGEL course? If so, share with us how you used them for a project or an assignment. Are their other resources we should know about? Leave us a comment.


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