OCA Spaces Support & Guidance
This activity contains support and guidance regarding the use of OCA Spaces, including how to access and sign in, creating a new learning log and subsequent blog posts, to more intermediate and advanced features available.
When publishing a new blog post, the TEL Team would strongly recommend ensuring to use the 'Posts' option, available via the WordPress Dashboard, or alternatively, using the Frontend Editor; please refer to the Creating & Editing a Blog Post sub-chapter for applicable guidance. The 'Pages' option, however, can be used to create custom pages within your learning log, such as a custom homepage, for example, whereby your posts can be;
- Displayed in chronological order (oldest to newest) or reverse chronological order (default, newest to oldest);
- Displayed in an alternative format or style, such as including an excerpt, dated published, list or grid format and with or without a featured image;
- Include or exclude blog post(s) based on their assigned category(s);
- Include additional contents besides a list of applicable blog posts, such as social media links and/or embeds, a brief introduction or about section, series of image(s) etc.
The above are a series of examples which maybe applicable to some OCA students and isn't a definitive list of capabilities or options. Additionally, the following guidance is purely for aesthetic purposes and isn't a requirement of OCA students; providing your blog posts are categorised correctly, the default reverse chronological order in which your blog posts appear is sufficient.
Creating a Custom Homepage
While the following guidance is primarily aimed at those looking to create a custom homepage, the following guidance can also be used to create any number of custom pages within OCA Spaces. For example, the guidance could also be used to create a custom page(s) for each of your category(s), however and in such circumstances, each page(s) will need to be manually added to your menu; please refer to the Categories & Menu sub-chapter, and specifically the Menu heading, for applicable guidance on this process.
To begin, first access the WordPress Dashboard and select the 'Pages' option - located in the left hand menu - followed by 'Add New'.
On the following page, next add a preferred page title, such as "Home" or "Homepage", and insert a 'Latest Posts' block; this page functions using the Gutenberg Editor, and students can therefore refer to the Gutenberg Editor sub-chapter for guidance regards to Adding a New Block. With the 'Latest Posts' block selected, next select the 'Settings' (Cog icon) - located in the upper right corner - to access and amend the block settings as desired. Within this menu, the available settings can be used to;
- Display an excerpt and specific number of characters, or the entire post contents;
- Display the author's name and/or date published;
- Display and amend the size of the featured image, if applicable;
- Adjust the order in which blog posts are listed;
- Include or exclude a category(s);
- Increase or decrease the number of posts visible.
With the 'Latest Posts' block selected and using the Top Toolbar - as outlined in the Gutenberg Editor Interface - you can also change the format in which your blog posts are listed, selecting either a list or grid format.
At this stage and using any of the available block types, you can add any additional contents, such as an introduction or about section, social media links and/or embeds, images etc.
With your homepage now complete, select the blue 'Publish' option, located in the upper right corner, before navigating back to the WordPress Dashboard.
Setting a Custom Homepage
From the WordPress Dashboard, select 'Appearance' - located in the left hand menu - followed by 'Customise'. On the following page, then select 'Homepage Settings' and the 'Static Page' option. Beneath the 'Homepage' heading and using the dropdown menu, select the page created earlier and confirm the change by selecting the blue 'Publish' option - located in the upper left corner.
If done correctly and upon accessing your learning log, your custom homepage should now be accessible and display the contents as expected.