How to verify when students post in WordPress

If you use a Community@UAF WordPress site for student contribution in the form of posts, your students can edit the date and time of submission, which may be a concern if you strictly enforce due dates. If you would like to know the exact date and time a student creates a post, there are at least four ways to find out.


In WordPress, you can check the revision history on each post. Every time someone clicks the Save Draft or Update buttons while creating or editing a post, a revision is saved. The revision includes the time and date the revision was made, so you can check to see if a student went back and changed the post time/date.

Check revision history by clicking into the edit post interface and scrolling to the very bottom of the page.

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The service If This Then That (IFTTT — is a free and robust service that will allow you to subscribe to any WordPress post or comment feed. Any time a new post or comment is made on your course site, you can have IFTTT send you a notification. This notification could be in the form of an email or could go to a variety of different services that IFTTT connects with.   NOTE: The following information may appear technical, but IFTTT is actually quite easy to use.

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To Subscribe to Posts, create this IFTTT Recipe:
IF   [RSS] THEN [email] youremailaddress

To Subscribe to Comments, create this IFTTT Recipe:
IF   [RSS]   THEN [email] youremailaddress


In the post assignment instructions, require students to put the web address (link) to their published post in a Blackboard assignment or forum. It will get date-time stamped when it is submitted.    

The drawback for this method is that it requires students to log into Blackboard and provide the correct link, which can be unnecessarily cumbersome for students.


The final option is that you can change your students’ WordPress role to ‘Contributor’ instead of ‘Author’. That way, they can only edit the post up until it is published. So you would know when the post was submitted to be published, and the students could not make any changes (including to the time/date) after publication.

However, you, as ‘Administrator’, have to review and publish all contributors’ posts before they become available on the course site. Students may find it frustrating if their posts do not appear right away and it creates more work for you.


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