By @mhawksey

Converting blog post urls into MS Word documents using Google Apps Script #oerri

As part of the JISC OER Rapid Innovation Programme we’ve been experimenting with monitoring project blogs by gluing together some scripts in Google Spreadsheets. First there was Using Google Spreadsheets to dashboard project/course blog feeds #oerri which was extended to include social activity around blog posts.

As the programme comes to a close projects will soon be thinking about submitting their final reports. As part of this projects agreed to submit a selection of their posts with a pre-identified set of tags shown below as a MS Word document. 




detailed project plan, either in the post or as an attachment


reminder of the objectives, benefits and deliverables of your project


link to / reproduce the use case you provided in your bid


1-2 paragraph description in accessible language, an image, a 140 character description [1 post per project]


update posts on outputs as they emerge, with full links/details so that people can access them


end of project: complete list of outputs, refer back to #projectplan and note any changes  [1 post per project]


towards of the end of the project, a list of lessons that someone like you would find useful


end of project: evidence of benefits and impact of your project and any news on next steps


this is the follow up to the nutshell post. a description in accessible language, and a 2 minute video [1 post per project]


When this was announced at the programme start-up concerns were raised about the effort to extract some posts into a document rather than just providing links. As part of the original experimental dashboard one thing I had in mind was to automatically detect the tag specific posts and highlight which had been completed. Having got the individual post urls it hasn’t been too hard to throw a little more Google Apps Script to extract the content and wrap in a MS Word document (well almost – if you have some html and switch the file extension to .doc it’ll open in MS Word). Here’s the code and template to do it:

And here are the auto-generated reports for each project:

Project posts (Est). PROD url Generated Report url Comments
Attribute images 2   No tagged posts
bebop 14 Report Link  
Breaking Down Barriers 10 Report Link  
CAMILOE 1   No tagged posts
Improving Accessibility to Mathematics 15 Report Link  
Linked data approaches to OERs 15 Report Link Partial RSS Feed
Portfolio Commons 10 Report Link  
RedFeather 18 Report Link  
RIDLR 7 Report Link Not WP
sharing paradata across widget stores 10 Report Link  
SPINDLE 17 Report Link  
SupOERGlue 6 Report Link Not WP
synote mobile 16 Report Link  
TRACK OER 12 Report Link Not WP
Xenith 4 Report Link  


I should say that these are not issues I have with the OERRI projects, but my own issues I need to solve to make this solution work in a variety of contexts.

Hopefully it’s not a bad start and if nothing else maybe it’ll encourage projects to sort out their tagging. So what have I missed … questions welcomed.

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