I may need some clarification from you all to understand some of your wish list items. I have some too so I'll describe some of mine as well. This may turn into a bit of a ramble...
Looking back, I would like to have pulled those ideas into a new thread so that that conversation would have stood alone as a focus.
Currently only facilitators who are bumped up with editing privileges can "split" a thread. But, as Derek pointed out (Debriefing Potpouri) we have the feature turned on which allows anyone to start a new discussion topic. As you've all witnessed and Jay pointed out in the informal learning seminar, when many many people take advantage of this feature it can cause navigation to be a frustrating. To steal Nancy W's phrase, this can be a bit "like heaven and hell all rolled into one" (I totally cracked up when I read that!).
Jay also mentioned not being able to easily zone in on the new messages. There is a setting in your profile that will help (click on your name or image anywhere on the site, click edit profile) -- under "forum tracking". I'm glad this was raised because I think the default setting may be to turn this feature off. Something to look into!
I personally like new subject headings and fresh topics being pulled out of other threads, but I miss some features I've seen in other tools where you can view ALL posts in a forum by date, subject heading, author, etc, and view full messages or just subject headings. I also would like to more easily link to other posts. RSS helps, but when you get over 50 posts in a discussion the older ones stop dropping off the radar. I'm no expert here so throw me a rope if I've missed something!
Jay doesn't want linear text and hierarchical discussion. Elhanan suggests tagging or concept mapping to improve navigation between topics. But I think what we're craving is a way to view the discussion in different ways, rather than create new views using maps or other summary tools. I've seen several mock-ups and design specs on variations of this, but does such a beast exist? One piece of software we're experimenting with is dataface, developed by Steve Hannah at SFU. I wonder if there is some potential there to address this need. I need to tinker with it some more. It's described as "a flexible and shapeable skin that sits on top of MySQL". It's open source so if anyone has the interest and know-how to try it out don't forget to report back! .
Christie prefers plain text emails to web-based forums, and maybe others do as well. I think we can have both, although the plain text may have some unwanted bits. Go to your profile (click on your name or image then select the "edit profile" tab), then change the settings for email format to "plain text". Also, Christie mentioned attachments. Just so you don't think these are all filling up your hard drive, attachments to forum posts are really just links to files stored on the server; they aren't downloaded to your personal computer when posts are received by email. This doesn't address the issue of having to go to the SCoPE website to post. So far we don't have an option to respond through email.
During this seminar one SCoPE member wrote to say that he is loving the discussion, but can't handle the email volume just now. I advised him to change the settings in his profile under email digest type so he receives a single message per day rather than one for every post. That solved the problem, but it's a good example of how we're all working these days. It takes time to explore and figure out how to change settings organize our participation.
Derek hinted that it's difficult to find messages through the search tool. (From Debriefing Potpouri . . . by derekc on Sat Jun 3 01:24:00 2006: I cannot find it now (!@#$%^#$$% Moodle) I'm curious, have others found this? I confess that I rely more on the gmail search tool to find what I'm looking for in SCoPE forums!
I've squished a lot of things into one post! One item for the wish list is to have better resources to help SCoPE members make the most of their time in the community environment -- FAQ, a few quick tutorials/demos. That's doable. As for the software, developing that wish list is more challenging but hey, small steps. We can do it!
This is my first time here too. Despite the representation of the "unread threads", I've found it hard to navigate between the different topics discussions. Adding the?Tagging" function might be useful as well as using visual collaborative conceptual mapping tools such as the FreeMind OPS.
Potpouri . . . by derekc on Saturday, June 03, 2006 1:24:00 AM:
I take Christie's point about structure. But how is it constraining? I cannot actually see any different structure within the constraints of Moodle. This is not more than just a typical threaded discussion - with Marginalia (which I have come to love. We have freedom to start new threads. This leads to wild west at times. But it is MUCH better than being locked down as in another Moodle interaction area I am a member of.
Does anyone know of a tagging plug in for Moodle? Or can we play with the Marginalia plug in Derek mentions below?Christie wrote:
The challenge of the site timing out if you spend a long time composing - this is true with many web based tools. I have the problem of "thinking with my fingers" too so now I sometimes crudely compose in word or in a blank email.
nested threads possible so that I could look at a subtopic or topic to review
the context of various postings?
In moodle, near the top left, you have three ways to view the discussion: nested, chronological and threads (with just the headlines showing)
I would like to add my suggestion of searching threads by key words (or maybe we can & I just didn't know?) I've been going back to the home page and clicking from there. David's notes have helped (really appreciated that, David!!!).
You can search forums for key words now - the box is in the upper right. What there isn't, as far as I can find, a facility for tagging posts. That is in my dream list.
graphics as well as text. I want multiple channels, not linear text. (Has
anyone else here read The Alphabet vs. the Goddess?) I want to break free of
hierachical discussion. Our campfire died out.
Can you point to some examples so we can see the vision in your head? I have been struggling to find ways to seamlessly float across channels with groups that are not early adopters and I have been challenged. i'd love to see pointers or sketches of dreams.
I want graphics as well as text. I want multiple channels, not linear text. (Has anyone else here read The Alphabet vs. the Goddess?) I want to break free of hierachical discussion. Our campfire died out.
Nancy: Can you point to some examples so we can see the vision in your head? I have been struggling to find ways to seamlessly float across channels with groups that are not early adopters and I have been challenged. i'd love to see pointers or sketches of dreams.
I would love to see visions, graphics, etc, too, since I'm one of those visual learners. Can anyone give examples? Ann
That's an abbreviated explanation so let me know if you need more info.
Does it work in Firefox? (I'm not getting the slide/yellow bar)
However, you can also select text and then use the Enter key to create annotations. I tested that here and it works fine.
(See the error message below)
My browser nearly (but not quite) hung, an unusual experience for Firefox.
If this happens, but reload a page, or move away from it, and don't panic. :-) I tried to do a printscreen and that broke also. That's life.
The last finding I have is that clicking on the link 'annotation summary' creates a nice summary. I didn't bother to actually figure out what it summarised. Once you guys get asome random thoughts up there we can see if these summaries are cross thread, cross people and so on.
I like this tool, and it has huge promise. I think we will install it here. But it is only part of the way there . . .
Cheers - Derek.
You say you were using Firefox? I just want to confirm, because I'm aware of an IE-only bug that can cause this to happen (I'm working on getting the fix into the Moodle release of Marginalia). Could you point me to the post you were trying to annotate?
Then the error appeared, and did so no matter where I went in the thread and even a refresh did not fix it.
It is fine now.
Yes, Firefox, sorry. :-)
Highlighting some text and hitting enter (as per Sylvia's instructions) opens up a small fixed height text box in the annotations pane on the right.
I can then type quite a bit, but it quickly ends up being in a scrollable box.
If I hit enter, shift enter or anything with enter I tried it saves it and then
- click on the text to edit (How cool is that?)
- click on the o to change to a diamond.
o = public
- click on the x to delete
I have set it to public, so you shoyuld all see it.
My opinion: this is cool!!
In Interact, our community support platform we are implementing 'postlets' - little social comments (Me to, I agree) that are treated differently to other posts of 'substance'
Annotations are better than that. :-)
This whole thing is due to a set of new tools being used: the buzz words are Ajax, Ruby, Rails (Ruby on Rails) and behind the scenes Dojo. Think of it this way: don't you hate having to click a check box, THEN submit? This new stuff cuts down the page reload by talking client < > server with a tiny bit of XML (or similar) - not whole pages - ie it's client side stuff mainly. In this case, type in our annotation and it's there - no 'submit' stuff.
Click the button to change the o to the diamond and back: NO page reloads!!
This is the start of the new tools Nancy is looking for. We are just on the cusp of a new revolution here.
Firstly make an annotation so I can see one by someone else.
Next: someone take a thread and make a few annotations.
Then other people respond. Lets find out what it's like to use.
I cannot see Nancy Ritters annotations either.
For those who will fix this: Firefox 220.127.116.11
I thought it was probably just me and had posted enough today anyway.
(Geoffrey?? Any suggestions now??) - Derek
At the moment, I am working on a new release to patch some bugs from recent reports (nearly all involve IE). It's close to ready; I'm currently doing IE sanity tests. Once I'm done, I will recommend updating this site.
 IE always tests my sanity; sometimes I wonder why I decided to support it.