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  • April 3, 2008 -- Initial Authoring Call
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Date: April 3, 2008
Time: 12pm EDT

  • IP Address:
  • Telephone: 812-856-7060
  • Conference Code: 348
  • PIN: 72524

Expected Attendees (actual attendees bulleted)

  • Mark Breuker <>
  • Mark Norton <>
    Aaron Zeckoski <>
    John Norman <>
  • Damian Sobieralski <>
    Hannah Reeves <>
    Daphne Ogle <>
    Colin Clark <>
  • Sean Keesler <>
  • John Hall <>
  • Karen Tsao <>
  • Lydia Li <>
  • Michael Korcuska <>
  • Megan May <>
    Janet de Vry <>
  • Becky Kinney <>
    Karen Kral <>
  • Mathieu Plourde <>
  • Nancy O'Laughlin <>
    Susan Hollar <>
    Joseph Hardin <>
  • Erica Ackerman <>
  • Noah Botimer <>
  • John Leasia <>
  • Sean DeMonner <>
  • Beth Kirschner <>
  • Jim Eng <>
  • Peter Knoop <>
  • Angela Rabuck <>
  • Omer Piperdi <>


Our intended purpose in convening this meeting includes the following:

  • encourage sharing of information about current work on authoring in sakai
  • encourage cross-project collaboration in support of authoring
  • begin (or resume?) the conversation about how to improve support for authoring in sakai
  • actually improve support for authoring in sakai.

Proposed agenda for today's meeting (not necessarily in this order):

  • Review of current work on authoring in Sakai subprojects
  • State of the art for authoring outside of Sakai (MSWord? Google docs?)
  • Pedagogical issues
  • Design of UI features to support web-based authoring
  • Possibility of sharing new capabilities across projects
  • Admin: Next meeting? JA-SIG? Paris?

Notes from meeting

  • Michael encouraged folks to post requirements to wiki page
    Review of work
  • OSP (Noah Botimer)
    There are a number of ways to author content in OSP, including structured Forms (Meta-Obj) and Portfolios (varying in degrees of structure/freedom). There is strong interest at the middle, as well as the ends of the spectrum for varied pedagogies in use – all need more "user delight". U-M concentrating on expressive WYSIWYG portfolios with extensive FCKeditor integration.
  • Sakaibrary
    The subject research guides touch on authoring in 2 ways. There is a WSYWIG view of these guides and you can click on individual components to edit them (like Google Docs, Google Notebook). Developing a prototype of this. Second, they would like people to pull the results from using the subject research guides (e.g. a citation or some content) back into the document the user is creating.
  • Rice--IBM grant
    Pulling content from DSpace and Connexions, sequence the content and add descriptions, etc. Also looking at an image repository system.
  • Rice--Internal materials
    Working on a tool to publish 10 years worth of materials for professors to select to show to students. They will then make these materials available to the community.
  • LOI
    Want to see a universal tool for content authoring across Sakai context
  • Sean (Syracuse)
    Ability to pull meta-objs into documents and mark up that document/object. The use case is important for accreditation (ability to search).
  • Mark Norton – Sousa
    Idea is to have a toolkit that allows you to combine content into a page, organize those pages into a presentation order and then bundle those pages into modules and move them around, etc.
    Other tools like Melete, OSP, Sakaibrary have a particular structure in mind. Sousa is trying to be general tool without a particular pedagogical end point in mind. Sousa is highly integrated with the Content Hosting/Resources.
  • Melete
    Nobody here from Melete, but is probably the style of content authoring that is most commonly found/used by faculty.
  • HEC Montreal
    ZoneCourse, a tool that does structured syllabus authoring.
  • ASU
    FCK Editor plug-in for browsing entities (e.g. assignments and tests) and adding them to the FCK content.
    SCORM is a way to get authored content into Sakai. There are a variety of Sakai tools for SCORM. (HKUST, UC Davis and CRIM-Montreal).
  • LAMS

Other comments

  1. The whole idea of being able to address activities is crucial, especially in assignments.
  2. John Norman points out (via Jim Eng) that not all authoring should be inside Sakai.
  3. Mark Norton
    1. Common UX elements would help
    2. Entity support (and other infrastructure items like tagging) are crucial to address.
  4. LOI – the big challenge is making content in volume and still have a manageable repository of learning objects.
  5. The FCK editor is not doing the trick. We need a different tool or improvements

Next steps

  • Document of current efforts, requirements & dependencies (or link to them at least)
    • Delineation of UX, Pedagogy and Technical needs
  • Another call in approximately 2 weeks.
  • Session in Paris, pre or post conference: Yes!
  • Maybe some informal conversation at JA-Sig, not that many people attending
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  1. Hey guys, good luck with this meeting. Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to make it this time around but I wanted to share a link with you to a Wiki/CMS product that I found interesting. I'm not sure what Sakai's community view is on integration with existing technologies, but if there was an interest in that over building from scratch, this would be well worth looking at since they are open source:

    If for nothing else, it might be a good source of inspiration!


  2. I missed this on the dev list and am only now catching up. Our faculty have really struggled with content authoring in Sakai. They're used to a much more free-form environment (rhymes with "lack floored"), and I think the first part of Mark Norton's page sums their requirements up:

    I would like to be able to compose a page of content that allows me to communicate one or more learning concepts. I'd like to have the freedom to use any kind of media that I think will help communicate those points including text, graphics, sound, videos, marked-up content, simulations, or anything else. I'd like to be able to use this content without having to worry about installing special editors or plug-ins to view them, or at least have the system manage as much of it as possible. I'd like to have control over the way this content is presented, both the individual elements on a page, and the whole page itself. I'd like to be able to control placement, size, color, emphasis, etc. It should be very easy to add new content types as I discover them and I'd like to mash-up different things into new media types.

    Also intriguing to me is ASU's FCK Editor Plug-in which would, if I understand correctly, allow instructors to create pages with links to assignments and tests.