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About the project

The work in this project is being integrated in the managed Sakai 3 project to deliver Sakai 3.0 by end June 2011.  

This project began with the idea of redesigning and rebuilding the core functionality provided by Tests & Quizzes 2.x releases (aka Samigo) in the new 3.0 environment. However, we do not want to simply rebuild it based on the current design. Sakai 3.0 allows us the opportunity to make the functionality formerly associated with tools accessible in other contexts; in other words, the functionality of T&Q and similar tools can now be modularized so that users can create or complete activities without necessarily entering a specific tool. Working in 3.0 will also allow us to utilize Web 2.0 interaction styles that simply weren't around when T&Q was initially designed.

Thus, the scope expanded. We sponsored an investigation phase to help us understand the range of people who use Sakai to create, manage, complete, and assess learning activities in general and how they think about their work. We wanted to have a solid understanding of the historical issues, user types, and user goals before we begin designing. We believed that understanding how various users really think about their work would lead to new ideas for how workflows need to be structured and interrelate to each other. Also, although we are not immediately integrating with the workflows of communication, scheduling, and grade reporting, we wanted to know how and when users expect their work surrounding learning activities to integrate with those workflows.

Eight institutions participated in the investigation which concluded with the User and Domain Analysis Part 1, made available in February. This document described 12 key user types, or persona. This led into a Requirements Definition phase in which we wrote scenarios for key persona and pulled requirements in context. This in turn led to Framework Definition phase, or high level design.

While we have not created a formal document for this later work, we did create a presentation summarizing our work, delivered on June 16 at the 2010 Sakai Conference in Denver*.*

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Keli Amann and Jackie Mai
User Experience Specialists
Stanford University, Academic Computing

Daphne Ogle

Senior Interaction Designer, UC Berkeley

Timeline (updated)

  • Investigation and Analysis Phase: Sept 2009-March 2009
  • Framework Phase: April 2010--ongoing
  • Design & Development: tbd

This project is not

  • a quick fix. If you have discrete issues, please continue to submit issues to JIRA so they can be considered for a future 2.x type release. But if you can describe why this issue is important to a specific person and are willing to talk to them about the context of their needs, we hope you'll participate in the investigation.
  • a commitment from Stanford to solve every need that emerges from the investigation; our design and development resources our limited. We are, however, committed to creating a framework (see above) that enables teams to work together with a common understanding. This project is to encourage new people to get involved in describing and developing capabilities in a structured way.
  • a technical discussion. We will begin sponsoring technical discussions as the framework begins to emerge.