An instructor wants to build a home (or other) page for the site that gives students an outline of what will happen in the course. Potential organizational structures include thematic and calendar-based. Each section of the syllabus has a place for the instructor to write a description of that section and to link to relevant resources and activities that the students need.
1.2.1 The one-page course
Jonas Oldtimehr, part-time online instructor, has been teaching his English Literature course for 25 years. All is has ever needed to make it effective was his syllabus and a textbook. Now that he's retired, he teaches a distance learning class to continue to keep his mind working and avoid going insane from boredom.
Based on the requirements of the assignment, the librarians include the following in the guide:
- Links to and search tips for the "best" or most relevant licensed databases, in this case America: History and Life, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, Politics and International Relations: A Sage Collection; and Historical Washington Post. These databases are selected from a list organized by subject, as in the "Search Library Resources" function in Citations Helper.
- Predefined clickable searches against relevant databases and catalogs, selected from a list organized by subject
- Predefined search boxes constrained to execute a "Search Library Resources" search against relevant resources selected from a list organized by subject
- Lists of citations to individual books and articles potentially relevant as background material for the assignment
- Original text to guide students through the research process for the course assignment
- Links to assignment-related instructional guides or tutorials on the library's web site or the open web on topics such as evaluating information sources, avoiding plagiarism or citing online sources, identifying best search terms, etc.
- Contact information (e-mail, phone, and/or embedded chat) for selected librarians and the undergraduate library reference desk, obtained from the library web site's content management system via a Web Services request
After the librarians publish the guide to make it available to Nick and the students in his course through the Research Guide tool in Nick's course site, Nick then edits the guide to add some additional citations and suggestions that he thinks will be of value to his students.
She'd also like her information to surface in relevant public searches. If a student, colleague, or anonymous viewer searched for "Physical Chemistry" in a central location at Sakai university, she is convinced her profile should show up in the top 3 results.
Carlos Ramirez is an undergraduate student. He likes to know who is in each of his course - it helps him find groups to work with, people who have a similar or complementary profile - but, until now, he could not know anything else than their names from the roster list in his course.
One day, he notices a message from the system telling him that is profile is incomplete. He clicks on the provided link and get to his profile. He sees that his picture has been pumped from the registrar's office (looks more like a mug shot...), so he decided to change his avatar to a picture of an eagle, his favorite animal. His fills out the description field, selects his major from a drop-list, add a favorite things category and starts listing his favorite movies and music artists, his hobbies, interests, etc.
Later that week, his professor of Italian asks a specific question to be added to his profile: Have you been to Italy before? If yes, what struck you? If not, what is your interest in this course. He goes back to his profile and finds a field marked "This field will be visible to ITAL101 students only. CHANGE?". He is happy that this info will not appear in is general profile, and that he could add it if he wanted.
Carlos finds out that now that he has a portfolio site, he could really start to gather a lot of information about his progression through his program and show potential employers what he did and learned.
6.1 Other Possible Scenarios
We may want to make a distinction between support for established research projects vs. student research projects, the former being more formal and may even have imposed documentation practices and standards.
6.2 Peter's WebDAV example
An instructor can edit a Resource directly through Word, Frontpage, Web Expressions, Dreamweaver, Komposer, etc., without necessarily having to go through Sakai, or upload/down/load, they can browser straight to it via WebDAV. You can also insert links to other Sakai entities by cutting-and-pasting their URLs from Sakai (for those entities that are URL accessible, there's still work to do there). You can also use the built-in functionality for hyperlinking in these tools to browse Sakai Resources via WebDAV and link to them, rather than find the URL in Sakai and cutting-and-pasting.
It would be great if other entities were browsable via WebDAV too, in order to make it easy to insert links to assignments, samigo assessments, forum topics, etc. into a Resources you're editing in Web Expressions, etc.
6.3 Other Work
Some initial work has been done to define requirements and describe existing applications. See:
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