The following Use Case domains are created for discussion at the First Authoring Summit. More specific use cases should be included as sub-sections within them.
Roles (feel free to add more if needed)
Linda Walsh, professor of chemistry
James Smith, instructor, introductory computer languages
Nick, professor of history
Eizabeth Cantor, high school math teacher
Ling Wu, graduate student
Carlos Ramirez, undergraduate student
John Hanson, IS administrator
Celeste, subject librarian for history
Lucy, government documents librarian
Independent of how sites are organized (existing portal, GoogleTools, etc.), there is a need to allow users to easily create pages that can be linked to other pages. These should be as flexible as possible in terms of layout and allow a rich set of content elements to be added to a page, including: marked up text, lists, tables, media objects (video, audio, flash, applets, etc.), and embeddable tools (GoogleTools, Widgets, synoptic Sakai tools, etc.).
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.
(to be written)
Sakai has long had a need for the authoring and delivery of educational content. Such pages need to permit very rich content, be very flexible in terms of layout, support interactivity (questions, etc.), and be grouped into larger structures (sequences, linked navigation, modules, packages, etc.). Ideally, educational content should support existing and emerging standards such as SCORM, OCW, IMS-QTI, IMS-LI, IMS-TI, etc. Such content should be assignable, gradeable, trackable, timed for release, and re-usable (templates, easy copy and edit, etc.).
An instructor has access to an existing SCORM page, perhaps a guided tutorial on using a Mass Spectrometer.
Prof. Walsh has found a very nice tutorial on the use of Mass Spectrometers offered under the Creative Common license. She'd like to add this to her graduate course on organic chemistry, since students will be using equipment like this in the lab portion of the course.
She downloads the package to her computer, logs into Sakai and navigates to her Organic Chemistry 654 course site. Use the Sakai SCORM tool, she uploads the MassSpec package, which installs it on her course site. The SCORM tool asks her if this will be assigned for a grade. Giving it some thought, she decides to make it a required assignment and tells the system to make it an assignment, contributing 5 points towards the total course grade. Later she will decide when to assign it.
Students who access the MassSpec content are presented with a sequenced set of pages. These pages may have static content (pictures, text, etc.) or may be interactive (questions, exercises, games, etc.). Progress though the tutorial is monitored. Students can save their current location and resume it later (this might be automatic). Reaching the end of the tutorial, having completed the exercises included in it, the student is assigned a grade for the assignment, automatically posted to the course gradebook.
(to be written)
James Smith is teaching an Introduction to PHP programming course for the coming semester. He's setting up the course to include a series of implementation exercises that conceptually build as the course progresses. Each course module will be presented as a lecture in class followed by a programming lecture. After all of the students have passed in their programs, Mr.Smith would like to provide a step-by-step look at how he wrote that program.
Mr. Smith presents his lectures using PowerPoint in class. He would post them as a Sakai Resource in PPT form, but not all of his students have PowerPoint (hard as it is to believe). The slides are posted in PowerPoint form, but for those that don't have it, they are converted to a series of images and loaded as a Sousa presentation. Sousa has a bulk load feature (TBD) that makes this easy.
For the review notes, instructor Smith creates a series of Sousa pages that progressively show how the program was written. He takes advantage of Sousa's grid layout to put the code in one cell and comments in another. Where a user interface or database schema is needed, these are easily added as images in a third cell. After writing several of these pages, a pattern begins to emerge, so Smith creates Sousa templates for the common page structures. This speeds up the content entry and provides a sense of uniformity to the presentation.
After the pages are created, they are grouped together as a Sousa presentation. This is published and made available with a timed release date. While the review is not required, Mr. Smith is interested in who looks at it, so he turns on tracking to monitor which students read it and how much. This will give him feedback as a teacher in how effect this approach is.
Part of Prof. Walsh's grad course on organic chemistry will focus on the chlorophyll molecule. After a quick search on a few OCW repositories, she find a nice one from Utah State that includes some great molecular structure diagrams. She downloads the OCW package and installs it in Sakai using the OCW tool.
The material on chlorophyll goes into too much detail that Ms. Walsh feels will distract the students. Using the Sakai Resources tool, she works her way through the loaded content deleting what is not needed. The result is a bit choppy, so she creates a few pages that tie things together once more and put them into the context of the course she is teaching.
(Jim Eng to describe the high level Search and Research scenario)
Context: Nick is teaching J300, a history class titled Foreign Relations in the American Century. He assigns his students to write a 15-20 page research paper using both primary and secondary resources. To complete the assignment, students will need to use print, digitally created, and licensed electronic resources.
Nick contacts Celeste, the subject librarian for history, and explains to her the parameters of the research paper assignment and his expectations. Celeste works with Lucy, the Government Documents Librarian, to use the Research Guides tool in Sakai to develop a class assignment research guide based on a template from an existing collection of templates for different types of guides. The Research Guide tool enables Lou and Celeste to collaborate and develop the guide together.
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.
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OSP tools are currently supporting several models of portfolios at UM. The use case described below represents our most student-centered model, where departments define the overarching parameters for what is required, but the student has control over the content, design, and sharing of their portfolios.
The School of Education has several tracks, such as for Early Childhood Education, Science Education, Secondary Education, etc. Each track is administered by different faculty members, with specific requirements, etc. The school does not set the path students should take through their program, allowing students to sequence their classes in the order they choose as long as they meet certain requirements. Items in parentheses indicate functional requirements supporting the activity being described.
Although the SOE department has an overarching model for what student portfolios should include (department-defined scaffolding), the department is allowing faculty within each track to provide some customization about what content is required for their students (track-specific scaffolding). For example, Science Education wants their students to include a specialization portfolio page where students describe their focus within science education. In contrast, Early Childhood Education wants their students to include exact lesson plans that all follow a very specific format (portfolio page templates). Once students have completed their portfolios, the department would like access to completed portfolios for demonstrating outcomes to accreditation agencies. In addition, they would like students to be able to share their portfolio with the department so it can be used in their thumbnail gallery (publish to gallery as thumbnail). The gallery would include a search function where student portfolios could be sorted based on student-applied tags to portfolio pages and text (tagging of text and portfolio pages). The department could also use these tags for generating reports on all portfolios for accreditation agencies (reporting of tagged data).
Alex is a first year student in the SOE in the Early Childhood track. A final requirement of her research methods course is to complete a portfolio page about her fieldwork that includes information about the research methods she applied to improve her lesson plans. Midway through the semester, she received some feedback on an assignment that prompts her to begin her first portfolio page. She immediately clicks on the "create a portfolio page" link and starts authoring (able to start a new page anywhere that can be later linked into a portfolio). On this particular portfolio page, she wants to include a portion of her last assignment (ability to include material from other tools), as well as embed multimedia files of her work in the classroom (ability to embed video, audio, etc.) She also has many images of the classroom that she would like to include on this particular page (easily add images).
While Alex is authoring, she likes taking breaks from working on content by playing with the design of the page. She quickly chooses left hand navigation and autumn hues for her color scheme (ability to select placement of navigation and preset color choices for the page). Alex really likes having visual cues for selecting the navigation and color hues, so she doesn't have to guess what each of them will look like (visual cues for selecting skins, colors, navigation, etc.). She selects an image of kids playing in leaves as the background for her navigation area (ability to upload images and use them as background images).
After she has included all of her content and has a design she is happy with, she decides to request feedback from her professor. From her portfolio page she uses the system's "request feedback" option and writes a note about what she is struggling with (ability to request feedback and send email to person giving feedback).
While Alex waits for feedback from the faculty member, she decides to create a portfolio page out of a lesson plan she had created in Microsoft Word using a .dot file provided by the department. This template defines a number of styles that translate well to HTML, such as h1, h2, h3, and h4 headings. She starts a new portfolio page and uses the import from word function, which automatically transfers the styles, layout, and content from Word into her portfolio page (import from word that includes styles, tables, etc.).
After playing with the design and putting final touches on her lesson plan page, she receives notification that her professor has provided feedback (notification when feedback is received). Alex saves the lesson plan and jumps to the feedback from the faculty member (easy to navigate between feedback, authored pages, and other tools). The faculty member has written in-line feedback as well as general comments about her images and text (ability to provide feedback in ways similar to "track changes"). The main comment is that Alex should provide a link on the methods page to the exact lesson plan she is referencing. Fortunately, this is the lesson plan Alex just created as a portfolio page, so she quickly adds a link to the lesson plan (ability to set anchors, quickly find other portfolio pages for linking, and link between portfolio pages), makes some other changes based on the feedback (see feedback and portfolio page at the same time), and feels pretty good about her two pages.
Alex decides to publish a portfolio of her two pages so she can share it with her family and friends. She is able to quickly assemble and publish her mini-portfolio (ability to quickly assemble and publish). After the portfolio is assembled, she uses the share function to write an email to her family and friends (share with university and non-university affiliated groups/individuals), which automatically includes the short URL to her portfolio (meaningful URL creation). Her grandpa doesn't have access to the internet, though, so she downloads a copy of her portfolio onto a CD and will share it with him next time she visits him (downloadable/exportable with images, text, links, etc).
After she has completed her portfolio she notices several features that she really appreciates, including:
- Navigation already being stitched together for her, so she doesn't have to worry about file names, folders, etc.
- How easy it was to find the pages she wanted to include in her portfolio
- Reliable behavior of the content authoring tools like undo and redo, so she never felt frustrated by things not working or working in unexpected ways
- The size of the editor matched the size once it was published and the colors, navigation, etc. were all accurately displayed during authoring, so there was consistency between what her material looked like when she was authoring and how it looked after it was published
- Auto-saving of her work, so she never lost hours of work because of a timeout or computer crash. In fact, as long as she was editing, there was no danger of a timeout.
- Warnings so that she wouldn't navigate off of the page or get "timed-out" either of which could have caused her to lose work
For reference, we are including below a screenshot of the progress we have made so far in creating an editing environment that meets our needs.
(to be written)
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.
Some initial work has been done to define requirements and describe existing applications. See: