[p2pu-dev] Embed Test Course

Dan Diebolt dandiebolt at gmail.com
Fri Mar 11 06:46:02 UTC 2011

I created a new course entitled "*Embed Test Course*" to demonstrate some
embedding techniques that are now available.

This is a sample of the things you can now do with the <iframe> allowed in
page content:


The page may appear a little slow to  load because of the number of
components I put on it and the formatting and sizing not quite right  but it
should give you an idea of what now can be done.

This has been a very painful process for me getting to this point but I
think it should greatly help add some bling and sizzle to the course pages
and help aggregate content to the P2PU platform even though that content
resides outside P2PU.

I also have to be honest with you. I find some of the decisions P2PU has
made to date be utterly bizarre. There is a lot of pain points in
administering courses which appear to just be ignored on the belief that the
new platform will just magically solve them. Personally I think the new
platform is just as likely to create its own set of new problems when
deployed if there is not better testing and requirements analysis.

If you read the forum post Parag Shah has created:


it is abundantly clear that users complain about the same things I have been
trying to raise, namely (1) that there is extremely poor support in the P2PU
platform to run a course; (2) the use of external resources makes it very
difficult to find content and course communications in a central point (3)
there has to be a mechanism for reporting and aggregation of course member
work product (assignments, blogs postings, videos, code samples,

   - *badge process needs to be somehow integrated within the course.*
   - *too many blogs to try to keep track of (one for each student, one for
   Javascript 101, one for p2pu, etc.)*
   - *I found it very hard to figure out what postings were in which blog.*
   - *I know that in online college classes there is exactly one place to
   post things, and I've had far less trouble communicating in online college
   classes than I've had during this course.*
   - *I would consider having the entire syllabus posted at the beginning of
   the course so that if folks get done with one week early they can start on
   the next week's assignments without having to wait.*
   - *It's very confusing to me to even figure out where someone is posting
   something, let alone go searching for people's posts in order to look at
   - *Posting a question and having it go unanswered leaves me stuck and
   demotivates me.*
   - *My point is, if we're all busy writing our own blogs, we're not
   spending much/any time reading/discussing eachother's answers.*
   - *I'd do away with the two track system*
   - *I would have to agree with some of the other comments that it was a
   bit confusing with the large number of blogs (as dysert says "one for each
   student, one for Javascript 101, one for p2pu, etc.").*
   - *I gradually became discouraged because once you didn't get a concept,
   it seemed impossible to move on.*
   - *I would have a central resource that explains all the terminology and
   programming lingo*
   - *Too many blogs/forums/discussion areas.*
   - *I would've preferred receiving some kind of dashboard that, at a
   glance, helped orient me as to where I was in the discussion. e.g. # of
   messages by day, most active threads/topics, most active posters (excepting
   the mods)*
   - *more centralized place for posting comments and exercise solutions.*

Despite this consistent sentiment the surviving users still remain upbeat as
learning something is better than nothing and a fraction of course roster
will endure the pain points. But the result is that we loose a lot of
participants during a course as they  have a lower pain threshold.

I don't accept the idea that work on the Drupal platform should be limited
to bug fixes as I five minute change now now allows for external content can
be aggregated into a course page. However, because of the same origin policy
embedded content still can't be associated with a specific user as there is
no way to read a P2PU cookie or pass a user identity to the embedded
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