[p2pu-dev] Ways of designing a discussion forum

Jessy Kate Schingler jessy at jessykate.com
Thu May 26 00:36:21 UTC 2011

very awesome. i totally agree with this general approach of having
essentially a few different pivots on the same data, depending on what the
user is looking for. one thing which knowledge commons has that would be
useful for lernanta is more of a "homepage" for a course as distinct from
the activity within a course. this is sort of like the distinction between
the lernanta homepage when you're logged in and when you're not.

the ability to highlight actions/deliverables/tasks versus discussions also
seems like a really useful one. perhaps people could even have a preferred
default view setting in their account settings. there was a thread a while
ago with mockups for study groups (maybe from alison? sorry i can't
remember!) that highlighted tasks and discussions with summary boxes at the
top of the course homepage, *before* the user is presented with the nitty
gritty course activity.

in my experience, peoples' first time looking at a p2pu course homepage (now
more than just one observation), the key actionable items ("task", "signup"
and even "full description" which isn't an actionable but is important)
don't get found. they are buried under the activity stream-- which is more
useful once you've signed up for a course.


On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 7:24 PM, Stian Håklev <shaklev at gmail.com> wrote:

> Since we've been discussing quite a bit how to make the discussion forum /
> tasks more effective, I thought I'd take some screenshots of an environment
> developed by a professor at my school of ed, which I used for an online
> course this term. It worked quite well - really "got out of the way", and
> enabled us to focus on the discussion.
> https://picasaweb.google.com/shaklev/KnowledgeECommons#
> You can choose to view each forum in three ways - either like a threaded
> discussion forum with only the titles listed, where clicking on a message
> loads that message on the whole screen. Or a split screen email-like view,
> with threaded discussions on the left, and messages on the right. Or,
> finally, a "full content view", where the entire content of each message is
> listed under each other (like P2PU right now).  When replying, you see the
> message you reply to on one side, and the reply on the right.
> He also has an experimental mode where each forum gets an embedded
> Etherpad, which can be used to keep track of important issues etc.
> Not suggesting we do things exactly like this, but I think it's useful to
> see how others have done it. Also important to separate between courses
> where the tasks/courses mainly play a coordinating/metadiscussion function,
> and most of the "learning" or activity happens in other places, and courses
> where the deep discussion happening on P2PU is the core function.
> (also note that it's possible at any time to see who has read a note - this
> functionality is available to everyone, not just the course organizer).
> Stian
> --
> http://reganmian.net/blog -- Random Stuff that Matters
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