[p2pu-dev] Ways of designing a discussion forum

Stian Håklev shaklev at gmail.com
Thu May 26 00:46:26 UTC 2011

Yeah, I pushed hard for the full description to be the key thing you see
when you visit a course at least before it's running. I really wanted people
who visited CSCL intro and were curious to quickly get a sense of what was
planned etc, not get confused by the activity stream. I think part of the
reason this wasn't implemented was the confusion between different
categories, and desire to make it very flexible for course organizers (Ie.
maybe they want it to be open for signup throughout the entire course
period, etc)...

I also like that the discussion forum takes the whole screen... There is a
huge amount of "chrome" on P2PU currently, which is great for navigating
around, taking a look at this and that, etc, but when I get down into a
really deep discussion, I want to really focus on that, and get as much
space as possible to see the other comments, write my comment etc.


On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 08:36, Jessy Kate Schingler <jessy at jessykate.com>wrote:

> 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.
> Jessy
> --
> http://jessykate.com
> 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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