Next iteration of List Reorderer in Announcements posted...

John Norman john at
Mon Oct 27 18:42:09 UTC 2008

This just gets more and more interesting :-)

So now I am thinking of notifications associated with a week by week  
syllabus. But I guess you are saying that the faculty member has not  
necessarily planned the whole course in advance. This description  
sounds like the announcement tool is being used to drip-feed the  
syllabus (or aspects of a syllabus) and so the faculty member wants  
some control over presentation.

So I can see this as (i) creating a page that contains the information  
presentation in the sequence the faculty member wants together with a  
way of sending email notifications (announcements) of additions/ 
changes; or (ii) sending announcements of important messages with  
metadata that allows it to be ordered on the page (e.g. Week#).

It may be that offering the reorderable announcement list is a good  
way to get to the bottom of the requirement, but I think you are  
saying they want a (re)programmable course outline that can send  
announcements/prompts/reminders at specific points. I'm thinking e.g.  
we're in week3, every year the students forget to buy a gerbil before  
coming to the "what do snakes eat?" lab so I want an announcement to  
go out saying "don't forget to buy a gerbil at the petshop"

If I have it right, then it seems to me we could just as easily be  
talking about email archive, except if you want to set up delayed  
transmission, visibility window, etc. It's like an ultra simple LAMS  
or workflow, but with the ability to build it as you go. Also it would  
seem that once built you might want to carry the workflow forward to  
another course...

John N

So I'm going to hang on to the ideas of drip-feeding the syllabus and  
student orchestration by workflow messages, each with messaging and a  
readable page that summarises the flow and the *current* important  

On 27 Oct 2008, at 13:40, John Leasia wrote:

> Here at UMich we've had requests for general reordering in  
> Announcements. We thought that getting the Fluid reorder in there  
> would be the simple case, then move it to other tools that reorder  
> lists so as to have a consistent way of doing it throughout Sakai  
> (what we also want to do with the datepicker by the way). Some of  
> our faculty want to present a sequential path through content. They  
> use Schedule tool for assignments for example (the assignment  
> instructions are in the event description). Some want to use  
> announcements as the main tool and want more control than just date  
> over the order (they change things, or maybe name the announcements  
> Week 1, Week 2, etc. with additional announcements in between on  
> occasion. They want to set some of them up ahead of time, some not,  
> etc.  The ability to stake one at the first position is part of that  
> in some cases.
> John L
> John Norman wrote:
>> I have just taken a look at these and am very impressed.
>> However, I can't help wondering if this is a case of a solution
>> looking for a problem. In particular, the (only?) mentioned use
>> scenario is "instructor wants to ensure an important announcement(s)
>> are prominent" (paraphrased). I would like to suggest that this would
>> be more simply and more intuitively achieved with a 'favourites' star
>> or an 'important' flag. The nice thing about this is that it is
>> familiar and requires very little development. It also has the  
>> benefit
>> that a student could also decide an announcement is important (to
>> them) and keep it near the top of their own list. I would imagine
>> starring or flagging (we use starring to select sites to appear in  
>> our
>> drop down equivalent of the site tabs) would need some sort of
>> priority. Perhaps the very latest announcement first (to ensure it
>> doesn't get missed entirely), followed by any announcements flagged  
>> by
>> the instructor, followed by any announcements flagged by the student.
>> More adventurously I imagine it would be OK if anything flagged could
>> be unflagged by the student (perhaps with the event recorded in case
>> they said they hadn't seen the announcement). In this scenario, if I
>> have something I really want to keep prominent to remind me, I can do
>> so - but I will have been forced to acknowledge the announcement the
>> instructor wants to be sure I see. Hmnnn... now that has set me
>> thinking about allowing announcements to require acknowledgement.
>> Have we got other cases that suggest re-ordering to an arbitrary  
>> order
>> is in fact what users really need?
>> John
>> On 25 Oct 2008, at 00:59, Daphne Ogle wrote:
>>> Storyboard:
>>> Storycards:  
>>> Feedback welcome and encouraged as always...
>>> Daphne Ogle
>>> Senior Interaction Designer
>>> University of California, Berkeley
>>> Educational Technology Services
>>> daphne at
>>> cell (510)847-0308
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> fluid-work mailing list
>>> fluid-work at
>> _______________________________________________
>> fluid-work mailing list
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