Floe next steps

Clark, Colin cclark at ocad.ca
Tue Oct 25 20:54:24 UTC 2011

Hi everyone,

(Resending this now that our lists are back)

A quick update on our next steps for the Floe Project, now that Infusion 1.4 is out the door:

We're starting to dive into collaborations with some great partners. ISKME (http://www.iskme.org/) are working on a new authoring tool for OER content. We'll lend a hand with the design of it, integrating our components along the way. We're also going to be working with the Participatory Culture Foundation, who make Universal Subtitles. We'll help them with accessibility-related features such as synchronized transcripts and audio descriptions. They're also sketching out a new OER video delivery platform, so we're hoping to contribute there as well.

One of our main goals is go beyond skinning and styling with our personalization tools. To this end, we'll be prototyping a set of components for the delivery and playback of richly layered media OER content. This will include audio, video, synchronized text transcripts, captions, and audio descriptions. As always, these components will be designed to work in a variety of web applications. They will be closely integrated with the Learner Options component (a.k.a UI Options), so that learners will automatically get the content that best suits their needs and preferences. Educators and students will be also able to ask for help and connect up with crowd-sourced or commercial services to help with the creation of alternatives. We'll try to iterate on these prototypes quickly, using off-the-shelf tools such as Universal Subtitles wherever possible.

Our growing design team on Floe (James, Tona, and Joanna) are deep in the midst of sketching and brainstorming. You can see some of their preliminary concept mockups here:


To accompany this work, we'll continue to build a web application for centrally storing user preferences and sharing them with other applications in an interoperable, secure, and private way. This preferences infrastructure will also be a key deliverable for the upcoming Cloud4all project.

While the design team continues to bake these wireframes over the next week or two, the development team will focus on a few smaller tasks to get us going in this direction: simplifying UI Options' code and preparing it to support pluggable preferences panes, and integrating UI Options into Floe's Inclusive Learning Design Handbook.


Colin Clark
Lead Software Architect,
Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University

More information about the fluid-work mailing list