Catalog of C3MS bricks

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This is Part 4 of the TECFA SEED Catalog. It's a piece of interest to historians or people looking for ideas. It badly needs updating.

Contents

1 Definition

We use the term C3MS brick for a portalware or web 2.0 component that takes care of a specific task, can be easily separated from others, can be configured and administered, can be combined and orchestrated with others. Usually such bricks are available through the main portal environment. Thus most bricks described here are modules that exist in standard C3MS portals or can be plugged in.

Warning: this is 3 year old and therefore not accurate anymore. Software entries only refer to PostNuke portal.

However, there is a prolific production of new "bricks" for 'any of these popular portalwares and you may easily substitute one module describe here by another. Therefore, also consider environments Drupal or Joomla instead of PostNuke. Regarding Web 2.0 this article is not up to date, please look at the list of web 2.0 applications

We may update this article sometimes, but for the moment consider it as historical document that can provide ideas ...

1.1 C3MS bricks

Portalware like PostNuke is sometimes called a "Content Management System" (CMS) because it is a container providing many little, but powerful tools to manage smaller bits of information and that allow the community to contribute with comments and sometimes votes. In addition, various applications provide self-ordering and awareness mechanism to the users, e.g. what is new, what is popular, etc. Therefore such portals are particularly useful to manage informally generated knowledge, e.g. the result of educational activities. Portals usually have incorporated search engines, some have functionalities for rating information, so that good information "floats" to the top. For more structured information, e.g. web links, hypertexts etc. there exist special applications that allow users to make quick updates (instead of going through the process of editing HTML files and uploading them).

C3MS portals (Community, Content, & Collaboration Management Systems), are made of numerous bricks that can be assembled in several possible ways and can be used to compose the scenarios such as those described in this document. In this part of the TECFA SEED Catalog we provide an inventory of these "bricks" in order to underline their functionalities. When possible, we will also define the potential of each one in an educational scenario. We wish to provide support to any teacher or actor in the educative sphere for freely designing their own scenarios and use portal technology as a pedagogical tool or simply as platforms dedicated to generating and sustaining of communities of practices.

A simple C3MS brick usually offers insert - categorize - annotate - evaluate - sort - search functionality as the figure shows. Such features define the core of a "living documents" and knowledge management system and are essential to support student activities engaged in complex pedagogical scenarios.

A C3MS platform is not limited to the kind of simple tools we describe below, there are just predominant and relatively easy to develop. Other applications like complex forum systems or educational special purpose tools like computer-supported collaborative learning applications do also exist. E.g. our team developed "ArgueGraph" (Chakroun 2003), a Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) discussion tool according to a model developed by Dillenbourg. The major advantage of embedding such applications into a portal is to have a central access point for scenarios and to profit from existing libraries (e.g. for user and permission management) and from all the other C3MS bricks. Are more recent alternative to portals that you must install and run are webtops.

C3MS bricks and software modules

C3MS systems are nurtured by a strongly competitive and innovative open source environment and can be adapted/combined/configured according to specific needs and to different scenarios of usage. These systems have a modular architecture based on different components. Most of the information and communication portals (especially the ones that we adopted for our school networks) already include in their default installation several kinds of such components that take care of specific tasks (e.g., a collaborative story/news/journaling system, a links manager, etc.) and are called "modules". Moreover, there are other available "modules" that can be easily added to the core system of such portals. An example of such a third-party module might be a "Weather block", a Glossary, a Photo Gallery, etc. So, we can say that there are two kind of modules: "core" and "3rd party" ones. For many portals, there exist documented APIs for programming these modules.

For the SEED project, we have chosen to work with the PostNuke (http://postnuke.com) and most modules refer to this environment for now. Today (5 years later) our choice might have been different, e.g. Drupal.

The Tecfa SEED team developed some of their own PostNuke modules and we hoped that over time, a lot of modules specially made for educational purposes would "appear". This did not happen. However portals have become popular in education (not just as information portals, but to support educational activities. E.g. the Drupal community released in May 2007 a pedagogical version.

More importantly we now define "C3MS bricks" are generic web-based modules and applications that support pedagogical activities. A "C3MS brick" is a kind of component that takes care of a specific task, can be easily separated from others, can be configured and administered, can be combined and orchestrated with others and all these through the main core portal environment or it's web 2.0 equivalent. (with the exception of a few). For each kind of C3MS there may exist several implementations from which you may choose. We call these implementations "software modules". In this catalog we often provide several software modules for one C3MS brick among which you may choose.

The Inventory of C3MS bricks

The following entries refer strongly to the PostNuke portal software that we have chosen to use for most of our activities. Similar "bricks" exist for other portal software and we may add them later. We have to note, though, that the "software bricks" collection of PostNuke is probably one the richest and most modules are relatively easy to install. We judge also important to inform that all this C3MS technology is in it's infancy steps, so bugs should be expected (in particular with some 3rd party modules that is not endorsed by the makers of the portalware). Also be aware of certain "skins" which are called "themes" and which are often done by beginners that have low HTML/CSS skills and that can break on certain Web browsers. Therefore, in some cases, some technical expertise with MySQL/PHP will be needed to install and configure various modules.

We describe each C3MS brick in general terms and we summarize a few of its characteristics. We then describe a selection of available software, including functional and technical details. Sometimes in the future we also may provide an evaluation based on usability and technical criteria. Before downloading and installing modules, please make sure that the module is made for the kind of environment you have (e.g. a PostNuke 7.2 system) and that it is reasonably stable. Usually, author's are quite frank about its development state (alpha, early beta, good beta, release, etc.)

1.2 Explanations

Below is an example of a C3MS brick entry and a Software Module entry with explanations in place of contents. Note that not all fields are always used.

In principle, you should find most of the entries in the downloads section of the TecfaSEED Portal.

Name of the Brick

C3MS bricks are described in generic terms, i.e. as a kind (or class) of software. Specific software (e.g. modules for the PostNuke system) are separately described as "software module")

Alternative names
  • Often there exist several possible names for a type of software, e.g. "Photo galleries" can be called "Image galleries" or "bitmap repositories"
Functional description
  • This is summary of which functionalities the type of software describes
Pedagogical interest
  • This entry provides a few ideas on how it might be used in pedagogical scenarios
Activities support
  • This entry provides pointers to supported elementary activities....
Community Support
  • This entry concerns more general community-support functions.
Other miscellaneous informations
Name of the Software Module
Type
  • Defines the environment it runs in (e.g. PostNuke)
Description
  • General description
Functions
  • What it does
Technical details
  • Some technical details
Download
  • Where you can find it.
Administration
  • Tips for using it as administrator/teacher
Installation
  • Installation hints

2 Awareness tools / Community building

Awareness tools usually interact with some other tool, e.g. Content Management modules.

2.1 Headlines

Alternative names
  • News Syndication
Functional description
  • News syndication - Import/export headlines with other portal functions : Import, export, configure
Pedagogical interest
  • Community building with other similar portals, dissemination of results to other interested parties, resources, get the web spirit (web culture)

2.1.1 PostNuke RSS blocks (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Standard PostNuke Block
Administration
  • Go to Administration/Blocks. Add an RSS block (you need to know the URL of the RSS feed.

2.1.2 PostNuke RSS feed (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Standard PostNuke functionality
Administration

2.1.3 ShortNews (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Nuke module adapted to PostNuke
Description
  • Meant for sites which don't create own news content. ShortNews lists remote articles with a 'short' abstract of the 'news' and links against them. Users who read the abstract may click on a 'more ...' link and get redirected to the article on the remote (or even local) site.
Functions
  • Add content, inform...
Download

2.1.4 My Headlines (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Adapted for different CMS and even exists as stand-alone
Description
  • Content syndication at its finest. MyHeadlines allows each of your users to subscribe to many headlines from the DB of over 1000 sources. As an added bonus this version includes a Stock Ticker that lets your users monitor their portfolio performance.
Functions
  • Customize headlines, find information sources
Download
Administration
  • Very user-friendly and a clear navigation. Each user can administrate his own headlines

2.2 Member Profile and groups

Alternative names
  • Home Page, YourAccount, Your Own Page
Functional description
Description of each user (usually on his portal "home page"). Some entries are user defined (e.g. URL of home page, interests, address, etc. Other information is dynamically created by the portal (e.g. shows submitted stories, comments made, forum entries, etc.)Functions
Edit, browse
Pedagogical interest
  • Ask students to present themselves in an interesting way (ex: speak for their nationality, their country, their town) or present another student the way that they see him. Also for community building (as a side-effect in pedagogy) since having a portfolio provides identity. A teacher can also get a quick overview of various portal activities of a student. Students can find resource persons among portal users by looking at what these did, etc.
  • Complementary with other portal functionalities like "Members List", "New Users" blocks, etc. and Top List.

2.2.1 pnAddress Book (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke module
Description
  • pnAPI/pnHTML compatible address book with lots of features, inspired by the Palm Address Book. Easy to install, multi-language, with administration.
Functions
  • Provide information on members or persons related to a project, depending on the context
Download

2.2.2 GuestBook (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Nuke module adapted for Postnuke
Description
  • This guestbook is based on Guestbook 0.9b by Nexia from postnuke (nexialys at mac dot com), based on the NukeBook, and corrected from the nukeAddon version. There are no changes in the look and feel of the last version, but many changes were made in the code and some features have been added.
Functions
  • Comment, give one's opinion
Download

====pncGroups (PostNuke module) ==== ; Description

  • Addon that allows users to subscribe to groups defined by the administrator and gain the permissions created for this particular group.
Functions
  • The pncGroups AddOn gives the possibility to the registered users of your site to subscribe to a given group. Users subscribing to a group gain all permissions an administror gives to this particular group. Easy interface.
Technical details
  • Tested version: 0.1b. Languages english and french. pnAPI compliant.
Download
Administration
  • Nice Online manual. The administrator of the site must make a group Public to enable this possibility. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL ! If you change the Admins group to Public, anybody will be able to register as an administrator. Functions: Modify a Group Information-Removing a User from a Group-Making a group invisible.
Installation
  • Postnuke Standard. No installation READE file.

====BSCI permissions (PostNuke module) ==== ; Description

  • Overrides the default system for group permissions.
Functions
  • Every Block has visible/hidden for all groups per group. Every Module has visible/hidden for all groups per group. Missing: Module overview/read/add/moderate/admin/edit/ (etc) for all groups per group.
Technical details
  • The current version of the module is designed to use Xanthia and pnRender. There exists one without Xanthia. Tested the one without (BSCIpermissions-no-xanthia-1.0.4). This version contains the modified includes/pnMod.php file as there is a bug in the pnAPI that causes the NS-Comments to not work properly with this module. ATTENTION: Replaces some core files: index.php, modules.php and includes/pnMod.php.
Download
Administration
  • Easy interface for end-users, still to do advanced stuff, the default is more powerful.
Installation
  • Read the installation guide as even though it looks like a Postnuke standard installation you have to be careful with some details (see technical details above). ATTENTION: If you don't follow the instructions carefully you risk to be locked outside of your site!

2.3 Rating

Functional description
  • Rate an information entity in the portal. A lot of tools have an integrated rating facility.
Pedagogical interest
  • Motivate peer interactions by having them look at entries and provide ratings (and comments). Make students participate in knowledge management of resources (they decide what was useful)
Activities support
  • ShowBest
  • See also n Annotation. This functionality is typically (same as annotations) underused. If you want students to make use of it, you have to integrate the task into some activity, e.g. "please look at 5 entries of your choice, annotate and grade them" or "let's rate all our productions and the discuss the 3 best and the 3 lowest ones".

2.4 Shoutbox

  • Shoutbox
Alternative names
  • Shoutbox
Functional description
  • Synchronous or asynchronous manifestations, little commentaries (blurbs) Functions : submit, read
Activities support

2.4.1 ShoutBox (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke module
Functions
  • The persons online can write little sentences that everyone can read and add smilleys that reflect their mood
Technical details
  • This is a block. (TODO add link for save shoutbox hack)
Download
Installation
  • Once the modules regenerated, must be activated in the Blocks menu in the administration panel

2.5 User statistics

Alternative names
  • stats
Functional description
  • Allows to have a general idea of what's going on on the portal, can also be an element of motivation to encourage users to participate by attributing them points according to their contributions.
Pedagogical interest
  • Allows to know who are the most active participants, what browser they use, the amount of pages viewed, etc. The teacher can thus have elements to adapt his teaching.
Community Support
  • Members are less anonymous...

2.5.1 pnProdAct (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • List productions of selected users and groups
Functions
  • User Interface : Detail On/Off for individuals users and/or groups
Technical details
  • This module has been developed at Tecfa by Olivier Morel and it has a plugin architecture. To make it work with other PostNuke modules than the one we provide, you can write additional plugins. This module has Beta status (Aug. 2004)
Download
Administration
Installation
  • Postnuke standard. This module needs the new PostNuke templating engine (Xantiha) !! Tested with PN 0.73x and higher.

2.5.2 commArt (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module made by Vivian
Description
  • Information visualization tool. A simple module to see contribution to News with articles and comments by the portal's community and situate a specific user in it.
Functions
  • It creates the list with all the users and once the user is chosen it generates an "artistic" picture with all contributions.
Technical details
  • Uses SVG so a plugin is needed. pnAPI compliant.
Download
Administration
  • No administration in current version.
Installation
  • Postnuke standard.

2.5.3 pncUserPoints (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Attribute points to users according to their contributions to the portal and view interesting summaries of these.
Functions
  • User Interface : Detail On/Off
Technical details
  • (Tested version: pncUserPoints ALPHA 0.13) Has a nice block with progress bars per user with the most active users, but there are still unimplemmented parts.
Download
Administration
  • Administrate Plugins (Add, Remove, Activate, points, language define), Exclusions by Usernames, Exclusion by Groups, Reset Table Activity
Installation
  • Postnuke standard.

2.5.4 pncSimpleStats (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Little child of the pncUserPoints that shows count of news, comments, reviews and posts for each user.
Functions
  • Count of news, comments, reviews and posts per user.
Technical details
  • (Tested version: pncSimpleStats 1.1) Has a block that creates a problem when pncUserpoints is also installed.
Download
Administration
  • Very simple, just limit the results
Installation
  • Postnuke standard.

====Statistics module (PostNuke module) ====  ; Type

  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Latest version of the statistics module, which is a replacement for the Stats and Referer modules. The statistics module is faster, has more features and is easier to extend than the modules it replaces.
Functions
  • Collect information on users
Technical details
  • This module has a small bug
Download
Installation
  • A code line has to be added in the pnAPI file. Everything is explained in the Readme file provided. An error arrises when the portal is not set to english

====NS-User_Points (PostNuke module) ====  ; Type

  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Distributes points according to user activity. Possible to change the amount of points distributed and to modify the parametres, such as the name of the forum in the portal
Functions
  • Motivate, collect information on user activity
Technical details
Download

2.6 Top List

Alternative names
  • Top List, Top 10, Top 5 [of various things]
Functional description
  • Display top x listings. This functionality can be available in the form of blocks visible to all users or as a module that user has to select.Functions : View, browse, configure
Pedagogical interest
  • Motivate by appreciating students input according to several criteria (the best rated works, the most commented ones, etc.). Associated with tools used for resources (e.g. links) it can be a navigation aid.
Activities support
  • ShowBest
  • This functionality is integrated with various tools, for some portals (e.g. PostNuke) one can download and install special blocks for extra functionalities.

2.7 Who is online

Alternative names
  • Who is Online Module
Functional description
  • Awareness block for users on line and for individual authentication. Function : Be aware
Pedagogical interest
  • Presence awareness - important for community building in communities of practice.
  • Complements with a "Chat/Shoutbox"

====i-lastX user seen (PostNuke module) ==== ; Description

  • Allows to have hints on the last users who connected to the portal
Download
Installation
  • This is a block to be set in the blocks section of the admin panel once the modules have been regenarated

====i-lastX registered user (PostNuke module) ====  ; Type

  • PostNuke Block
Description
  • Last registred users block.
Download
Installation
  • This is a block to be set in the blocks section of the admin panel once the modules have been regenarated

====i-members online (PostNuke module) ====  ; Type

  • PostNuke Block
Description
  • Displays the name of the users online
Download
Installation
  • This is a block to be set in the blocks section of the admin panel once the modules have been regenarated

2.7.1 pnBloodhound (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • pnBloodhound is an open-source Postnuke module that tracks users on your website by displaying their username and location in a block.
Functions
  • User tracking via block, configurable module correlations for display, error tracking, pnAPI compliance (pn v.726)
Technical details
  • (Version tested: pnBloodhound v0.5) pnBloodhound is licensed under the GPL. It is mainly a block.
Download
Administration
  • Modify Module Name Correlations, Edit pnBloodhound Configuration.
Installation
  • Postnuke standard.

3 Communication

Various forms of synchronous and asynchronous communication tools are described here. Note that " synchronous communication" is a relative term, e.g. the internal messaging system could be used for instant communication. See also the _shoutbox Shoutbox which we defined primarily as a community tool. See also the section on CSCL and structured discussion. Finally, we are aware that every act of writing is communication :)

3.1 Chat

Alternative names
  • Chat, IRCchat, Webchat
Functional description
  • Synchronous discussion (chat) Functions: Submit, Read
Pedagogical interest
  • Synchronous discussion, group building, community building, guest book, reminders
Activities support

3.1.1 sChat (PostNuke module)

Functions
  • Stores private and public messages exchanged in every rooms and enable a users to retrieve them.
Technical details
Download

3.1.2 SPChat (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Quote: "SPChat is a multiuser chat system for PHPNuke and Postnuke Systems.The application is written in PHP with Javascript portions and uses your MySQL database to store messages and users. This module contains nearly all functions like a professional chat application"
Technical details
  • Tested at Tecfa dec 2003, works fine
Download

3.2 Private Messages

Alternative names
  • messenger, online messenger
Functional description
  • Allows to communicate inside the portal on a private message space. Some modules allow to send pop ups to other users and reach them instantly
Pedagogical interest
  • Useful for cummunity members to exchange ideas without getting out of the portal

3.2.1 Online Messenger (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Instant Messenger Module, allows to see and hear new mails incoming, see and hear incoming and vanishing members and to identify user by his or her avatar
Functions
  • Every user can customize his own messenger, depending to his own prefers, internet browser and connection performances, SPChat detection, go directly in chat with a user
Download
Installation
  • The version tested does not work together with private message

3.3 Feedback

Alternative names
  • Feedback Module
Functional description
  • HTML form that acts similar to a guest book and allows to give a feedback to the portal by it's users. Functions : Submit, edit, delete, moderate
Pedagogical interest
  • Feedback to projects, activities, grading, suggestions to teachers by students or other teachers, etc.
  • See also Rating, Forums, News engine,

3.3.1 Feedback (PostNuke module)

Description
  • This module allows users to send an email to the administrator to report errors and make comments
Download

3.4 Forums

Alternative names
  • Bulletin Boards
Functional description
  • Classical discussion forumsFunctions: Submit, comment, moderate
Pedagogical interest
  • Discuss, argument, contribute, debate
Activities support
  • BrainStorm - CreateForum - IntroWork - SendFeedBack - SubmitStory - SubmitComment
  • Read carefully first other users comments to see that there is no significant bug and choose according to several criteria: (a) one that fits your needs, (b) ergonomics for your target population, (c) integration with PostNuke, (d) ease of installation. We found out that most children and teachers have trouble using the format of today's popular forums, so we sometimes use the News engineinstead.

3.4.1 PNphpBB2 (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Forum (also available as standalone server)
Description
  • This is a PostNuke Integration of one of Internet's most popular Forum software. Reliable and many features.
Functions
  • Communicate
Technical details
  • At the time of this writing, postnuke groups are and permissions are not integrated into postnuke and you need to recreate groups within the forum. Do not use phpbb2pnmod wich is not supported anymore but use pnphpbb2
Download
Administration
  • Administation link in the forum (not in postnuke administration page)

3.4.2 Xforum (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Forum (also available as standalone server)
Description
  • Widely used forum. Used in most PostNukes deployed by TECFA. At the time when we made an evaluation, it was the best overall choice. Now you have other alternatives.
Functions
  • Communicate
Technical details
  • Simple and easy to use.
Download
Administration
Administration link in the forum (not integrated in postnuke)
Installation
  • Not a standard postnuke installation but still easy with web interface.

3.5 Mailing Lists

Alternative names
  • Mail Users Admin
Functional description
  • Mail all/individual usersFunction : Submit
Pedagogical interest
  • Inform, give a feedback, stimulate. Mails and similar tools are mostly useful for regulation. Note: if you want to make sure that students use a mailing list instead of individual mail, never answer individual mail
Activities support
  • SendFeedBack
  • Professionally run mailing lists, usually require special server software, that your institution already may provide to you (inquire!). Unfortunately, some portals like postnuke will not allow to send E-mail only to specific subgroups of users. For the moment, one can mail individuals or all the members. See also Forumsas an alternative. The advantage of Forums is that information does not clutter mailboxes and always remains available (though true mailing lists servers also provide archives). Forums (or annotation mechanisms) are a better choice for organizing structured discussion around different topics, since students can more quickly go through all the arguments.

3.5.1 pnTresMailer (PostNuke module)

Description
  • Newsletter module with rich functionalities.
Functions
  • A growing collection of Plugin Modules allow the collection of data from many sources, the Newsletter is multi-part mime which allows both HTML and text-only postings, previewing generated Mailers allows checking for problems, and hand customisation
Technical details
  • (Version tested PnTresMailer 6.0.2) pnTresMailer 6.02 stops multiple subscriptions to the same e-mail address, to prevent a possible Denial of Service attack. No pnAPI compliant?
Download
  • hhttp://canvas.anubix.net/The original developer, Foyleman at www.modsonline.com, is currently not working with Postnuke. He has therefore wished to let others take over and has kindly let this group continue where he left.
Administration
  • Rich interface and complicated functions to satisfy several needs. Can send to 1, several or all users (for all users you need to run a file to inlude them all automatically otherwise you need to do it manually one by one). Missing: to send to groups.
Installation
  • Postnuke standard but read the installation guide and follow the instructions.

3.5.2 MultiMailer (PostNuke module)

Description
  • Newsletter Module. Module for managing unlimited mailing lists.
Functions
  • MultiMailer is a pnAPI compliant PostNuke Module for managing Unlimited Mailing Lists. MultiMailer allows you to communicate with your site members and customers in a more flexible way by allowing you to break down your email subscriber list by interest categories. Email recipients also have the option to select their own interest categories from a sign-up form. FEATURES: i) Publish and and manage unlimited newsletter categories, ii) Import and unsubscribe people to your newsletter, iii) Supports for Plain Text and Rich Text(HTML) format.
Download
Installation
  • pnAPI compliant.

3.6 WebCam

  • WebCam
Alternative names
  • MyLivCam
Functional description
  • Live web camera Function : Observe
Pedagogical interest
  • Observation, community building (net meeting)
  • Needs also a web camera

4 Content Management

See also _bricks Awareness tools / Community building, many of these bricks extract information from CMS bricks.

4.1 Review - Books

  • Review - Books
Alternative names
  • Reviews, Books
Functional description
  • Books reviews and/or recommendations with rating, comments, suggesting of books. Books may have images, descriptions and affiliate links to online bookstores. Not only focused on books, but any catalogue-driven-theme. Functions : Submit, edit, delete, moderate, rate, comment
Pedagogical interest
  • Develop critical mind, argumentation, motivation to read books
Activities support

4.1.1 Books (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke module
Description
  • Integrate books recommendations into your site. With rating, comments, suggesting of books. Books may have images, descritpions and affiliate links to online bookstores. Not only focused on books, but any catalogue-driven-shop
Functions
  • It is possible to order a book by transfering the user to an online bookstore such as amazon.com, lehmanns.de or equal. With an affiliate agreement with these bookstore, they will give you money for every book that was purchased from your recommendation.
Download
Administration
Administration of the books is very easy.
Installation
  • Just send the "books" folder in the modules folder and the rest is done through the administration panel

4.2 FAQ Manager

Alternative names
  • Frequently Asked Questions Tool
Functional description
  • Submit Frequently Asked QuestionsFunctions : Post, answer, comment, edit, delete, rate, moderate
Pedagogical interest
  • Knowledge base / online help. Can be either used to reify highlights from Forum Questions/Answers. Can also be used as mail tool to give the opportunity to students to ask questions and share the answers
Activities support

4.2.1 PostNuke FAQ Module (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Standard PostNuke Module
Functions
  • Allows to define a flat list of different FAQs. Users can post questions, administrators will see the question in the "Incoming box" and can reply. Admins can also directly post/answer questions.

4.3 News engine

Alternative names
  • News, Submit News, Story Submission Module, Topics, Newsletter, News Portal
Functional description
  • The "news engine" is a kind of Content Management System. Administrators can organize contents into different topics (subject areas) and decide who can post news, look at news, annotate news, moderate news, etc. Frequently the portal is configured to show on the entry page the last stories received. Users usually can submit news (editors with special rights can approve it), display the news on the index page, browse through the topics (click on "topic icons" associated with each story), search through all the contents, annotate contents (i.e. each story has an associated forum). This is a core module of most portals, for some portals there exist also some 3rd party ones with special features.Functions : Submit, comment, edit, delete, rate, search, browse, moderate
Pedagogical interest
  • Interact by providing new information (to start a story, a project, an activity), comment information made by others (e.g. student work or articles found on the web), organize asynchronous debates, present an expert's view on a theme.
Activities support

4.3.1 PostNuke News Engine (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Standard PostNuke Module
Functions
  • Organization by topics and by language. Submit/Post/Validate News. Administrators can edit contents (but not comments in 7.2x versions). Users can annotate (provided they have permissions). Contents are searchable, special blocks in the portal can show randomly selected old news, most popular news of the day, etc. On each user's home page contributions to this module are listed.
Administration
  • By default the module appears on the index page. With user permissions, one can give rights to individuals or user groups to annotate or selectively view certain topics or articles. Topics can be defined within the Administration/Topics Manager. By default the is a special awareness block (called "Incoming" in the Blocks administration) that show "pending entries" to administrators.
Installation
  • By default the module is included

4.4 Search Portal

Alternative names
  • Search, Find, Search engine
Functional description
  • Search information in various modules, e.g. reviews, stories, FAQs, forums, etc.Functions : Submit, advanced submit, browse
Pedagogical interest
  • Learn how to search information in the portal. Treasure hunt inside the portal
Activities support

4.4.1 PostNuke Search (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Standard PostNuke Module
Description
  • This incorporated search engine allows to do a full text search of certain module contents, e.g. news, FAQs.
Functions
  • Usually a theme (skin) is configured to have a simple search box. Somewhere in a menu users can get access to "advanced search" and decide which modules to search through, whether to use exact words or not, etc. Some third party modules (e.g. various CMS modules), may add additional choices
Installation
Installation is by default. However if you wa nt some third party modules to be searchable, you have to follow manual instructions for these (if available)

4.5 Search Web

Alternative names
  • Google search, PN DMOZ Search, Web search
Functional description
  • Search the web according to different criteria. Some portals may integrate a user interface to external search engines.Functions : Submit, advanced submit, browse
Pedagogical interest
  • Resource-Based learning in information age - Gather resources, learn how to search information, learn how to use search engines
Activities support

4.6 Web Links

Alternative names
  • Web_Links, Links Manager, Yahoo-like, DMOZ-like, Yellow Pages
Functional description
  • Submit web links that can be classified into categories and sub categories, for which a small description is asked. More powerful engines allow link aliases. Links can be searched, viewed by category and submission date. Ratings (automatic or by users) and annotation functionality can exist.Functions: View (several parameters), submit, edit, delete, rate, moderate, create/edit/delete category or sub categories
Pedagogical interest
  • Resource-Based Learning, classification, information visualization. Students/teacher: Gather resources for project based work, mostly at the beginning. Teacher: prepare resources for teaching (both core resources and extra information)
Activities support
Community Support
  • A nice library of links is of interest to any sort of community of practise. It will also be appreciated by occasional visitors you may get
  • Smaller links collections can also be quickly organized with a Wiki

4.6.1 PostNuke Web Links (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Standard PostNuke Module
Functions
  • Administrators can define categories (but no aliases, so it's a hierarchic tree). There is "broken links tester". Users can submit links including Title, URL, description and name/email of the submitter. Submitted links can be added/edited by administrators. Users can browser through categories, by popularity (visits), rating, etc. They also can give a rating from 1-10 and add a comment to each link.

4.6.2 dp-Elinks (PostNuke module)

Description
  • This module allows to manage eLinks from eMule/eDonkey/Overnet. You can create Categories and SubCategories, waiting content, votes, commentaries, users can send elinks .... Includes 6 blocks: Last elinks, top elinks, search in Jigle, waiting content (only for admins), Stats and random elink. It's fully compatible (with "Import elinks option") with other modules of the same type like PH-elinks. Moreover, it is possible to add images according to the categories chosen for the links
Functions
  • Classify, rate, organize, inform
Download

4.7 Gallery

  • Gallery
Alternative names
  • My eGallery, Image Gallery, PN Imagery, Screenshots
Functional description
  • Photo and Movie Gallery Functions : Browse, submit, comment, edit, delete, moderate
Pedagogical interest
  • Co-construct documents around a specific theme
Activities support
  • EditGallery
  • Most produce the thumbnails needed for the browsing

4.7.1 PhotoShare (PostNuke module)

Description
  • This is an image gallery that allows to upload your images into your photo albums and then share them with others using the access control system that allows you to specify read/write access to specific PostNuke users or groups, as well as making it public for everybody.
Functions
  • Runs on PostNuke systems with SAFE_MODE and OPEN_BASEDIR enabled (this allows Photoshare to be installed on sites with quite restricted PHP access). You may create albums and place albums inside other albums, images can be uploaded into albums and rotated online, thumbnails are created automatically, albums may be shared with specific PostNuke groups or users, the image viewer works as a slideshow where the user may browse through the images
Technical details
Download

4.7.2 Photoshare combined with PageSetter (PostNuke module)

Description
  • The only things added are htmlArea 3.0 support in Photoshare and the ability to select how an image should be pasted into Pagesetter. The last option allows you to paste album links, popup links, and thumbnails in various combinations
Functions
  • Insert images in a page setter document. Various options are available (popup link, thumbnail, ...)
Technical details
  • Just install the two modules
Download

4.7.3 My_eGallery (PostNuke module)

Description
  • A photo gallery
Download
Installation
  • Create a category in the administration panel. Then you can start uploading pictures

4.7.4 Coppermine (PostNuke module)

Description
  • Coppermine is a multi-purpose fully-featured and integrated web picture gallery script written in PHP using GD or ImageMagick lib with a MySQL backend.
Download

4.7.5 Gallery (PostNuke module)

Description
  • A very good gallery module wich is a standalone program capable of postnuke light integration.
Functions
  • Image management (rotate, move), vote, upload pictures, ...
Technical details
  • Postnuke permissions systeme do not work. You'll have to set them through this module
Download

4.8 CMS

  • Content Management Systems
Alternative names
Functional description
  • A Content Management System allows users to edit contents of a Web Server. There are stand-alone products like large commercial systems or usually smaller open source products like SPIP. C3MS Portals like PostNuke have several smaller 3rd party modules with lesser functionalities. Administrators usually can create a menu structure and sometimes form input. More sophisticated systems have workflow capabilities. Users are allowed to enter and modify contents though the web according to a permissions systems. These contents can be associated with a navigation structure (menus).
Pedagogical interest
  • Knowledge production by students, e.g. learning by writing, project reports, etc. Preparation of teaching materials of various sorts by teachers.
Activities support
  • Edit - CreatePage
  • Instead of using a CMS, one also could use a Wikior a traditional Web Server (students simple manage their own "html space".

4.8.1 Content Express (PostNuke module)

Description
  • If you have content you want to add to your PostNuke site that doesn't fit neatly into the standard categories ("news", "articles", etc.), just install this module and you can add regular full-sized html pages, and create menus to navigate them. It's a great all-purpose content manager for PostNuke.
Download
Installation
  • Warning: we found a bug in this module (which one ?) that is a bit disturbing

4.8.2 EZCMS (PostNuke module)

Description
  • If you have content you want to add to your PostNuke site that doesn't fit neatly into the standard categories ("news", "articles", etc.), just install this module and you can add regular full-sized html pages, and create menus to navigate them. It's a great all-purpose content manager for PostNuke.
Download

4.8.3 PageSetter (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Pagesetter is a page creation module that allows PostNuke administrators to create their own publication types containing any set of relevant data fields. The long term goal is ultimately to be able to implement all of the simple database dependent ideas that normally require separate PostNuke modules. A nice discussion concerning "Pagesetter Versus The Others" in order to help you choose the right CMS can be found at http://www.elfisk.dk/index.php?module=pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=7&pid=23
Functions
  • Create dcument of different tye (news, ...) each type can have different fields, use.
Technical details
Download

4.8.4 PagEd (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Postnuke, eNvo and MDpro module.
Description
  • Page/News editor. PageEd is not a fully visual page editor where all content items can be moved around or placed where you wish. For this it's probably better Content Express, another Postnuke module). Included features: Article and news creation with images and layout, menu building, topic organizing, layout templates, image resizing, news time programming and a permission system. Allows the user control over color and size of page titles, subtitles, text and links. Images can be uploaded and placed to the left, right or alternately left end right of text. A maximum image size can be set, and images larger than this size will open in popup windows.
Functions
  • PagEd allows the user control over color and size of page titles, subtitles, text and links. Images can be uploaded and placed to the left, right or alternately left end right of text. A maximum image size can be set, and images larger than this size will open in popup windows. Additional settings let you add a Printout icon to your page as well as a date stamp added when a page is saved or updated. As with single pages, all these settings are also globally configurable. Once a global template is set, users can either chose to apply this ready-set template to new pages, or define individual layout. Layout for tens or hundreds of pages adherring to the global template can thus easily be changed simply by altering the global settings. Once pages are created, they are accessible in Page Manager, from where content and layout can be edited, or pages can be deleted.
Technical details
  • (Version tested: PagEd 0.91b2 January 27a) Works with eZcomments, Photoshare, Advanced serach, pnTresMailer...
Download
Administration
  • Very rich functionalities (|New page | Page manager | Topic manager | Template manager | News manager | Menu manager | Permissions | Backup Manager | Module settings | Control Panel . Advanced system for permissions for the same module. Very good usability for such a complicated module but still not fully tested as we don't find how to show the pages created!!!
Installation
  • Postnuke standard but adds also some files in other directories apart from modules/ and need to chmod some directories to 777, but the installation is made nicely so even if you don't do it correct it reminds you and does the necessary checks. No pnAPI compliant but it works also with eNvo and MDpro portals.

4.9 Glossary

Alternative names
  • PN Glossary, Dictionary, Encyclopedia
Functional description
  • Produce a thesaurus of words like a glossary or a dictionary. Some tools have linking (or even autolinking) facilities Functions: Submit, edit, delete, moderate
Pedagogical interest
  • Co-construct glossaries like knowledge bases (a scenario can be to ask the students to search for the definitions of several terms)
Activities support

4.9.1 Encyclopedia (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Technical details
  • Worked fine. but not updated since July 2003, see also pnEncyclopedia.
Download

4.9.2 pnEncyclopedia (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Functions
  • 1) Multilingual content. 2) Autolinking between terms in the definitions and related terms fields. 3) Users (not only Editors/Admin) can provide terms and amends. 4) Suggestion-Approval model (all content by Authors must be confirmed by Editors). 5) Extended statistics about terms/Authors/Editors (temporary off). 6) More vivid notion of terms (new and pop dynamic marks)
Technical details
  • Tested at Tecfa (late beta in dec 2003).
Download

4.9.3 pn_glossary (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Glossary module for PostNuke with user submissions and admin queuing. Written for PostNuke 0.703, but should also run on 0.721.
Download
Installation
  • Need to add MySQL tables by hand (with phpMyAdmin for example)

4.9.4 Semantics (PostNuke module)

Description
  • This is a multi dictionnary, a little more sophisticated than pn_glossary but less than pedia pnEncyclopedia since it allows to create categories in which terms and definitions can be entered but doesn't allow to create links between related terms
Functions
  • Users can provide terms, can be used to create all sorts of dictionnaries since terms can be classidied in categories
Download

4.10 Annotation

Alternative names
  • Comments
Functional description
  • Users can annotate a given text, e.g. a news article, a web link, a photo, a poll question etc. Most portals allow users to annotate many different kinds of entries.
Pedagogical interest
  • Annotation is useful in collaborative scenarios, where each student has to comment on other's work. It is also helpful to train learners to annotate resources they are using and therefore provide extra information useful to all. Teachers can use this mechanism to provide direct feedback (e.g. to articles written by students).
  • See also: News engine. The News Engine (articles + the annotation mechanism can also be used as a forum. Younger learners have much less trouble using the threaded mechanism of a news engine than the "boxed" model that most popular Internet Forums have. Empirically tested with our "Terre des Hommes" portal !

4.11 Internet File Repository

Alternative names
  • Upload/Download, Repository, Knowledge Base
Functional description
  • File Repositories allow user to upload/download files. Files are usually accessible though either a portal or a traditional web server. Portals usually have special modules that allow annotations of files (e.g. keywords and short descriptions), search (at least through annotations), and insertion into a menu structure. Functions : Submit, ask to download, browse uploads (several parameters), moderate
Pedagogical interest
  • Students can work with file formats. Document sharing (like upload of essays, summaries, etc.), peer interactions.
Activities support

4.11.1 UpDownload (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
Download module with extended upload features. If you need a filemanager you'd better user ew_filemanager (much easier for permissions settings)
Functions
  • Upload , download
Download

4.11.2 ew_filemanager (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Module designed to manage file and directories inside directory given by site admin. This is FTP-like module. You can create directories, upload, edit and delete files through module interface. If you have co-admins or sub-admins on your site but cannot (don't want) share your FTP account, this module could be solution for you. Especially it can be useful if you use Subjects module on your site. EW FileManager can bring additional functionality to this great module.
Functions
  • Users can create subfolders, upload files, modify them (text files only) remove files, ...
Technical details
Download

4.11.3 Steel KB (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Steel KB is a sort of light-weight CMS. Users can upload files and insert them into previously defined Categories. Each file can be annotated with a subject line and a description
Functions
  • Fields: keywords, summary, article, author, last modified by, last modified date, article id, categories; Global user and group permissions using PostNuke groups; Article specific permissions; Multiple categories per article; Unlimited sub-categories; Article approval (based on author); Searchable by all fields; Limit search to specific category; Browse by category, date, summary, author, or number of views; Tracks number of times an article is viewed; Attach files to an article; Print article functionFile upload/download with a permission system.
Technical details
  • Module v 3.0 seems to be PostNuke 72x API compliant. Tested and judged operational at some point, but currently not used at Tecfa because the tested version had a bug: Failed to load module SteelKB3.0 (at function: "main")
Download
Administration
  • Users and Categories are managed through the modules administrator tool.
Installation

Installation is easy . Copy contents of SteelKB folder to your PostNuke modules folder. Initialize the module. Activate the module. Change permissions of the modules/SteelKB/attachments directory to "write all" or better give it to the user id of your web server.

4.12 Forms

Alternative names
  • HotForms Module
Functional description
  • Administrators can define HTML forms that users then can edit.Functions : Answer, Submit, edit, delete
Pedagogical interest
  • Make simple CMS tools, e.g. forms that students have to fill in after field trips.

4.12.1 HotForms Module (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PhPNuke Module (NOT PostNuke !!)
Functions
  • You define your HTML form by creating Form and Field records stored in the database, the builder takes care of creating the php-nuke pages to display the form, and submit the info by e-mail
Technical details
  • Not tested at Tecfa
Download

4.12.2 FormExpress (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • This module allows the an administrator to create user input forms with complex layouts via the admin web interface No coding required! Current backend is to send email, but will support multiple backends when pnException is available - i.e. will serve as a front end to any type of data capture requirement - Surveys, Inquiry Forms. There is currently no documentation, but the product is stable and a sample form is included to demonstrate the capabilities.
Functions
  • The Fetax module, which is a mail template backend. Since FormExpress handles creation and editing of online formulars and may use "plug-and-play" backends to transfer the submited data some where out on the net, Fetax has been invented as such a backend in order to use FormExpress to send templated mails, where the form data is inserted where ever the template contains a ${XXX} reference.
Technical details
  • You create forms and the resutlts are sent by mail.
Download

4.12.3 PostContact (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • A ContactInformation/Forms module, that lets you create different forms for different users and departments inside your company. Then it is possible to contact the persons in the list by clicking on a button next to their name and filling a form. An email will then be sent to this person.
Download
Installation
Downloading only works with Internet Explorer

4.13 Wiki

Alternative names
  • (Simple) collaborative hypertexts, CoWebs
Functional description
  • Collaborative hypertext editing.Functions: Edit, browse, create new page, compare versions
Pedagogical interest
  • Co-construct documents around a specific theme (i.e., encyclopedia, reportage, etc.)
Activities support

4.13.1 Phpwiki PN Module (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Postnuke adaptation of phpWiki.
Technical details
  • Need a small hack to work with apache2. (TODOSTEPH: document this hack)
Download

4.13.2 Swiki (PostNuke module)

Type
  • Standalone application (including a Web Server)
Description
  • An easy to use wiki.
Download

4.14 Word Games

  • Word Games
Alternative names
  • Hangman Module, Crossword module
Functional description
  • The know word gamesFunctions : Play, feedback, edit, delete
Pedagogical interest
  • Learn orthography, new terms, etc. community building

5 Journal

Alternative names
  • Blog
Functional description
  • Allows to gather information on a private space that can be either invisible to the rest of the community or public.
Pedagogical interest
  • Students can take notes and gather information they can retrieve later and transform/improve
Activities support

5.1 v4bjournal

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • v4bJournal is a journalling/blogging module: each registered user has the ability to maintain a journal. All users can browse the available journals and their contents. Journal entries consist of a Title, Text an image and a mood stamp. It is possible to decide if users/members/noone can see the entries.
Functions
  • Add a note, record, organize...
Download

5.2 PN journal

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Site member's automatically have the option to create their own journals and post comments
Download

5.3 pnMindMeld

Description
  • Knowledge base/blog. Postnuke hack to access a MindMeld knowledge base
Functions
  • Need to install MindMeld
Technical details
  • MindMeld 1.3
Download

6 Poetry and sayings

Functional description
  • Possibility to have poems displayed in a certain way or have sayings randomly displayed in a block
Pedagogical interest
  • Motivate students
Activities support

6.1 Poetry

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Allows poetry submissions by registered users
Functions
  • Unregistered users may view poem titles but must sign in to view poems, user real name displayed instead of username if available, users may edit/delete their own poems, admin access required to change other users' poems
Download

6.2 Quotes

Type
  • Standard PostNuke block
Description
  • This module allows to display random quotes in a block. It is also possible to insert images instead

7 CSCL and structured discussion

It is possible to develop more sophisticated Computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) tools within C3MS Portals, although usually CSCL development teams create their environment "from scratch".

7.1 Argumentation Tools

Functional description
  • Argumentation tools allow a teacher to organize a structured discussion

7.2 PN ArgueGraph

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • The "ArgueGraph" is a Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) tool to support a learning activity intended to make students understand conceptual issues... The key idea is to trigger individual cognitive processes through a structured discussion scenario that makes use of a questionnaire. In a first step the tool - helped by interactive questionnaires - graphically displays "conceptual" positions of group members, held in reference to a discussion subject, theory, ideas etc. As a follow-up, the participants with strongly divergent opinions may be brought together in discussion groups, who's productivity - thanks to the divergent opinions of the participants - will be enhanced. Additionally group discussion may be organized and finally students should write an individual position statement. Such a didactical procedure - in contrary to the mere presentation of knowledge by a teacher - has the advantage that the learners actively acquire the knowledge by them selves through their debates and discussions. You may read (in French) Mourad's diploma work http://tecfa.unige.ch/proj/seed/catalog/docs/ArgueGraph.pdf or and article by Jermann & Dillenbourg, "An analysis of learner arguments in a collective learning environment" http://tecfa.unige.ch/tecfa/publicat/dil-papers-2/Dil.7.3.30.pd
Functions
  • See above. Note: You need to prepare yourself before using this kind of module, e.g. test it with a small group of people. You only get a payoff from using this kind of complex tool, if you invest.
Technical details
  • This module should be API compliant. Note: All participating students have to submit their input before you can move to the "next round". In some later version, this constraint should be relaxed.
Download

7.3 Workshop Tool

Functional description
  • A workshop tool should provide support for pre-workshop activities and in some ways make the workshop itself more sufficient. Look at the wTool - [[Catalog of elementary activities#
Activities support

7.4 wTool

Type
  • PostNuke Module (Tecfa Made)
Description
  • wTool is a workshop organization and management module. The organization of a workshop can be considered as a learning event. We at TECFA ground its orchestration on socio-constructivist principles and we designed wTool as a Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) tool. Its three-step organizational framework is inspired by Laurillard's (1995) Conversational Framework which requires four steps (discursive, adaptive, interactive, reflexive) to turn learning into a shared information issue. The three sections (your answers, answers by question and answers by author) of the Workshop Tool allow the participants first to enter position statements to be reviewed, then comment and re-articulate them and eventually have a synthesis with a printer friendly output.
Functions
  • Teacher: Defines workshop questions. Students can answer question by question. Teacher can validate contributions by rating each question and assigning a threshold. Accepted contribution can be sorted in various ways. Annotation is possible.
Download

8 Project / Course Management

In this section you will find many different sorts of tools, some can play a function in project and community management, other tools are teacher tools, still others allow the organization of larger projects and courses. Managing overall student activities can also be done by looking at overall productions, e.g. with the help of a module like pnProdAct.

8.1 Calendar/Planner

Alternative names
  • PostCalendar, Calendar, Events, Flash calendar, Ephemerides Admin
Functional description
  • Calendars can have many functionalities, .e.g event calendar and event of the day, some calendars offer group facilities. Functions : Submit, browse, edit, delete, moderate
Pedagogical interest
  • Organize projects, announce events (i.e., follow expeditions, field trips, etc.), reminder for activities (by using it as a shared agenda)
Activities support
  • EditCalendar
  • Calendars often installed but then not used, so don't hurry before you are sure that you really need it.

8.1.1 Post Calendar (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Post Calendar is a sophisticated Calendar Module including an events calendar (e.g. possibility to show an awareness box with the events of the day). Some people prefer a simpler solution (e.g. just events).
Functions
  • Post event . Choose event visibility
Technical details
Download

8.2 Helpdesk

Functional description
  • Help users and groups meeting technical problems. Can also be used for other issues
Pedagogical interest
  • Inform, give a feeback, solve problems. The module could be repurposed to be used for feedback in teaching and learning situations
Community Support
  • Members of an online community feel supported, especially if they meet technical problems
  • See also _feedback FeedbackNew Helpdesk version released (0.4.1)

8.2.1 dq_helpdesk (PostNuke module)

Description
  • Allow users/anonymous visitors to submit helpdesk or trouble tickets. Upon submission, e-mail notification can be sent to the assigned tech/site admin/help desk group - All configurable through the module administration page. Only in english for the moment
Download
Administration
  • The administration panel is quite complex and includes a lot of parametres. It is possible to add different types of "tickets" and modify the existing ones
Installation
  • The folder including all the files has to be named dq_helpdesk and be sent in the "modules" folder. Then everything is to be done through the administration pannel

8.3 Project-based learning tool

Functional description
Pedagogical interest

8.3.1 ePBL (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module (Tecfa made)
Description
  • For higher education. Project-Based Learning is lately a very popular pedagogical approach, but there are several "pitfalls" and careful scaffolding is needed to achieve it's interesting results. So, the goal of this module is: (1) Scaffold students during their projects by "forcing" them to fill in their project specification (through an xml grammar), (2) Helping students write their final article, (3) Help teachers monitor easily several projects in parallel and give them feedback on time (very important to regulate students in PBL)
Functions
  • (1) Teachers can propose projects, accept students to make groups, can give feedback and finally evaluate projects, and monitor all projects through an advanced cockpit. (2) Students can also propose projects, join workgroups, upload/download various versions of the project products to share among their workgroup (by default at least their project specification and the final article that describes their project). See the ePBL page for more details
Technical details
  • Pn 72x API compliant. This module works fine, but needs some investment from the teacher ! Before installing it, look at example courses, e.g. STAF-18 at http://tecfaseed.unige.ch/staf18iris
Download
Administration
Installation

8.3.2 pnProjekt (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Postnuke integration of PHPProjekt. Project management module.
Technical details
  • Not tested at TECFA
Download

8.4 Pedagogical Scenario Description

Functional description
  • Such tools are teacher tools, either to prepare learning units, or to exchange teaching recipes.
  • Todo: Insert the PN syllabus tool (and find it)

8.4.1 edu-recipes (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module (repurposing by Tecfa)
Description
  • Edu-recipes is a repurposing of postnuke recipes module allowing to submit cooking recipes.This module allows to submit teaching and learning scenarios and include them in categories. It is also possible to create categories and include images
Download

8.5 Pedagogical Scenario Organization

Functional description
  • Such a tool should allow the organization of pedagogical scenarios. In the case of C3MS systems, it should also act as an integrator
Pedagogical interest
  • Organization of larger pedagogical scenarios, e.g. an intensive training week, a distance teaching course, a project-based blended course.
  • See also: ks Project-based learning tool

8.5.1 pScenario (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module (Tecfa made)
Description
  • pScenario is a tool that allows teachers to define complete and rich scenarios for various pedagogical formats (face-to-face, at distance or mixed).It is up to teacher to clearly identify needed tools and to combine pScenario with other PostNuke tools (e.g. Wiki, Links Manager, News Engine or special educational tools into a teaching portal. pScenario also could be used to administer a typical American graduate course that features readings, short exercises and a term paper. The user community will decide about the future of PESC and maybe even contribute to its evolution. This module was inspired by the Moodle pedagogical platform.
Functions
  • Teacher: (1) Set scenarios, define scenario with a title, instructor, description. (2) Set activities: Add, remove, edit, and order activities and sub-activities within scenarios. Students: (1) View (normal and printer-friendly) of scenarios and their activities and their sub-activities. (2) View and add feedback for each activity
Technical details
  • pScenario is PN 723x API compliant. Beta in Dec. 2003.
Download
Administration
  • [to be done]
Installation
  • Standard API Compliant. From administration do: modules'->'Catalog of elementary activities#->Initialize->Activate. Then add the module inside a menu block: Title: Pedagogical Scenario (or whatever you chose), URL: {pscenario}

8.6 Task Management

Alternative names
  • Dynamic Planning Module, To-Do List, Task Manager, Project Manager
Functional description
  • Project organization (planning) and specification, task distribution. Functions: Add or attribute tasks, make groups, give feedback, time planning.
Pedagogical interest
  • Project-Based Learning, collaboration management, teaching of project management
Activities support

8.6.1 Steel Task Manager Module (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Task Manager Module supports individual and group tasks. NOTE: administrators (e.g. teachers) can not assign tasks to individuals and groups. They have to do it themselves.
Functions
  • Create tasks for individuals and groups. Close Tasks. Designate certain postnuke groups as taskable. Assign tasks to taskable postnuke groups. Update task notes. Show completed tasks. Sort tasks by task or created date. Mark Percentage Complete for each task. Limited value for education, since tasks can not be assigned from "outside" the owners of a task.
Technical details
  • Task Manager 1.0 seems to be API compliant, V1.0 tested, but not used at TECFA
Download
Administration
  • User rights are administered from the PostNuke Admin menu.
Installation

Installation is easy and standard

8.6.2 Correspondants (PostNuke module)

Description
  • This module allows teachers to display a description of their classes and pedagogical objectives and to find correspondants for a specific project.
Functions
  • Find, describe,
Download
http://tecfaseed.unige.ch

9 Quizzes and Surveys

Quizzes and Surveys can be used to test knowledge (self-testing or examination). But they are also nice discussion preparation tools.

9.1 Quiz

  • Quiz, questionnaire
Alternative names
  • Quizzing, Examination, Test
Functional description
  • Allows to enter questions with various answer formats to create a quiz. Functions: submit, edit, configure
Pedagogical interest
  • Allows teachers to check if students have well understood what was taught and to students to test their state of knowledge. Quizzes can also be used to prepare discussion, to wake up interest for a topic etc.

9.1.1 vQuiz (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module (Tecfa made)
Description
  • vquiz is a simple quiz engine. Easy to use and to administer.
Functions
  • Administrators get access to the following sort of functions: New quiz (name, no of questions, no of answers, no of trials allowed, questions, answers, feedback per answer, points per answer), Edit quiz, Delete quiz, Hall of fame of quiz (possibility to delete a user), Test quiz, Activate quiz
Technical details
  • PN 72x API compliant module
Download

9.1.2 Exams Module (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Exams / Quizzing Module
Functions
  • Definition of different exams with multiple choice questions (including multimedia). Definition of different levels and categories. Results can be displayed (% of success for each exam by each user). Unfortunately no feedback
Technical details
  • Tested at Tecfa. We also made a french translation
Download

9.1.3 pnExam (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Module
Description
  • Quizzing module
Technical details
  • Not yet tested at Tecfa
Download

9.2 Polls/surveys

  • Polls/Surveys
Alternative names
  • NS-Polls
Functional description
  • Voting System ModuleFunctions: Submit, edit, delete, vote, view statistics, archive
Pedagogical interest
  • Rate different kind of things (ex: vote for the best story) or make surveys (for ex: to show a real example in statistics). Of course a real survey tool can also be used by student projects to collect data from a sample of a specific mother population.
Activities support

9.2.1 PostNuke Polls (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Standard Module
Description
  • This is a simple polling tool, usually a single question is displayed in a block.
Functions
  • Administrators can define various Polls and activate one. A poll is a single question with radio-buttons. Users can fill in the poll once and they can (optionally) add comments.
Administration
  • Polls can be defined in Administration/Polls. Each poll can be activated as a block through Administration/Blocks. Add a block of type "Core/Poll" with "New Block" and "Edit".

9.2.2 pnESP (PostNuke module)

Type
  • PostNuke Standard Module, also available as standalone application
Description
  • pnESP is a complex survey module
Functions
  • Definition and administration of multiple surveys. Different sorts of surveys (e.g. and questions. A permission systems (who can define surveys, you can take it). Data can be exported to a CSV file or results can be seen online. Administration is quite complex for this complex tool. Make sure to carefully read the documentation first !
Technical details
  • Use smarty template engine.
Download

10 Misc.

Entries that do not fit other categories

10.1 Example

  • Examples and Demos are important for many purposes. While there is no such brick as "Example" we still leave it here for the moment
Alternative names
  • A list of names or URLs that modules and associated applications and blocks may have
Functional description
  • Examples, if possible, should fully expose their functionalities and let the "user" play with them. Alternatively or additionally, an example could be annotated by some detailed explanation.
Pedagogical interest
  • Hints for pedagogical usage.
  • This is not a C3MS brick in the usual sense

10.2 MUDs

Alternative names
  • MOO, MUD object oriented
Functional description
  • A MUD is a text-based virtual environment. The MOO architecture used at Tecfa includes a server (that includes a database mechanism and an integrated scripting language). The database includes all the objects (e.g. rooms, users, programming extensions, interactive objects, etc.) In addition, some databases like enCore MOO include a web client & server system.
Pedagogical interest
  • MOOs can be used for various purposes: Children can build "worlds" for some topic. A Moo is a place of virtual presence where users can develop an online identity (e.g. to support learning by apprenticeship, or other informal ways of tutoring). Moos also can be used as replacement for chats, e.g. for distance tutoring sessions.

10.3 Nubel

Description
  • Utility module to translate modules in several languages.

10.4 Genealogy

Description
  • Module to create genealogies.

10.5 enCore MOO

Type
  • MOO database with an integrated Web Client
Description
  • enCore is one of the remaining active MOO projects in education. There are two books published useful to educators. Here is the official blurb: "enCore is an online virtual learning environment system built on LambdaMOO. It comes with a built in server-side client called Xpress. enCore was primarily designed for educational use, but can also be used for other purposes. It is perfect for digital community building, online writing projects, online conferencing, distance education programs, or just about any educational endeavour that aims to incorporate a rich and versatile online presence".
Download
Installation

Installation is not too difficult, but need to carefully follow instructions Important: You need to install first a MOO server also and we also recommend to use a simple text-based MOO-client like tkMOO for administratio.Follow the instructions at the enCore site)

11 Multimedia

Handling of various multimedia formats. Most modern version do have support for various multimedia formats - ~~

12 Discussion

This list is totally outdated a needs to be redone. Also include pointers to modules for portals like Drupal.