Catalog of elementary activities

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This is Part 3 of the TECFA SEED Catalog


What we mean by "elementary activities" or "simples acts" is to be related to the action and interaction units identified in the different steps of the scenarios and activities described in this catalog, see the >[#activity-catalog Catalog of scenarios (activities)]. We wish to make things easier for teachers willing to put these scenario into practice or to design their own. It is important that they can quickly know "how to do what" with a complex portal as a tool. These units of elementary pedagogical acts are not to be systematically associated to technological support. Though we linked them, whenever possible, to the corresponding C3MS bricks. Several bricks can be related to each simple act and teachers will thus have the possibility to choose according to the context in which he will have to operate. The aim is therefore here to find the best means to manage contents, sustain workflow and foster a rich and constructive interaction both between learners and between teachers and learners according to the types of situations in which activities will take place.

In order to allow teachers to freely use this catalog and foster a more creative approach of portal technology for teaching, we also identified, for most of these simple acts, differences in contexts leading to turn to different C3MS bricks. Finally, experienced teacher may directly design their own scenarios and then directly jump to C3MS bricks without doing any deeper analysis of elementary activities.

It is possible to identify the following collaboration and teaching situations:
1. Interactions between individuals in the same class
The pooling of resources which will be made available to all at anytime, create together, annotate, discuss, re-use and recycle what will have been produced, store productions that can be retrieved in the portal
2. Interactions between classes in the same city, the same country
Creation of communities (inter-classes projects), sense of collectivity, communication between teachers, learners, discovery, thematic portals for a specific course.
3. Interactions between classes located all around the world
Discovery of other cultures, openness to the world, communication and mutual enrichment, collaboration between teachers to boost communication between learners (for instance, language teachers)
4. Interactions between members of a community (parents, persons interested by a specific topic)
Collaboration between teachers, parents, specialists , creation and development of communities having the same interests.

This catalog is mostly concerned by activities that concern a single class, but also (2) and (3) to a lesser degree. Categories used are still quite provisional. They have been created sometimes at the beginning of the project and need un update at some point.

The Catalog of elementary activities


Everyone says what he knows or imagine on a subject. Before starting an activity students try to figure out all they already know so that they can integrate knew knowledge better.

  • Wiki
  • The teacher wishes to lead his students to collaborate and get to an agreement
  • News engine
  • The teacher just wishes to initiate a debate making sure that each individual will give a piece of advice
  • Forums
  • It is also possible to use a forum pour to get students to interact before starting an activity


Checking of students' productions by the teacher. OBSOLETE ?


Creation of collaborative documents. They all can modify a unique document or at least annotate it

  • Wiki
  • Creation of collaborative documents that can be edited by all members. The identity of "actors" doesn't appear on the screen if they don't wish
  • CMS
  • Content can be edited through forms and will be inserted into a menu structure it will be possible for others to modify it but this will be less adapted to collaborative work.
  • Annotation
  • Annotation of a given text (in various forms)


Insertion of commentaries under the links entered in the portal. Useful to give hints on websites content. See CreateLinkSpace


Determining categories for a theme, entering categories in an interaction space

  • Web Links
  • Entering categories and sub-categories in the portal in order to classify the links that are inserted
  • Wiki
  • Getting students to interact in a collaborative space to determine together the categories they will then enter in the portal in a more structured way


Installation of a forum module (ADMIN) or creation of discussion topics in an already installed forum

  • Forums
  • A forum allows participants to have an asynchronous discussion. Currently, there are 2 types of forums: threaded ones or "boxed" ones, which are mostly used and developed for portals


Formatting, modifying and adding legends to images to make them fit the project- OBSOLETE ?


Creation of a space in which to enter links. It is possible to create new links category, that can be described, and inside which it will be possible either to enter links directly or to define sub-categories

  • Web Links
  • A links management tool allows to insert web links inside categories. Most of the simple tools to be found in portals only allow the creation of one sub-category. Functionalities are not as sophisticated as in yahoo or DMOZ.


Web pages creation outside the portal with an editor. Links to these pages can be added in the portal - OBSOLETE ?


Creation of a quiz either by the teacher to check if the students have well understood some points or by the students to synthesize what they have just learnt

  • Quiz
  • Quizzes are modules that can be configured and adapted to any content


Dispatching of tasks by the teacher. Allows everyone to know exactly what to do and to manage time.

  • Task Management
  • This module is specifically designed to make project management easier.
  • Wiki
  • Can be used to plan a project by making an agreement on tasks to be performed according to wishes. The advances in the project can be traced back with the "Page History" function which saves the previous versions of pages.


Use of the calendar to set a timetable. Each participant can add a particular event and describe it, and it is therefore easier to plan a collaborative project.

  • Calendar/Planner
  • There are several types of calendars. Most allow to edit everyday events and to indicate their duration. Calendars often include a special block which displays what's in the air.


Use of the « gallery » module to display images, photographs and commentaries.

  • Gallery
  • The "gallery" module allows to upload graphic elements (gif, jpeg, png, etc.) directly from your computer to specific "albums" to which it is possible to give a name. The tool automatically generates a "thumbnail" for each album. All "thumbnails" are displayed in one or several pages and each picture in the albums can be commented.


Configuration and use of the glossary to display words, expressions and their definition. The teacher can enter the words to be defined and the students can enter the definitions of the words or expressions whose meaning they had to find out.

  • Glossary
  • A glossary editor is a simple CMS which allows to add words and definitions.


Adding internal or external links in the menus on sideblocks. This allows to organize links according to a specific theme, which makes things clearer. - ADMIN


Modification of an already displayed text

  • CMS
  • This is a simple CMS (Content Management System)


Creation of a specific displaying space on the portal - ADMIN


Creation of a quiz, poll, survey


"hands on" on the portal to understand how it works. The students can test the different functions so that they understand underlying mechanisms. Students must be administrators.


Discussions on forums or in the news engine (add comments to stories)

  • News engine
  • It is possible to add comments to what is generally displayed in the central frame of the portal and also to comment upon comments.
  • Forums
  • Communication in a classical forum is more direct and it is possible to choose the forum the most adapted to the type of communication that one wants to initiate.


Warming up before starting an activity. The teacher introduces the subject to students and gives clues.

  • Wiki
  • It is possible for the teacher to display an introduction and research questions in the wiki. Students will then collaborate to find answers by interacting in the wiki.
  • News engine
  • The teacher can choose to display the theme of the ongoing project on the central frame of the portal. The students can then react by adding comments.


Bookmarking visited sites before selecting, classifying and displaying them -OUT


Suppressing of what is "wrong" by the teacher... - ADMIN


Common planning and management of tasks and projects

  • Task Management
  • This module is specifically designed to support project management: specification, organization, distribution of tasks...
  • Wiki
  • More flexible way to organize a project. Rather based on discussions aiming at deciding "who does what". All participants edit a special page dedicated to this task.


Giving one's opinion on the value and interest of the displayed links by voting. The links are then classified.

  • Web Links
  • This function is associated to a links manager module.


Information seeking on the web

  • Search Web
  • Use of a search engine. It is possible to include a form in the portal and to reduce research fields.


Evaluation and commentaries upon productions by the teacher or experts (during and/or after the activities). The feed back can be individual or collective.

  • Mailing Lists
  • The teacher can send a feed back to sub-groups of students or to the entire group. The feed back will be received by E-mail.
  • News engine
  • It is possible for the teacher to display a general commentary on the portal.
  • Wiki
  • The teacher can also insert comments in students co-productions.


Displaying of the best productions according to chosen criteria, which can be quite motivating.

  • Top List
  • Displays the de "best of" lists. Possibility to configure the portal according to chosen criteria.
  • Rating
  • This is not really a brick but it is rather a functionality allowing to vote and classify in preference order.


Post answers to questions or definitions of words or expressions. Students productions following a given task.

  • FAQ Manager
  • Entering answers to questions displayed in the FAQ section
  • Glossary
  • Entering definitions to words and expressions in the portal glossary section.
  • News engine
  • Answers can be given in the shape of commentaries displayed directly on the central page of the portal.


Annotations, e.g. comments, reactions, complements to a text or any presented material. Can be done an unlimited amount of times

  • News engine
  • Commentary inserted directly after the texts displayed on the central frame of the portal.
  • Annotation
  • Same principle as the previous, but applied to other kinds of entries (Poll questions, WebLinks, FAQs, CMS, pictures, articles) for which we don't make a separate entry here.
  • Forums
  • This is more a forum-like discussion. The answer is given directly to the person who gave a piece of advice or introduced new ideas.


Insertion of a link in the link space, which will have been configured - see CreateLinkSpace and #CreateCategories

  • Web Links
  • Links management system
  • Wiki
  • The Wiki allows to insert easily links in pages.


Insertion of a question to be answered or a word or expression to be defined

  • Glossary
  • The teacher enters words or expressions in the glossary.
  • FAQ Manager
  • Students or the teacher enter questions of general interest. These questions will be answered progressively.


Insertion of a text to be commented or to which a following or commentaries will be associated, exposition of cases...

  • News engine
  • It is possible to display stories, problems to be which students can react by inserting comments.
  • Forums
  • Initiating a debate on a theme expressed shortly.


Vote for a project, an idea, etc.

  • Polls/surveys
  • It is possible to display the results automatically on graphics, to organize mini polls.

External Links

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