Digital Resources Project

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Revision as of 09:28, 12 May 2013 by Rogjoh26 (Talk | contribs)

CIRAL Moodle

Overview and Current Content

  • Contains CIRAL Fresh Sheets
  • Contains the following forums
  • General Discussion for CIRAL Development
  • Home Office Forum (Liaisons too!)
  • Cluster Proposals to Review
  • Mission Statements to Review
  • Plans to Review

Why it is Necessary Access restricted to Evergreen students and faculty

Issues and Challenges New students aren’t added to the Moodle by the automation process

Ideas for Improvement Resolve the automation issue with new students not being added, and if that isn’t possible, manually add new students during the first week of each quarter


Overview and Current Content Site can be viewed by anyone. Content can only be posted and edited by users with an Evergreen login and password. It is unknown whether posting and editing is restricted to certain students and faculty.

Contains historical information from past students and projects Being used by current Civic Intelligence and Social Imagination class for Anti-Pattern project The vast majority of information, other than a bit of stuff from Doug, appears to be from June 2012 and earlier

Why it is Necessary Contains valuable and useful CIRAL historic information Being used by a current class for a group project

Issues and Challenges Profiles section both on the Wiki and Public Sphere sites Pages with a framework for future use were created, but never used Organization of the main page confusing

Ideas for Improvement Decide which site profiles are to be posted to. Edit the other profile section to indicate it is no longer being used with a link to the correct place to post profiles.

Eliminate pages that a framework was created for, but were never used Organize the main page in a coherent manner

Public Sphere Project

Overview and Current Content This website has information about various projects associated with the Public Sphere Project. It has pages about eLiberate and Liberating Voices. This website also allows logins to be created for users to view and/or create certain content.

Why it is Necessary

Issues and Challenges A very large portion of the links on this website are broken Using this website to both showcase CIRAL to the world, and for internal class usage such as activity reports, student profiles, and other course related documents could make the site less appealing to the public and present privacy risks.

The blog that serves as the existing CIRAL Repository is not as impressive looking as it should be. It is somewhat hidden because it is toward the bottom of the homepage.

There seems to be issues with how user accounts are handled. Spam account registrations are a major problem.

The New Community Network pages have a different style than the rest of the website

It is unclear how CIRAL fits into the broader Public Sphere Project and its website

Navigation of the site is difficult to impossible (for example, when logged in there is a link to add a CIRAL Participant Profile, but no link to view published profiles)

Ideas for Improvement

CIRAL Facebook Group

Overview and Current Content This uses the Facebook Groups (rather than a Facebook Page). This group can only be viewed by people with a Facebook account. There are currently some photos that are visible to the public. Members of the group must request a membership and get it approved. Members of the group can view the groups wall, which currently has several posts.

Why it is Necessary

Issues and Challenges Current admin isn’t approving new members. (resolved on 4/21) There are only 22 members total and it seems that few of them are currently in CIRAL

Very little content. The photos could use some organization There are some interesting posts from CIRAL students, but the posts could potentially get more views if they were posted to a Moodle forum.

Ideas for Improvement Suggest making Doug an admin (resolved on 4/21)

CIRAL Email Listserv

Overview and Current Content

Why it is Necessary

Issues and Challenges

Ideas for Improvement

CIRAL Gmail Account

Overview and Current Content

Why it is Necessary

Issues and Challenges

Ideas for Improvement

Personal Email Accounts

Overview and Current Content

Why it is Necessary

Issues and Challenges

Ideas for Improvement


Doug’s notes from 4/30/13

I think a brief description of what each host / system —particularly its strong points and weaknesses — should be added to the inventory. For example, a system / host description on the Facebook group section would mention that FB has 83 trillion users and that it’s fairly easy for non-CIRAL people to read and use it. (and, of course, it has drawbacks too — which would need to be discussed also. )

REQUIREMENTS A requirements document should help us prioritize our work. It doesn't have to be exhaustive. It's more important that it is recorded, visible, and evolvable.

We need to consider what processes do we need and which ones could we imagine ultimately needing? (e.g. scheduling, collaborative document development, etc. etc. )

The requirements should tell us what tasks need to be supported, what constraints and affordances exist, and who needs to do what in relation to the tasks. (Also it would be good to briefly describe the (likely) stakeholders or users (e.g. who needs to add a certain type of information, . (This is discussed in the handbook, roles section.)

It would be nice if the requirements were prioritized. Perhaps they could be summarized in a grid.

One possible requirement could look something like this: Anybody who is involved with CIRAL should be able to add their own profile. These should be visible to everybody who is involved with CIRAL.

ROLES (from Handbook) Possible roles include faculty members, community partners, advisors, or friends. People in these roles can take on other roles as well. For example, CIRAL members (students, usually) can assume other roles, such as member of a cluster, or liaison to Home Office or a community group.And these roles can take on other important distinctions. A faculty member, or example, may be a professor at another institution besides Evergreen.

OTHER You mention the CIRAL list serve ( but who’s the admin and who’s on this?! I fear that it’s way out of date. The question here is what list serves do we need (e.g. one for each cluster) and where do we go for this service for free. Also the service needs to be easily administered.

CIRAL gmail account, goes where?!?!?! To me? Maybe!

BTW, I think that any Evergreen student or faculty member can post to the Wiki.

There are related matters in the Handbook. See Roles, Processes, and Templates. (although some of these may be in the Handbook appendixes and you probably don’t have those — let me know if you need them.)

Jonesy email from 5/7


I wanted to get a conversation started among the people who have been actively working on CIRAL related websites. One way that we could combine our efforts is by creating a CIRAL web committee. I know it is late in the year to accomplish much in this realm, but it would be nice if we could create some roles and processes for future CIRAL participants to utilize. My hope is that this web committee would complete the quarter by creating an information resource from the work that we did this year. This resource would allow next year's students to see what we worked on and what we wanted to work on but didn't get to.

With all of the recent improvements of the Public Sphere Project website, I am excited about its future potential as communication medium and an archive of course work. My concern is that it is not yet configured to collect and organize all of the information that needs to be collected before the quarter (and year) ends. I don't know exactly what are capabilities are with Drupal, but it seems like a lot can be done with it. There a few features that I would like to see implemented.

The current method for sorting activity reports could be improved upon. Currently, the reports of all users are mixed together and sorted in chronological order. The author name is based on the user filling in a name field. This has lead to some inconsistency. It would be great if activity report authorship was automatically taken from the username of the person filling in the form. Activity reports would be more useful if there was some convenient way to sort by user. I am envisioning going to someone's user profile and seeing a section with just their activity reports in chronological order. I think this would help each CIRAL student see their past progress. It may also encourage the reading of other students' profiles.

I think it would be really handy if there were a profile for each CIRAL cluster that was maintained by the members of the cluster. It would have a listing of the current members, mission statement, and a list of the projects that were underway. Another layer to this would be to add a profile for each project. The project profiles could have the project's description, a week-by-week timeline (or Gantt chart) of what has been accomplished and what has yet to be done, attachments of project deliverables, and perhaps a shout box (microblog) for making project related announcements.

I outlined a few of these ideas in my portfolio last quarter. I also created a mockup of a method for collecting weekly activity reports on Moodle. Moodle has some advantages in that it is already configured and the students are already have access and experience using it. Though, I think the Public Sphere Project website offers more flexibility and is worth relying on if it is possible to maintain effectively.

I did want to point out this privacy concern again. I am able to see the content of the activity reports without logging in ( if I know the URL. It doesn't appear that it is indexed in search engines, but It would be ideal if the content wouldn't appear unless the viewer is logged in as a CIRAL user. It seems like this is possible because I am not able to view the listing of activity reports when I am not logged in; it would be nice if this was true for the reports themselves.

I hope this gets a conversation going. I would really like to here feedback about these ideas and other ideas that you all have. If you are not interested in being involved in this conversation, let us know so you are not CC'd on future emails about this.

Ele email from 5/7

I think this is a great idea Jonesy. One thing we could do even in a short amount of time is establish a standard for where the information goes and document that; I think John is working on that. Professionally, I'd go about determining the way the information is loaded with both a chart of the necessary permissions and a use case, which is a diagram made by interviewing users about what functionality they need from the system. Maybe we could have a power session to determine use case for CIRAL architecture with the liaisons Everyone has to fill out a worksheet that clearly dictates what they create in the system and who needs to see or use it. We do that as a kind of storyboard.

My impression is that Doug doesn't want to have multiple admins on Drupal, but there are options to create a manager role with limited access and permissions. To carry that off securely, managers would need to have an assigned password and have their accounts destroyed when they leave the program.

We also need enforcement. I can't believe how few people are filling out activity reports. I went in there to try and track what was going on in class, and only a handful of people bother to put in the simple weekly report.

Doug email from 5/7

Jonesy et al,

This would be a great initiative. I've enclosed my previous note to John on his work.

The basic order I see this taken care of is: inventory, roles, requirements, recommendations

I mention roles explicitly because I think it will make the requirements etc. a lot easier.

Also, in terms of goals, I think we'll see a bit of an expansion in roles fairly soon. Some of our people will be graduating this quarter — and it looks like there is nothing we can do to prevent it! But, what is their role? advisor, escapee, etc. etc. I made a start in the Handbook but it's just a start. I don't think we want to greatly multiply the number of roles, but if there are new ones then we should name them.

I'm in favor of naming activities and processes that we'd like to do (and have online support for) but we definitely want to address the big (and, often, not so terribly difficult) jobs first. (e.g. our own online resources, like reports & white papers).

Thanks !!