The School of Computer Science within the University of Lincoln publishes a quaterly magazine outlining and detailing research being undertaken within the school. DIVERSE has been recognised for its research into learning environments and has received its very own full spread page. Check it out below!
We’ve made a whole host of changes over the last few weeks to help make DIVERSE more user orientated and easier to view. The first thing we’ve done is make some nifty changes at the backend of the DIVERSE; these changes have been focused on dynamically changing the clouds to make them react differently on different screen resolution. In layman’s terms it now means that if you have a bigger screen you’ll be able to see more of the cloud stretching across it, if you have a smaller screen then the cloud will adjust to fit within your boundaries. See below for a few examples:
DIVERSE displayed on a large screen
DIVERSE displayed on a smaller screen
The next thing we’ve done is add a menu system to each of the clouds; this enables users to actively add new links as well as display the current statistics for the cloud; in the future we’ll be adding more features but for now check out the images below to see how it works.
Clicking the Show/Hide button at the top of each cloud will display the menu bar.
Using this menu bar it is then possible to add new links to the cloud and view the current statistics for the cloud. The images show these two buttons in action.
Add new link
These are just two of the features we’ve added to the menu so far, watch this space for future updates!
Now DIVERSE has been improved we focused our attention of adding some extra functionality to the DIVERSE toolbar.
The toolbar allows you to rate up and down links along with adding new ones; we’ve tweaked these functions and they are now fully active!
Check out the images to see them in action.
Liking a link
Clicking the thumbs up icon on the toolbar will prompt a popup to appear (shown below) this popup displays the link to the current page along with all the clouds it exists in. From here you are able to select the cloud which relates to the link you want to like; clicking the like button will then rate up that particular link (if the cloud you’re looking for doesn’t exist then you will have to to add it to the correct cloud; check out “adding a link” below to find out how to do this.)
Disliking a link
The same principle applies for disliking a link, you will be prompted with a popup box; select the correct cloud for that link and click dislike; this will reduce the rating of that link by 1.
Adding a link
The add link button can be used to add a new link to any of the cloud that currently exist within DIVERSE; if you previously wanted to like a link that didn’t exist in a particular cloud then you can use this to add it.
The principle is the same as liking or disliking a link, you’ll be displayed with a popup; in here you’ll see the link to the page you’re currently on, to add it to a cloud simple select the name of the cloud from the drop down box and click add.
It’s as simple as that!
That’s it from us for now, feel free to check out the new clouds and features; we’ll get back to making DIVERSE even better!
Just dropping by to keep you all updated with what we’ve been doing over the last week or so. There’s been a few changes to the system which we think help make it more user friendly and easier to use; we’ve added:
Along with this we’re also looking to work with the University to help incorporate some of their systems into DIVERSE; the next step is to look into how OAuth can be used to help track analytics for each of the clouds and help to keep the clouds for university students only.
In the coming weeks we’re looking to create an application to make installing the toolbar even easier; you’ll simply download the application and the bookmark will automatically be added to your browser. In the meantime we’ve updated our manual; check it out here for info on how to start using the toolbar!
Here at Diverse we’re constantly looking for ways to develop and improve our tool. One of the ways we do this is through user participation and feedback. Earlier this month we set up a meeting with the Business and Law faculty to get an insight into their views on the tool and to see if they’d be interested in using it within their department. The results and feedback were positive and I just wanted to share a few of the comments made during this meeting.
As a whole the faculty was impressed, they liked the idea of having a learning aid to use within their lectures and believed DIVERSE would make a welcomed addition. In particular they liked:
- How the tool enabled users to get involved with modules and add their own material
- The possibility of using the tool to structure the content within their lectures
- The ability to have different clouds for different topics and lectures
- How the tool could be incorporated into current University systems such as Blackboard
We’re looking to be working closely with Business and Law in the coming months and will be using them as one of our feedback agents; we’ll provide them with DIVERSE to use in their classrooms and through this we’ll be able to gather invaluable feedback and analytics regarding the use of the tool. We’ve very much excited about the prospect of DIVERSE and hope you are too; we’ll keep you updated with feedback we receive and any changes we’ll be making in the foreseeable future!