This is the first glance at a new part of the Maricopa Learning eXchange (MLX), what we are calling MLX Special Collections:

An MLX special collection is a set of packages associated with a specific project or program. We created this functionality to provide unique MLX URLs that would generate a listing as well as to provide a search functionality in the project web sites.

As prototypes, we have created a few collections for projects such as Systemic Reform In Science (SyRIS) modules and an internal Learning Grants program.

This is all part of our tireless campaign to build in services and value to different programs and groups within our organization.

Bascially, all items added to the MLX now have a field in the creation form. If the item is to be associated with a special collection, the person entering it inserts a 4 character code (just like the discount codes you enter when submitting a rental car reservation online) that “tags” the package for association with the collection.

Once in place, we can do all kinds of things…

We can use the new special collection feature in several new ways.

The simplest is providing a unque URL that can be linked to a collection, e.g. the Maricopa INstitute for Learning (MIL), a fellowship program with final reports:

http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/mlx/collection.php?id=100

And since it is bonehead simple now, each collection has an RSS feed:

http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/mlx/collection_rss.php?id=100

How much would you pay for this! (Ginsu Knives not included) Wait there is more!

Now we can build search function in external sites, using the MLX search code libraries, and even secondary CSS files to modify the output. So for the MIL site, we now have an embedded franchise search:

http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/mil/search.php

The default view is to display all, but using the same search features that are part of the MLX, the search can be refined by keyword, or restricted to a Maricopa College.

This search is still hitting the MLX database, but by filtering by the special collection ID, we are looking at a subset or a smaller window of the MLX.

This is another selling point we hope that will convince the people in our system to actuallly do more knowledge sharing of projects and programs which now rarely see th elight outside of a filing cabinet or an un-findable web site.

The post "Hot off the Presses: MLX Special Collections" was originally dropped like a smoking hot potato at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2003/09/hot-off/) on September 17, 2003.

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