A few weeks ago, the faculty developer at one of our colleges asked if we could create an MLX Special Collection for an upcoming summer institute on “Wwriting Across the Curriculum”, so that participants could create a “starter” package for a project they would complete over the summer (I call it “assembling the box’ like folding from a cardboard flat.).
The answer was of course, “yes”, and the effort took about 20 seconds to create a place for the collection.
Sharon just sent some great feedback:
The MLX worked a treat in our Writing Across the Curriculum institute. There are only a few up at the moment, but our participants have gone away to refine their projects and will not only be uploading their ideas, but have been charged with using the MLX as a visual in their final presentations on August 13th.
I cannot tell you how excited I am about the role of MLX in some faculty development events like ours …. I am sold! Not only does it add to MLX, but it actually helps faculty think through an idea by having to concretely define and describe it. Way cool!
This experience did factor into some interface changes we made to the MLX loading Dock, the place where packages are created….
For the April Dialogue Day we had modified the package creation screens so that people could just check off boxes to associate packages with an available special collection (until then one would have to enter a secret code and it could only be associated with one collection).
And we made more changes inside the dock…
Before this time, all packages created in the MLX were initially available to the public as soon as the description screen was completed. We have a flag in the package database that allows packages to be “hidden” (they do not show up on search results)– and the owner does have the tools from their personal inventory to toggle this on and off.
Previously my thought was to make them public, as we envisioned them as being descriptions of things already completed. The two events described above, though, opened us up to the notion that people could begin with a notion of an idea described in the MLX and later return to “finish up” the package.
Thus last month, the package creation pages were created with a default status of “hidden”, and a clear statement of this status (and buttons to toggle the status) on every one- this way a package creator can easily toggle the hidden/public status form any screen, as well as generate a preview from any screen:
In addition, we provide in the same area, the package “stats” – numbers of visitors, comments, and “sharebacks” (trackbacks). We also provide the same details on all packages on each person’s “inventory”- their listing of all packages they have created in the MLX:
All of this is going to be part of the new openMLX…. For more about he inner workings, see our March 2003 NMC Conference presentation