Forum .LRN Q&A: Re: Responding to the Commonwealth of Learnings Evaluation of dotLRN
Phase I of online profiles replicates the Sloan Student PhotoBook, which is distributed in printed book version and as individual biocards to faculty, and collects Address, Education, Employment and Personal information on all students. Contribution is voluntary; students can suppress all data except name and email address if they choose, or they can unsuppress a specified subset if their information. Group administrators can download a CSV class list of student names and email addresses. Profiles are displayed within classes and communities on FaceBook and Thumbnail pages linked from the People and Member List pages with sorting by alpha slider.
The PhotoBook Administrator (PBA) and Site Wide Administrator (SWA) can download CSVs of all information or of unsuppressed information in addition to the class list. These admins can also add new profile field types or edit existing profile fields (change question, add a choice to drop down list, delete a field entirely).
In addition, we are adding community-level searching and cross-community (site wide) search functionality this fall. Searches will honor permissions (based on a user's level of access) and each user's suppression settings.
Phase II of online profiles is to move the students in the classes of 2004 from our enterprise database into SloanSpace profiles. Following that, faculty and staff data will be moved over. Farther out, alumni. Also, printable biocards will be added for users in PDF format (probably), the bulk upload utility will be enhanced to allow the SWA to create student accounts and pre-fill some profile data at the same time; the PBA will have greater control over the display of profile fields and categories; and the PBA will be able to extract CSVs of specific information as desired.
No, there is no documentation written yet, but until it is, anyone can direct questions to me.
are the profiles dynamically editable? Can there be different profiles for the students, depending on the class and/or the role they have? Can the students explicitly allow or deny access to each piece of information or is it only per subset area?
"are the profiles dynamically editable?" -- I'm not sure what you mean by "dynamically editable" (could just be early morning ignorance), but students and the PBA can edit profiles and these changes are immediately reflected. Hope that answers your questions.
"Can there be different profiles for the students, depending on the class and/or the role they have?" -- Good question, I forgot mention that right now, there is only one profile firm, so to speak, so all programs fill out the same (or omit) the same info. And there is no role differentiation, but the thumbnails and facebook pages do display whether a user is an admin or a member. This requirement, for different profile forms based on constituency, is not in the spec for PB II, though it is something we know we need for the future. In addition, we need different profiles for faculty and staff.
"Can the students explicitly allow or deny access to each piece of information or is it only per subset area?" -- Yes, there is a great deal of granularity and control given to students. For example, I can unsuppress all personal information, but suppress my portrait or citizenship, which is within personal. Or, I can suppress personal, but unsuppress all education, address and employment, but suppress my home street address. And so on.
thanks for getting back to me so fast. With my first question I meant, if the Profile itself (the questions asked by the system) can be changed (so in the course of the day you realize that you forgot to ask the students for their pet's name, that this is editable from the administrator instead of the developer).
If you want the multiple profiles, you might want to check out the user register we are going to upload within the next two weeks as this already supports multiple profiles which you could (with a little bit of additional development) link up to e.g. the signup process for a class. Though it does not include the fine grained permissions.
When you launched your RFC last year, two clients of ours had roughly the same idea, so we tried to make a generic package out of it, that could be amended in an easy way for all situations. I never go around to aggregate all the specs, but maybe I'll manage in the near future. The basic underlying idea is to have a package, that allows you to keep profiles (registers) of your users. At the moment we go so far as to say, you can enter the profile process using a URL and give it a return_url where users will be redirected to after they finished the registration. As a specific demand by GPI we added the ability to link registers to mailinglists which will sign up users for specific mailinglists. But you can imagine an easy interface that would allow you to signup users to forums or classes (e.g. if a new student enters MIT, he chooses a default curriculum, answers the questions of the default register (the thing that collects the profile data), and is subscribed to multiple classes. If the class has an additional register, the student will be redirected to fill out that register as well, otherwise he would be a pending student.).
Gotta run, more maybe later ;)
"With my first question I meant, if the Profile itself (the questions asked by the system) can be changed (so in the course of the day you realize that you forgot to ask the students for their pet's name, that this is editable from the administrator instead of the developer)." -- Oh, I get it now. Yes, this is what I meant (tried to mean) when i said that the PBA can edit types and answers; we could add a question asking for pet's name on the fly.
I hope we can bring external development work into sloanspace and profile in the near future. we do have issues with getting the mba first years populated into required classes and communities. Thank you for that information about the user register.