Forum .LRN Q&A: dotLRN structure

Posted by Harry Neuwirth on
I have been snooping around dotLRN a bit. Very impressive.

1. Would it make sense to allow information structures (faqs, forums,
folders, calendars, whatever) to associate with more than one
organizational structure (department, class, club, etc) ? This might
make the system feel more user-centered as opposed to organization-

2. Would it make sense for the UI to behave like hotmail or ms
outlook, thus avoiding the need for users to learn a new UI? I guess
I'm referring to the metaphors of folders, calendars, and personal
vs. shared information spaces.

Posted by Ben Adida on

There is nothing inherent about the dotLRN architecture which
prevents FAQs from being shared across classes. You would
have to program the dotlrn-faq code to make that happen
(without having to rewrite faq). If something like this were
spec'ed carefully, it could probably be implemented as dotlrn-
shared-faqs (and dotlrn-shared-forums, etc...). It would be a
different dotLRN applet without having a different underlying FAQ
or forums engine. I don't think it would be the default, though, as
right now dotLRN communities are fairly well separated from
one another (by client design).

As for what you're thinking of in terms of UI, more detail would be
helpful. Not sure what "behaving like ms outlook" means :)

Posted by Harry Neuwirth on

Thanks for your reply. I had been questioning whether it were possible to allow administrators to transfer classes between departments, allow the public to view faqs or files, etc. Upon further research, the permission/context system is extremely flexible and these would simply be business/design choices rather than system limitations.

Regarding UI...redundant contextual clues, clear separations between navigation and content, and consistent metaphors are great strengths of the microsoft information products.  In the cyber learning world the prometheus system does a pretty good job with this, starting from  portlets for the personal home page but moving into course/community pages with left sided navigation cleanly separated from content (A demo can be accessed via Again, clearly a choice, not a limitation.

Posted by Caroline Meeks on
Hi Harry,

Thanks for your post.  We will be reviewing the UI of all the dotLRN modules for Sloan's implementation over the next month or so, thus now would be a great time for very specific suggestions and/or mock-ups.

Thanks for your help.