Landing : Athabascau University

Content-by-tag widget back again, and new group activity options

We have rolled out an emergency bug fix, so that the site crash caused by one or two configurations of the content-by-tag widget should not reoccur.

At the same time we have made some great improvements to the 'Group activity' tool in groups. Previously, this simply showed a list of recent activities. Now, just as in the site activity tool, you are able to filter the results by kind of post: for instance, you can look at recent files, blog posts, or wiki pages.

We have also added a second tab so that you can see what group members have been posting outside the group (assuming they have given permissions for you to do so, of course). This may be of particular interest in course groups where students may be posting things to their personal profiles that are relevant to the group activities, but we hope it will also help to provide more opportunities to discover new learning opportunities and shared interests among group members. 

You can see the new group activity tool in action by clicking the 'Group activity' link in the side bar next to this post. 

Because we needed to get this update out immediately to avoid site crashes, there is one new tool visible that is unfinished. It is intended to allow group owners to lock group blogs so that only they can create them that doesn't work yet - we have labelled it as such and suggest that you do not use it. It will have no effect one way or the other just yet and is only visible to group owners when editing their groups. Everyone else will not even notice it.

We have a few new options and enhancements waiting in the wings that we have not yet enabled until further testing has been done. These include:

  • A new support tool to replace the existing feedback button and greatly enhance context-sensitive help, as well as offering a FAQ tool for groups. We are testing this for reliability and interface.
  • Identicons, to provide unique and colourful avatars for people and groups who have not yet added their own. This is great, but we are testing to ensure that it does not overly impact performance of the site.
  • A Q&A tool similar to those used in sites like Reddit and Stackoverflow - a big and ambitious tool that needs further testing and refinement
  • The means to easily embed Landing pages in other sites, without the surrounding menus and tools.

We have also added tools to make administration easier. Notably, if there are bits of confusing wording, spelling or grammatical errors on the site, we can now change them straight away rather than having to write code to deal with them.

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