[LON-CAPA-users] New Content/Problem Editor - Input needed NOW

Mills, Douglas G dmills at illinois.edu
Thu Oct 9 16:33:53 EDT 2014

Ok, fair enough on not having a hidden colorful editor option. And I agree
that a simple editor may not teach the end user much, but my (perhaps
erroneous) assumption is that this is about increasing adoption and my
impression is that there are probably lots of users out there who look at
the current authoring interface options and find it confusing compared to
interfaces in other CMSs they may be familiar with. We know that in
general user-friendliness comes at the expense of robustness, versatility
and power -- the things we love Lon-Capa for. But if what we're seeking
here is a way to help people start in Lon-Capa, a lot of users I think are
happy just to do what they need to do and are not interested in
robustness, versatility and power. At least to start. They want
simplicity, reliability and ease of use. Later they start asking questions
about "Can I do this with my CMS?"  I love the fact that with Lon-Capa
I've been able to answer almost every instructor question along those
lines with yes, we can. And we do.  Not so with other CMSs I've supported.
 However, they have to be using Lon-Capa before they get to that point I


Douglas Mills
Director of Instructional Technologies
Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
dmills at illinois.edu
(217) 244-5739

On 10/9/14, 3:01 PM, "Raymond Batchelor" <batchelo at sfu.ca> wrote:

>I would NEVER suggest removing the "XML editor".
>(Although one could argue that someone who prefers to edit their xml
>directly would be better off using an offline editor and then importing
>their code  ;-)
>As I indicated, one can (and, I think, should) use the existing editing
>options interchangeably:
>"XML Editor" -- when you know exactly what code you want and need to be
>as direct and quick as possible.
>Otherwise, "EDIT" is extremely convenient and educational.  It could
>become even more educational.
>The "EDIT" interface is only slow and cumbersome if you are creating
>resources with many lines of code and lots of tags.
>As for creating a third "simple" editing interface, I'm not (yet)
>convinced that would be worthwhile.
>Simple interfaces tend to not teach the user anything, except to
>reinforce that they don't really know what is going on.
>It could be simply a marketing device to convince people that they can
>become empowered without learning anything.
>I am all in favour of having more and more features, but consider the
>various different "Parameter" interfaces -- ONLY two of which I use
>routinely and would recommend to others.
>How about keeping just the two present resource-editing interfaces and
>thinking of ways in which the screen space in the EDIT mode could be
>managed more efficiently/ergonomically, without losing functionality?
>I fear -- and what is more, BELIEVE -- that if "Edit" was considered an
>"easter egg" feature it would decline from lack of support and the
>educational aspects it can and does provide will be lost.
>If you really want to "replace" it with something else, then that had
>better be "hot stuff".
>LON-CAPA-users mailing list
>LON-CAPA-users at mail.lon-capa.org

More information about the LON-CAPA-users mailing list