User Help

Table of content

System object definition

A Resource means any type of object containing (educational) content, URL address or metadata which describe how to access/interpret a specific piece of content.

OLCMS implements the following types of resources:

A Content Item means a set of resources - educational materials (text documents, presentations, pictures and so on) that form a lesson (called also a challenge). In order to upload materials (resources) you first need to create a Content Item that contains all of them. 

A course - an ordered sequence of content items grouped logically together to facilitate the learning process.

Science discipline – a basic classification level of the content Items on OLCMS. Currently OLCMS recognizes the following, most often associated with STEM, disciplines:  Astronomy, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics and Citizen Science – a concept although  more sociology oriented, develops STEM skills. In justified cases the system administrator can add a new discipline, however this decision needs careful consideration, because it may impact the current content classification and the platform concept.

Content item icon frames are differently coloured for each discipline

General concept of the platform

OLCMS is thought as a simple system to store, structuralize, publish and share educational content. The system is dedicated primarily for high school teachers and students. The content available (and unloadable) on the platform must be published under one of the preselected Creative Common 4.0 or higher licences, which basically means that the content can be used and modified free of charge. All content is physically stored on OLCMS repository server; in addition movies are also automatically uploaded on OLCMS YouTube channel (to take advantage of the YouTube friendly and optimised interfaces)

Content is stored in resources and  resources are grouped in content items called also lessons or challenges. One resource may be a part of only one content item. Each content item may be published in one or more language versions (in case of a video file a new language is implemented as a new subtitle file). It is strongly advised (but not system enforced) that all content uploaded on OLCMS should be also available in English (as a leading language version).

All registered users (who or have own accounts on OLCMS, or logged in  as other application users), can upload own content and modify the content they uploaded. The newly uploaded content is made publically available after technical verification by the system administrator. The verification process does not include checking the legal status of the content, in particular checking if the user has appropriate Copyrights to publish a given piece of content. The administrator does not take any responsibility of potential legal issues resulting from the content publication by OLCMS users.

Upon creation of a new content item, the author introduces predefined metadata which describes the content item and in particular recommends  how the content can be used. The content item includes also information on the skill to be improved studying these materials and how the materials address Responsible Research and Innovation ideas.

Additionally, the content item may be tagged to indicate its relation with other content items or science disciplines. 

Characteristics of educational resources currently uploaded

As mentioned above the OLCMS currently comprises a number of multimedia educational materials related to basic STEM disciplines (mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, engineering and medicine) prepared mostly by the STEM4youth consortium partners. The number of challenges varies depending on the discipline (from 8 to 34). Each challenge addresses or a vital topic for a given science field or describes some learning activity. Regardless the discipline and the challenge the materials are, to a certain extent, compliant with a common set of learning methodologies. The choice of a learning methodology/ies depends mostly on a discipline. For example: in case of Engineering the materials stick to Engineering Design Process. Experimental learning mostly pertains to Physics. And Enquiry Based Learning is the common methodology for majority of challenges.

OLCMS Framework menu item on the landing OLCMS Page points to a document which describes a common methodological approach to present different challenges and disciplines.

 Also, as long as it was possible and reasonable, documents presenting different challenges for disciplines have a similar structure. In particular, the challenge (content item) metadata informs if studying of this content needs the teacher’s supervision; for which age group the content is recommended and how much time the lesson should approximately last.

There are primarily 4 types of documents a content item may consist of:

The challenges may comprise documents (doc., pdf, txt, presentations), video, interactive games and redirection to other external systems (e.g. virtual laboratory).

Forum

The OLCMS Forum is implemented on the Discourse software (https://www.discourse.org/).

As for now two project specific categories are defined on the forum:

If you think a new category is need, would you please contact the OLCMS admin (admin@stem4youth.pl)

Only login user can post on the Forum and add new topics.

For more information about the Forum functionalities please refer to the Discourse documentation (https://www.discourse.org/features )

The OLCMS functionality

Important Remark: OLCMS is still under development, so new functionalities will be gradually introduced on the platform and this help will be updated respectively.

As for now OLCMS offers the following features:

User registration/system privileges/login

 

There are basically two category of users of OLCMS:

Unregistered users can search, read and access and download the content stored on OLCMS and evaluate the content.

Registered users can also publish/modify their own content, comment the content and publish post on the forum.

The registration(or sign up)  process requires providing: e-mail address, user name and password. The e-mail address is verified before an account is created.

In some cases selected registered users may be granted on request specific privileges by the system Administrator (e.g. forum moderation, content verification before publishing)

The System Administrator fully control the platform and amongst other is authorized to:

§  change the structure of the platform: add/edit/remove pages, modify menu

§  moderate the Forum

§  grant modification privilege to content created by other users

§  verify new content before publication (by default)

§  grant/revoke special privileges to registered users 

Unless the user does not going to login by Google+, the user must sign up first

The sign up process requires providing just a valid and unique address e-mail and user name as well as setting a password.

Upon sign Up the user gets a verification e-mail.

The login page

Provides an option to login in both by user name or Google+ as well as standard password reset facility.

Content classification

The content is classified upon its creation by specifying its science discipline and  completing its metadata information by choosing appropriate values from the metadata category drop down lists

The link “Responsible Research and Innovation” brings us to the list of RRI values a given content item is associated.

The link “Learning Methodologies” lists Learning methodologies the content item use.

 

me (related to a science discipline), and tagging (a tag may be a science discipline, another content item or any other user defined descriptor, which provides additional information and can be used in search.

The left panel on the screen specifies the metadata attributes which describe the content item. 

“You might also like” section points to other content items thematically related to our content item. 

Clicking on any of the metadata values brings us to a list of all content items having the same value of this particular attribute.

Content Search / Download

OLCMS uses a full text search functionality. The search box is available on the page displayed under “Our materials” menu item. The  discipline or/and language specific search shows all content items that include search text in their title, description  or metadata. Also there is an option to search all disciplines and language versions.

Having identified the interesting content item the user opens it and goes to the list of its resources. On clicking on it a  selected resource is displayed in a browser provided that its file extension is associated with an appropriate programme in the operation system, otherwise the resource is downloaded. The user can also download all resources expect for “quiz” and “simulation”  resource types (which are run in a browser instead).

Adding new Content Item

Two important notes:

In order to upload materials you first need to create a Content Item that will contain all of them. 

In order to upload your educational materials, you need to be a registered user. To register, click "Sign Up" in the top menu of the OLCMS. After getting the user account, you need to contact the OLCMS team who will grant you rights for adding materials to the platform. 

In order to get to Content Item creation form, user needs to click on Content Item menu in the Navigation Bar and choose “Add” as shown in picture below).

 

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Note on Movie type Content Item

Movie files are a special kind of Content Item which should be treated in a different way than other types of materials. When adding a movie file (e.g. mp4 file), it is uploaded to OLCMS repository server as well as uploaded automatically to OLCMS YouTube channel. This process is needed due to following reasons:

- YouTube provides friendly and optimised interfaces for wide variety of end systems: computers, smartphones, tablets, while the project servers do not have such facilities.

- One of main assumptions of the project is to guarantee all the educational materials to be available after end of the project. Though it is not likely, there is no guarantee that YouTube will provide the ability to watch uploaded videos in several years after end of the project.

- Another one of main assumptions of the project is to have all the materials, including videos, to be downloadable. However, downloading videos directly from YouTube is prohibited by their Terms of Service.

 

Content Item Creation page: adding Basic type of Content Item

Adding Content Item information

Before any educational materials can be uploaded, the Content Item entry must be created. This entry must be filled with all necessary information. Below Content Item entry creation is described.

When creating new Content Item of a generic type user needs to provide following data:

1. Choose type: Basic

2. Provide short and descriptive title

3. Type the list of authors that created all educational materials to be uploaded to created Content Item. After typing each author, either Enter or comma key should be pressed.

4. Choose if the Content Item should be "Featured", i.e. do you want to be shown directly on the Home Page or Discipline Pages of OLCMS.

5. Choose licence type of the Content Item

6. Choose language version of the Content Item. If it has more than one language versions create one of the versions first and then follow the instructions of how to add another language version (below on this page).

7. Choose main discipline of your Content Item. The colour theme of the Content Item will be determined of the discipline chosen here.

8. Add tags to let your Content Item be connected with another Content Items thematically. After typing each tag, press Enter or comma.

9. Choose cover image for your Content Item. Cover image will be visible as the picture at the very top of Content Item View page.

10. Choose miniature image for your Content Item. Miniature image will be visible inside Content Item tile in Content Item Browser view.

11. Provide detailed and informative description of the Content Item.

 

12. Set minimal and maximal size of participant group that is needed to provide the lesson or challenge provided in created Content Item.

13. Type estimated time of how long participants will be occupied by the lesson or challenge provided in created Content Item.

14. Set number of staff needed to carry the lesson or challenge.

15. Provide special technical requirements to be fulfilled before the lesson or challenge may start.

16. Enter knowledge acquisition gain, i.e. what kind of knowledge and skills will be delivered to participants.

17. Optionally provide description how the knowledge from your lesson could help the student in his or her future work career. By default the dedicated text for each discipline will be displayed, but if needed, that can be customised for the lesson.

18. Here, you can put special title which is properly connected with the description provided in 17.

 

19. Choose proper Domains to make basic requirements of all technical and participant aspects of carrying the lesson or challenge provided by created Content Item.
20. After filling up all required fields, click “Save” button.

 

Adding resources to Basic Content Item entry

After click on “Save” button, a new Content Item entry will be created and Content Item View of newly created Content Item will appear. In order to add educational materials, user needs to scroll down to bottom of the page until tool buttons will appear.

 

By clicking “Add a resource button”, a menu will appear giving to user a possibility to choose what type of resource he/she wants to upload:
- Text – an editor window will appear to let user enter text of the material manually.
- File – a file upload dialog window will appear.
- Link – a link adding dialog window will appear.
All the above resource types are described below.

Text resource

 

When clicked on “Add a resource -> Text” a dialog window will appear to let user add information for resource entry. Here, following information should be added:
1. Title of the resource which will be displayed under resource icon.
2. License of the resource.
3. Role of the resource. Choose one from the following: Supplementary material, lesson plan, teacher guide, preparation guide.
4. Detailed description of the resource.
When ready, click on “Submit” button. A new window will appear with text file editor to let user compose the text.

The editor uses Markdown language which is an easy solution for composing formatted texts. When composing of text is finished, click “Submit” to finally have first material in the platform.

 File resource

When clicked on “Add a resource -> File” a dialog window will appear to let user add information for resource entry. Here, following information should be added:
1. Title of the resource which will be displayed under resource icon.
2. License of the resource.
3. Role of the resource. Choose one from the following: Supplementary material, lesson plan, teacher guide, preparation guide.
4. Detailed description of the resource.
When ready, click on “Submit” button. A new window will appear with upload file dialog window.

Choose a file to be uploaded and click on red „Submit” button. The file will be shortly transferred to OLCMS servers and be available to download.

NOTE: Please do not upload movie files using this method. The correct method is by adding movie type Content Item and by adding a Link resource as described in next paragraph.

Link

Adding a link resource to the Content Item is very similar to adding text or file resources. After clicking on “Add a resource -> Link”, a dialog window will appear.

The fields of resource title, license, role and description of the resource should be filled as in case of text and file resources described above. In this dialog window another field – URL link – should be also filled. After clicking on blue “Submit” button, the link will be added to Content Item resources.

Content Item Creation page: adding Movie type of Content Item

The process of adding an entry of movie type of Content Item is exactly the same as in the basic type of Content Item (see tutorial above). After filling the form of Content Item creation, click on "Add a Resource" and choose "Video".

By using tool buttons, user may add main video file (by clicking on “Add a resource->Video”), video subtitles (“Add a resource->Subtitle”) as well as additional files, e.g. text transcription, additional information etc. (by clicking on “Add a resource->File”). After clicking on “Video” or “File” first dialog window will appear.

In the video resource adding dialog window following information need to be provided:
1. Movie title – this will be title of the movie.
2. License – choose one of available licences.
3. Role of the material.
4. Detailed description of the movie.


If user clicked on “Subtitle”, slightly different dialog window will appear. User need to provide title for the subtitles and (very important) their language.
After click on “Submit” button, next dialog window will appear to let user upload the file.

Choose a file to be uploaded and click on red „Submit” button. The movie file will be shortly transferred to OLCMS servers and be available to download. After successful upload, movie will be uploaded automatically from OLCMS to the project YouTube channel. The upload to YouTube may take some time.
Recommended movie file format is MP4. Recommended subtitle format is SRT (SubRip) or SUB (MicroDVD).

Adding new language version of Content Items

Technically, adding new language version of an existing Content Item is the same process as adding of Content Item described before. In order to add new language version of Content Item, user needs to add the original language version first and then in tool buttons click on “Add new lang version”.

After clicking, a Content Item creation page will appear. User needs to fill all the fields using currently uploaded language version. Then, all the translated resources need to be uploaded.
After this process, new language version of Content Item will appear in the Content Item Browser and also, all language versions of one Content Item will be connected, so all of them will be displayed in the header of Content Item View.

Content verification

The system admin (and  power users) verifies the newly created content before it is published on the platform.

New content items are NOT visible to the OLCMS standard users nor to unregistered platform visitors  (only Admin and the users with non-standard system privileges have access to unverified content). After purely technical verification the content items gets the “verified” status and since then is publically visible.

Content evaluation

The option allows to send feedback to the project team. Having click on “Evaluate us!” button a short survey displays with a number of close or open questions relating to the platform evaluation.

Courses

A course is an ordered sequence of content items grouped logically together to facilitate the learning process. The course may be composed of any content items, not necessarily belonging to the same science discipline. The course may be created by any logged in user.  The Course Create / Edit form includes language/discipline filter to facilitate content item selection.

Quizzes/Simulations

Quiz and Simulation is a special category of resources which a content item may consist of

A Quiz is thought to assess the student pre-existing knowledge, or the knowledge the student acquired studying the lessons on the OLCMS platform. Simulation is a program run in a browser as html application (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_Application  ) invoked from the OLCMS platform. Thanks to the html format a quiz/simulation extents the options of content presentation and facilitate the creation of interactive application. There is no information exchange between OLCMS and quizzes/simulations, which in particular implies that the quizzes scores are on stored on OLCMS.

Quizzes and simulations are developed OUTSIDE the OLCMS platform as html applications and are then uploaded onto OLCMS in a form of a zipped catalogue with main html entry file located in the root folder. There is a variety of both open source and commercial tools to develop html applications (for example the mumbas software  https://www.numbas.org.uk/  allows quiz creation).

Attention: Quizzes and Simulations may be also implemented as general “File” resource type and EXE file uploaded as resource. In this case the quiz/simulation is not directly run on clicking from OLCMS, but the file is downloaded first and then the user executes the file in its operation system.