Howto - project

Project HOWTO

Chapter Index

3 minute eLanguages project guide

If you haven't yet been in touch with your partner, go to the discussion forum. Maybe there's a message already waiting for you. You can send a message to your partner explaining a little about yourself and your class and outlining your ideas for your eLanguages project. Don't spend a lot of time introducing yourself and your class here; your 'hello' page will give you the chance to do this in a structured way.

In discussing your project with your partner in the discussion forum you should agree a title, a short description (2-3 lines) of what the project is about, the age group it's for, and the broad aim. This will be read by other teachers who might want to use your project in their lessons. You should also think about how you want to structure your project - how can it be divided up into clear project stages? For example, if your project is 'Food in our country', the project stages might be as follows:

  1. The food we grow
  2. The food we eat
  3. The food we buy
  4. Recipes.

It will make the project more engaging if you to limit yourself to a maximum of half-a-dozen stages - the best projects tend to be limited in focus and time (say a term). If you find you have a lot of wide-ranging ideas, why not do three small, self-contained projects rather than a single big sprawling one?

Before starting on your project, go to your 'hello' page (see the Mypages HOWTO). Use your hello page to introduce your class (including yourself), your school and your town.

You're now ready to begin your eLanguages project. Go to the project home page. There's an area for you to add project stages and resources. First add the project stages you've agreed with your partner. (You do this by going to edit mode and clicking on 'add' and then selecting 'Add a Project Stage'.) This will help to ensure your project remains tidy and coherent. Don't worry if you find you want to add further stages later on. You can add them in the same way.

Now you can start adding resources. It's best to work on each stage in turn, perhaps completing one stage each week or fortnight, and to do so in tandem with your partner - although, of course, if you find good material for an earlier section, there's nothing to stop you going back and adding it. It's also a good idea to include a little text in each section as well as some resources and to vary the type of resources in your project as you can see from our example project, eLanguages allows you to add movies, sound files, documents, presentations, weblinks, polls, pictures, galleries, pdfs and more.

Have fun!

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How to start

Start a project

You can start a new project from your Mypage - link under my projects - or you can start a project by navigating to the eLanguages projects page selecting the target age range. Click on the start a project link and complete the form. It is important you provide a good description as this is your project's commercial to colleagues around the world. You can edit and change the project fields at any time.

Join a project

You can join a project by clicking on the link in project details at the top of the page. A contact form appears in which you can write a message to the project owner. The project originator can then decide whether to add you as a partner. If the link does not appear then the project is not looking for partners.

email.gifInvite or recommend a partner

You can always invite or recommend a partner to any eLanguages project by clicking on the e-mail icon in the bottom navigation bar. This will open the e-mail webpage interface where you can insert a personal message to a friend and his or her e-mail address.

Approve a partner

The owner of a project will receive an e-mail including the motivation of the applicant and a link to the personal hello page of the applicant. Members who signed up to join your project will be listed under participants with an asterisk (*) next to their name. To approve or reject their application, click on the vet applicants link and accept or reject the member.

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Project pages

This section provides you with some guidelines on how to navigate through a project. Each project has a similar structure. It should be really easy for you to quickly find relevant project information or resources.

Project title

Each project has a title. The title can be changed at any point in time

page properties iconChange project title

To change the project title, click on the page properties icon. This icon is only available at top right of the page in edit mode. If you don't have edit rights to the page you cannot change the title.

Project details

The project details list the age group, the project language, name of the owner, the status, last update time, resource usage, partnership status and the rating of the project by other eLanguages members.

Project status

A project can either be in progress or completed. High quality completed projects might be rewarded, in which case a little award sign will be added to the project details.

Project rating

eLanguages members can rate each other's projects. To rate a project click on the "Rate this project" link in the project details area and click on the corresponding star rating you would like to give to the project. (Scale: 0=Worst to 5=Best)

Partnership status

Within the project details you may find Join this project and the "Contact the project owner" link. This link is only visible when the project is inviting other members to join the project. Click on the link to join the project and follow the instructions.

page properties iconChange project details

To change the project details, click on the page properties icon. This icon is only available at top right of the page in edit mode. If you don't have edit rights to the page you cannot change the project details.

Project summary

Each project has a project summary. The summary should give any visitor sufficient information to understand what the project is about. When you are seeking new partners it is important that your project summary contains enough information to attract new partners.

page properties iconChange project summary

To change the project summary, click on the page properties icon. This icon is only available at top right of the page in edit mode. If you don't have edit rights to the page you cannot change the summary.

Project stages

Each project is split into project stages. A project stage has a green header and groups together content and supplementary resources into themed topics (i.e. project activities, lesson activities...). Because all eLanguages projects are structured in stages it is very easy for an outsider to get a quick overview of what a project is about and find resources that could be of interest to him or her.

Project participants

A list with all the project participants. You can access their individual hello pages by clicking on their name. The name printed in bold is the owner of a project. He or she started the project page. Names with a green asterisk next to their name signed up to join the project but have not been accepted by the other members yet.

Email project participants

Project members can use a link at the bottom to the participants list to send an email message to all members of the project. Where project membership has been assigned to a group of users organised into a Team, each individual will receive a copy of the email at their registered address. This facility is only available to users who are already approved members of a project.

Discussion page

A forum to discuss ideas or prepare project sections. A better alternative to e-mail as all correspondence is stored in one place.A good idea is to set a Watch to this page.By default forums are open to the public allowing other teachers to post new or respond to messages in your project discussion forum.

Project tagging

Tagging is the process of applying descriptive keywords to resources to categorise them. Over time this will make it easier for users to search for relevant projects on the system. Tags are user defined and can consist of multiple words up to a limit of 64 characters for the tag.

When tags are displayed the popularity of the tag is indicated by the font-size used. More popular tags are displayed in larger fonts making it easy to discern the relative importance of the tag.

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Work on your project

Edit mode and normal view

As a project member you can add or modify the project content. You have to switch to edit mode to achieve this. When you switch to edit mode the page layout will change.

  1. the edit icon is replaced with the normal view icon, the properties icon and the permission icon
  2. Insertion points appear above and below each resource.

switch to edit mode accesskey ALT+TEdit mode

Click on the switch to edit mode icon to activate the edit interface. You can use the following accesskey combination ALT+T (enter). If the edit icon is not available you do not have edit rights to that page. You have to be a member of a project.

In edit mode the edit icon is replaced by three different icons. One of the icons is normal view. Use this icon to switch back to normal view. Alternatively you can activate normal view with accesskey combination ALT+T (enter).

switch to normal view accesskey ALT+TNormal view

change page properties accesskey ALT+KProject (page) properties

In edit mode the edit icon is replaced by three different icons. One of the icons is the properties icon. Use this icon to edit the page properties (title, summary, details, status, looking for partners). Alternatively you can activate the properties with accesskey combination ALT+K (enter).

change permission settings accesskey ALT+XProject permission settings

FOR ADVANCED USERS. In edit mode the edit icon is replaced by three different icons. One of the icons is the permission icon. Use this icon to change the permission settings on the page. Alternatively you can activate the properties with accesskey combination ALT+X (enter).

Insertion points

Add a resource editpaste16.gif

In edit mode insertion points appear above and below existing content on a project page. The insertion points are defined by two icons, the add a resource icon and the paste from clipboard icon. Both icons allow you to add new content to the project page either by creating new content or by copying existing content from your clipboard.

Add a resourceAdd new resources to your project

This icon indicates that a resource can be added at that location on the page.

add a section iconAdd a project stage

The first resource you find in the resource list is the project stage resource. Before you can add any resources to your page you have to insert a project stage. A project stage consists of a title, description and optional resource folder. You can add as many stages to your project as you like.

add a pageAdd a project page

Next to the available who we are page and discussion page you can add additional pages to your project. Select the add web page icon. For example you can add a page with some homework assignment and distribute the URL to your pupils so they can access the page from home and prepare their lesson activity. An other possibility is to build a page with your pupils and ask your partner teacher to review this page with his or her class.

Add resources within a project stage or to a project page

As soon as you or your partner has added your first project stage you can choose from a variety of resources to add to the stage (text, documents, files, movies, audio files, images, galleries, polls, forums, news, sub pages etc.). You can also add additional project stages. If you would like to integrate a resource that is not available on the list please contact the eLanguages team. It is our objective to provide you with a complete tool set and we are welcoming any suggestions for additional resource types.

editpaste16.gifPaste resources from your clipboard

Both the icon and the name of each resource acts as link for selecting the resource and pasting it into the selected location.

Modify an existing resource

Each resource on a page will have a resource tool set in its bottom right corner. The resource tool set allows you to edit, cut / copy to clipboard, , delete or set permissions on the resource. Your permission settings to a particular resource determine which of the following icons you will be able to use.

edit resourceEdit a resource

When this icon displays you can at any time edit the resource. For example you can edit text in a text resource, modify a link, replace an image with another image, re-scale an image etc. etc.

editcut.gifCut resources to your clipboard

With this function you can cut a resource from the page to your clipboard. This allows you to move a resource to another location on this page or any other page in the system (where you have editing rights). To retrieve the resource, go to destination placeholder, click on the paste from clipboard icon and the resource will be pasted at that placeholder.

editcopy.gifCopy resources to your clipboard

With this function you can copy a resource from a page to your clipboard. This allows you to duplicate the resource at another location on this or any other page in the system (where you have editing rights). To paste a copy of the resource at destination placeholder, click on the paste from clipboard icon at destination placeholder.

editdelete.gifDelete a resource

To delete a resource from a page. Note this function will permanently delete the resource. You cannot retrieve it after this operation. The system will ask for confirmation after clicking on the icon to prevent accidental deletion of resources.

lock16.gifSharing of resources

edittranslate.gifTranslate project resources

You can translate your project title, summary or any resource on a page in any language available on the system.

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Complete your project

It is important to inform others when your project is completed. To do this go to the page properties of your project and change the status of your project to properties

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Star rating system

The criteria you use when rating eLanguages projects is entirely subjective. You might base your rating on the resusability of a resource, its quality or educational value. You might instead base it on the quality of any pupil work displayed with the project. The only guidance we give on this matter is that more stars is better, after that it's entirely upto you as to what you consider good and deserving a high rating.

The star rating mechanism is only available to site members. It can be accessed via a link at the top of the project homepage. Select the star with the value you wish to assign between zero and five. The average rating will be recalculated and displayed on the project homepage and within the find a project search.

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