Sakai tools

April 26, 2009

Earlier this year we surveyed all the tools available to us in our Sakai VLE, with a view to deciding which were the top candidates for mobilisation (whether by developing a new mobile-friendly interface or by tidying up the existing tool).

When evaluating these tools we tried to consider:

  1. how widely they were used
  2. how relevant they were to mobile use, and
  3. whether they were reasonably implementable within the timeframe of the project

As a result we’ve divided the tools into four categories:

  1. essential
  2. desirable
  3. initially unnecessary
  4. unnecessary or unfeasible

We’ve concentrated on tools which provide the best ratio of participation to user-input (input of extended information is often difficult and time-consuming on the keypads or miniature keyboards of even the most modern smartphones), and on tools which allow the user to perform a single discrete task (e.g. “see what’s new”, “answer a poll”, “sign up for a tutorial”) rather than more complex tasks requiring extensive navigation. These more discrete tasks also allow for atomic operations rather than requiring the preservation of state throughout potentially unreliable network access — hopefully avoiding that only-too-familiar “I got halfway through and then I lost the signal and now I don’t know if it’s sent it or not” user experience.

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