Getting started questions

#1
  1. How do I add someone to the site as an Admin
  2. How do I have s’s add videos to the site
  3. What about PDFs and other attachments
  4. I want to use as few tools as possible - right now I’m using Youtube to host video shorts (introductions, short how-tos, etc.), Google docs for pre/post course questionnaires and surveys, Adobe Connect for video conferencing, Discourse for discussions, Google sites for a course shell/to deliver content, Dropbox for document sharing. Obviously this is why LMSs exist but THEY SUCK SO BAD I DON’T WANT TO USE THEM.
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About the LMS Support category
#2

If they have already joined, you can go to admin/users, click on their name, and then under the “Permissions” section, you can change their Admin, Moderation, and trust levels. Oh, or click on their avatar, which will take you to their profile page, and there you can click on the Admin button (a little easier navigation than what I first described).

You can allow folks to upload videos to your Discourse site, though youtube will provide space for free and knowing how to upload things there is a skill that your students might do well to gain. You can easily embed videos in Discourse by pasting the URL on a line by itself.

You can create simple polls in Discourse (I installed the plugin for you; the little bar chart icon in the composer will create the poll syntax for you).

  • Polls are great
  • Complex polls probably need a real polling tool.

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Yeah. Discourse won’t do that.

I’m biased, but think it’s among the best tools for that.

Did you see my syllabus and Challenge/Solution examples? There is a sample syllabus on your site; see also Turning in your work. I’m pretty happy with how that’s worked, so I think you can do away with Google sites. I’ll look again at the document you shared and see if I can help out with that.

If you mean real sharing in which lots of people contribute and can have it automatically show up on their hard drive, well, Dropbox and Google Docs/Drive are best of class solutions (and lots better than any LMS). You can make pages wikis in Discourse, though, which for simple “sharing” may obviate Dropbox.

Right. The fundamental trade off is “do you want to use a bunch of crappy tools that are all neatly tied together?” or “Do you want to deal with really good tools and struggle to make them work together?” For a course where you are teaching people about how to use technologies, it is reasonably easy to argue that the extra overhead that students will spend dealing with each of them is worth their while. (Whether it is worth the instructor’s time is another question altogether!).

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