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Editing Collections

Module by: Connexions, Sarah Coppin, Mark Husband, Max Starkenburg. E-mail the authors

Summary: Instructions on how to use the Connexions Collection Composer (formerly known as the Course Composer).

The Connexions Collection Composer

The Collection Composer (formerly known as the Course Composer) allows you to create new collections or edit existing collections. Any number of modules within Connexions' Content Repository can be used to create a collection. You can perform the following tasks with the Collection Composer:

Adding and Arranging Elements

At this point, you should have landed on the "Contents" tab of the collection composer. This is where you will add and arrange the contents of your collection. Basic instructions are provided at the top, but we will go through each editing feature in detail.

Figure 1: A collection in the making, before any content has been added.
Empty collection after creation
At first, all that is shown is the collection's title (in this case "Tutorial") and the three actions you can take at the collection's top level:
  • Add subcollections
  • Add modules
  • Edit title
Let's start by adding the introductory module to the collection structure.

Add a Module

You can add already published modules to the collection from the Content Repository. You cannot add unpublished modules from your workspaces. When adding a module, Connexions does not copy the module into your collection. The module remains in the Content Repository and Connexions inserts a reference or a pointer to the module in your collection. A module cannot be inserted into a collection more than once.

Instructions for adding a module

In our example, we first want to add a module entitled Connexions Workshop: Introduction to the top of the collection. To do this, we start by hovering the mouse over the collection's title. To the right, there is a link reading "Add modules":

Figure 2: Hover over the collection title to see the option to "Add modules" to the collection.
Action links appear when hovering over collection title

Click the "Add modules" link. A pop-up appears with a search box. Enter a word, name, or text string related to the module in the search text box. Click the "Search for modules" button:

Figure 3: A pop-up appears in which you can use to search for modules to add.
Enter a search term in the pop-up

Results will appear in the same pop-up. If you don't find the module you were searching for on first attempt, you can try using a different search term, sorting the results by another parameter, adjusting the number of searches that display per page, or going to the next page of results. Once you find the module or modules you want to add, select the checkbox next to its title(s) and click "Add selected content".

Figure 4: Select the checkbox of each module you want to add to the collection.
Select the checkbox of each module you want to add to the collection

The module you've selected to add to the collection will now appear below the collection's title in the composer. Remember that this only a pointer to the published module, not a copy of the module itself.

Figure 5: The added module appears in the composer.
The added module appears in the composer

Let's now continue on to the next step of adding our two subcollections.

Add a New Subcollection (Section)

A subcollection is a grouping of related modules within a collection. Depending on the nature of your collection, you might think of a subcollection as a section, chapter, part, folder, division, etc. Each subcollection has a heading that identifies its contents to the viewers. You may place subcollections within other subcollections, as deeply nested as desired.

Instructions for adding a subcollection

In our example, our collection is structured by two "Parts" that follow the introductory module. To add these, we start by hovering the mouse over the collection's title. To the right, there is a link reading "Add subcollections":

Figure 6: Hover over the collection title to see the option to "Add subcollections" to the collection.
Action links appear when hovering over collection title

Click the "Add subcollections" link. A pop-up appears with a text box. Enter the titles of the subcollections you want in your collection, one per line. Click the "Add new subcollections" button:

Figure 7: A pop-up appears in which you can add the titles of your collection's subcollections.
Enter subcollection titles in the pop-up

Your subcollections will now appear in the composer below any other modules or subcollections you've already added at that level. From there, you can hover your mouse over each subcollection and find a list of actions to take at the subcollection level, such as adding modules, adding nested subcollections, or editing the subcollection's title.

Figure 8: Your subcollections are now in the composer and modules can be added inside them.
Subcollections are added to the composer below previously added content

Let's add some more modules to each of these subcollections so that your collection structure now looks like this:

Figure 9: Modules added to the subcollections.
Collection composer with contents filled out

Before things are done, we have some changes we want to make. Let's continue.

Rearrange Contents

Since the collection composer adds modules and subcollections to the bottom of the collection or subcollection where you added them, you will sometimes need to rearrange the modules and subcollections to get them in the desired ordered. To do this, simply click down on the title of the item you want to move, drag it over to the desired location, and click up to drop it in that location. A dotted line appears where there is a valid location to drop the item.

Figure 10
(a) Click down on the title of a module or subcollection to move it.
Click down on a title to move it
(b) Drag the module or subcollection over to its new location. A dotted line appears where there is a valid location to drop the item.
Drag item over to desired location (indicated by new dotted line) and drop it down.

Note:

Rearrangements don't have to be strictly vertical movements of modules, as shown in the example. You can move both modules and subcollections, and you can move them up, down, into subcollections, or out of subcollections.

The new structure is automatically saved when the item is dropped in place.

Collapsing/expanding subcollections for easier editing

If your collection contains a lot of modules and subcollections, it can become cumbersome to edit (especially for dragging and dropping). If this is the case in your collection, you can collapse the subcollection by clicking on the arrow to the left of the subcollection title.

Figure 11: Click the arrow icon next to a subcollection's title to toggle it open or closed.
Click the arrow icon next a subcollection's titles to toggle it open or closed
Subcollections without any titles do not have the expand/collapse toggles next to their title.

Note:

When first checking out a collection, or when returning to the collection composer after having gone elsewhere, all subcollections appear closed by default. To see and/or edit their contents again, simply click the arrow toggle next to each collection title.

Remove Contents from the Collection

To remove a module or subcollection from the collection, hover your mouse over the item. At the right, there will be a link reading "Remove from collection". In the example, let's say you've decided not to include the module titled Module from Word Document:

Figure 12
Hover over an item and a removal link will appear at right
A pop-up appears confirming that you want to remove the module. Behind the pop-up, the module marked for deletion is highlighted in pink with its title crossed out:
Figure 13
(a) Confirming removal of a module.
Pop-up confirming removal of a module
(b) Example showing the removal of an entire subcollection. Note that the you are shown an extra warning about any modules or subcollections inside the subcollection you are about to remove.
Pop-up confirming removal of a subcollection

Note:

Removing modules from a collection does not remove them from the Content Repository. It only removes the pointer in your collection to that published module.

Advanced Editing of the Collection's Elements

Provide an Alternate Module Title

Modules that are published in the Content Repository display the titles given to them by their authors. If these titles are not appropriate for the module when it appears in the context of your collection (e.g., it may contain numbering), you can provide an alternate title for the module. The module displays your alternate title when it is accessed from within your collection. The module displays its original title whenever it is accessed from outside of your collection.

In our example, let's rename "Creating a Module in Minutes" to "Creating a Connexions Module" in order to match the similarly titled module in Part II of the collection. Hover over the module's title and click on the "Edit title/version" link that appears to the right:

Figure 14
Hover over module title to access the link to override title
A pop-up appears. In the text field under "Alternate Title", type the title with which you want to override the module's title. Click "Save".
Figure 15
Type the override title in the 'Alternate Title' field
If you want to undo the override, simply return to the pop-up, erase the text from the "Alternate Title" text field, and click "Save" again. The module's title will revert to its original one.

Select the Module Version

When a module is updated or edited, Connexions saves the previous version of the module in history and uses the latest version of the module for viewing. Each new version of a module is given its own version number. You can either have your collection always use the latest version of the module, or you can pinpoint a specific version to be used.

In the example, let's say that version 1.2 of one of the modules we include was a complete reformatting of that module's content, and that the new format no longer makes sense in the context of your collection. Hover over the module's title and click on the "Edit title/version" link that appears to the right:

Figure 16
Hover over module title to access the link to set the version
A pop-up appears. In the "Set Version" area, select version 1.1 from the dropdown. Click "Save".
Figure 17
Use a dropdown to select the version you want to use.

Edit an Existing Collection

You can edit an existing collection with the Collection Composer in the same way you create a new collection. You can edit only collections for which you have a maintainer role. To use the Collection Composer on an existing collection, first make sure you are logged in, then you can:

  • Either derive a copy of a collection (if you wish to make an adaptation of the original collection),
  • Or checkout a collection (yours or someone else's) into one of your work area.

Collection Navigation

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks