What's new in Trunk version 1.5 (May, 2014 release)?
In May, 2014, Trunk was upgraded to version 1.5. This upgrade was based on Sakai version 2.93
The upgrade includes a number of new Trunk tools and an upgrade in many existing Trunk tool features.
New Login Page:
New Portal Interface:
Site Editor / Page Order:
Trunk Profile2 images integrated into Forums tool:
Forums tool contains "Post Before Reading" feature.
New Tool - Piazza
Piazza is a Question and Answer discussion board that is uniquely designed to facilitate collaborative interaction among students. It is designed to model face-to-face group discussions allowing for the creation of complex questions and complex answers.
Questions can be posed by both students and instructors and the answers are editable by both students and instructors. Students collaborate on answers in a wiki-like environment to create a single response to any question. Over time, students can enhance a response until a single high quality answer is reached. Answers can generate additional follow-up questions and and answers, adding clarity and depth to the original question/answer.
Piazza is a third-party online application accessible through a Trunk course or project site. Instructors can create a Piazza discussion board for their course site and students can join the discussion board through Trunk. Once a user has joined a course Piazza discussion board, they can access the discussion board either through Trunk or through Piazza.com
Some Piazza features:
- Much like Google Docs, Piazza updates in real time. Users can see answers develop as they are edited.
- Piazza offers free downloadable iOS and Android mobile apps allowing users access to their question and answer discussions remotely.
- Piazza provides support for anonymous posts
- Piazza provides support for formatting equations (LaTeX equations editor).
- Piazza provides support for the editing of computer code
- Piazza provides support for real time polling
Instructors might consider using a Piazza discussion board:
- As a vehicle for answering student questions, so all students can benefit from the questions posed by other students in the class.
- As an online wiki-like problem solving space for the whole class or for study groups
- As a vehicle to facilitate collaborative writing.
- As a "back channel" for large classes to allow TAs or co-instructors to monitor incoming student questions.
- As a means for instructors and students to stay connected in distance learning courses.
New Tool - Feedback
Instructors can use the Feedback tool to upload and distribute a comma-delimited (CSV) spreadsheet to present individual feedback and/or grades to students.
Instructors can upload as many feedback files as they want. Students only see their own individual feedback and/or grades.
The Feedback tool provides a convenient mechanism to post comments and grades for those instructors that regularly use Excel spreadsheet files to calculate grades. You might also use it to post class attendance records from a spreadsheet file.
New Tool - Lesson Builder
The Lessons Builder tool allows instructors to deliver a guided sequence of content and activities to their students. It creates structured pages that pull content and functionality from other tools and organizes them as a series of sequential tasks.
Lessons pages may contain any of the following items:
- Page title
- Text item (i.e. content on the page)
- Content links to items in Resources such as files or URLs
- Links to published assessments
- In-line question items on the page
- Items may be designated as required
- Links to forum topics
- Student Comments on the page
- Links to Student Pages where students may create their own content
- Links to subpages
- Items may have prerequisites (i.e. conditional release)
Folder and file contextual information displayed.
Automatic off-campus linking to library database articles
Improved Assessment Layout
Tests & Quizzes now organizes assessment versions onto tabs:
- Working Copies (not released to students), and
- Published Copies (released to students).
The Published Copies tab also includes 3 viewing options:
- All - includes both Active and Inactive assessments
- Active - assessments that are available to students
- Inactive - assessments that are no longer available to students
New Question Type: Survey - Matrix of Choices
Blind CC function added to Message Tool.
BCC is a good option to use if you need to send the same message to several students (for example, a message to all students that scored below 70 on an exam), but you don't want the students to know which other students also received the message. In such a case, select Instructor as the "To" recipient and the individual students as the "Bcc" recipients.
Permission Settings Added to Messages Tool.
Permissions have been introduced into the Messages tool to provide greater control over who can use the tool and at what level.
New Tool - Portal Chat
The Portal Chat tool allows real-time synchronous text communication between 2 Trunk users. It is a type of internal instant messaging.
Users can chat with:
- Anyone on their Profile2 "Connections" that are currently logged into Trunk
- Anyone currently logged into the same Trunk course or project site.
The Portal Chat is accessed via a small "Chat" tab located at the bottom right of the Trunk display. If any of a user's Profile2 Connections are logged into Trunk or if anyone else is currently logged into the same Trunk course or project site, a number appears on the Chat tab indicating the number of users available for chat. Clicking on the Chat tab and then the user's name initiates the chat.