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Best way to structure multiple trainning cohorts?

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#71748 (In Topic #15087)
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Fan in action

Hi, I'm doing a little planning for the long term. My intention is to set up a collaborative learning environment for multiple trainings over time. Ideally:
  1. Each cohort is its own little universe, with forums, galleries, blogs, etc. Each cohort space is invisible to anyone outside the cohort.
  2. When someone subscribes to a particular training, they get access to that cohort space.
  3. Each student may have access to multiple cohort spaces. A single login gives access to all their trainings.
  4. I can easily duplicate a cohort space structure from a template that has key content but no student posts etc.
  5. There are several member levels: student, leader, facilitator, trainer; each has different posting, moderating, and editing privileges.
My question is, how is this best created? I'm sure I can create the learning environment I need with ocPortal for a single training, but how practical and scalable is this?

Would it be best to set up a different zone for each training? If so, how would the system handle, (and how would I best organize), dozens or even eventually hundreds of zones?

Or would it be better to do a fresh install in a separate subdirectory for each? If so, is it possible to have a single login for all the installations a member might have access to?

Thanks for any insight and suggestions!
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Posted
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#71751
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Community saint

Hi,
My tutoring website (A State of Mind - Web 2.0) is a virtual classroom support for my physical classroom. It has a setup similar to what you would like to achieve.

In order to accomplish this, I make use of 5 systems in combination:
  • The Zones (this enables me to create complete sub_websites with their own Themes, forums and comcode pages)
  • Comcode pages within zones, each with its own permission scheme
  • Usergroups each with its own forum and permissions (hidden or not)
  • Forums in full view, or hidden, each with its own set of permissions
  • Permission Tree (the easiest way to assign permissions across usergroups)
–Themes and Comcode Pages are easy to replicate and assigned to different zones.
–Usergroups permissions are highly flexible and cover all my needs.

All of this is fairly easy and without much coding necessary to implement, but I will not advance that it is a simple process; it will require hours of dedication to the task before and after implementation. My site's complexity is fairly low with only one out of 3 levels of courses completed, but I see no problem to be able to expand this further. However, realistically I must be prepared to employ a full time administrator and pay ocProducts to have it done in a more streamlined fashion if I plan to expand this into a business.

To keep my student interested, I continue adding new themes with zones to use them. The Internet coupled with graphic designs can transform boring centers of study into lively communities of likeminded students and ocPortal’s CMS binds it all up very nicely. Level 2 will see added integration with facebook and twitter and Level 3 will have each student create an ocPortal site linked to this one.
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Posted
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#71754
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Fan in action

Thanks Jean! I'm trying to wrap my head around your description, particularly the possible relationships among the various components. one question:

Can usergroups and their forums cross zone/course boundaries? In other words, some people in usergroup A are enrolled in course #1, while others in the same usergroup are enrolled in course #2.

My guess is yes, of course. The root site can have its own organization, and members/students of the main site will each have their individual subscriptions/permissions for specific courses, right?

I can see I really need to take time to map out the architecture of what I want to create. I have questions but they're half formed still. Will be messing around with it this week, to see what comes of trying things out.

I'm also thinking I might benefit from looking into how Moodle handles things like this. Are you familiar with that platform? It's designed specifically for education/classes, so might offer some structure ideas for designing the training areas.

Good luck with your tutoring. So you teach a face-to-face class and have your students interact online? your description of the three levels seems a bit like what I'm envisioning: teaching the basics, then advanced, then helping the students practice what they've learned by giving them their own web space to lead their own groups and trainings.

How will you decide when/how/if to really make a go of it as a business?
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Posted
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#71758
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Community saint

I have no experience with this but isn't this the purpose of multi-site networks?

Bob
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Posted
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#71759
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Community saint

joeshirley said

Can usergroups and their forums cross zone/course boundaries? In other words, some people in usergroup A are enrolled in course #1, while others in the same usergroup are enrolled in course #2. My guess is yes, of course. The root site can have its own organization, and members/students of the main site will each have their individual subscriptions/permissions for specific courses, right?

Yes, for instance I have:
  • Rank usergroups (cross-site regulating the levels of posting, editing and self-validating rights)
  • Tech-Level 1, level 2 and level 3 (with specific access to lessons)
  • Special Badges of Merits Usergroups (giving access to other pages and forums)
So a student will have privileges and access to certain zones and pages of the site depending on concurrent memberships to usergroups; each group having its own access rights.

 Yes, I’ve also looked at Moodle and found it to be, on the surface at least, exactly as what I wanted my site to do, but its level of details scared me away. I saw its potential as a great scheduler and good depository for documentation, but lacking the close contact element I needed to establish with my students on a more personal basis, which is the strength of ocPortal coupled with my familiarity with its modules.

I like what I see happening on my site and how much enthusiasm is generated by ideas such as the “point system” replacing exams and encouraging relevant posting of content. The “Gift” distribution promotes peer help and support in a manner I did not expect. Instead of seeing hard competition for points, this element encourages good deeds.

You might find Moodle to be best for what you have in mind if it has more to do with scheduling for teachers and students while establishing a source for textbooks; especially if you want to expand it to hundreds of classes, but my gut feeling is that at that stage what is more important than the apparent strength of the CMS is the possibility to pay its developer to get you safely to the kind of business level you want to achieve when you are ready. When you reach numbers as you have stated as your goal, you will need paid professional guidance no matter which program you decide to follow and I bet unequivocally on ocProducts for my future, based on the kind of commitment its owners consistently demonstrate.

joeshirley said

Good luck with your tutoring. So you teach a face-to-face class and have your students interact online? your description of the three levels seems a bit like what I'm envisioning: teaching the basics, then advanced, then helping the students practice what they've learned by giving them their own web space to lead their own groups and trainings.

Thanks, I think that a CMS is a great way to support teaching in any form, but the personal approach will be key to its success and that is a Monster of a Job, requiring dedication to the website beyond the call of duty.

I hope you find the correct platform Joe!:)

Cheers,
Jean
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