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Microsoft Sharepoint. What is it? How does it work? Where does it fit in the grand plan? . Example of a sharepoint page. Web Mediated Collaboration. Teachers, admin, support staff, students need to collaborate via the web. Free access front and back end is not enough

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Microsoft Sharepoint

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Microsoft sharepoint l.jpg

Microsoft Sharepoint

What is it? How does it work? Where does it fit in the grand plan?


Example of a sharepoint page l.jpg

Example of a sharepoint page


Web mediated collaboration l.jpg

Web Mediated Collaboration

  • Teachers, admin, support staff, students need to collaborate via the web.

  • Free access front and back end is not enough

    • Dangerous, chaotic, insecure, and too difficult

  • Some new pathways, short cuts, and restrictions can make this work.

  • Sharepoint, moodle, google, facebook, myspace, ….


Balance flexibility vs security l.jpg

Balance: Flexibility vs Security

Reliable storage, including version control, can also be incorporated in this system.

Version control complements reliable storage.

But less so when it is app-centric, as in Office.

Document locking, not shared access.


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Workflow: the document view, example: an exam

Can we guide the flow of a document – eg generate messages? Yes.

Can we prevent invalid pathways? Don’t know.

Do changes to the documents affect the path? No.

Support for forms?

Partial. Need infopath?


Workflow assessment vs study book l.jpg

Workflow: assessment vs study book

Contrast: Study Book under devt for 100+ hours..

Assessment: < 10 minsat most!

Assessment is so complicated, it is hard to cater for it in any general purpose CMS. These documents are transitory, not content.


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Workflow: the person view

The person-path tends tobe chaotic, and perhapsnot relevant. Or maybe we just don’t pay it enough attention?


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Sharepoint: what is it, really?

  • Web Server

    • Delivers web pages based on documents, scripts, and database content

  • SQL Database

    • Contains info about documents, users, projects (?), groups of users (?), pages

  • Scripts

    • Provides flexible delivery of content to pages; mostly built in, but can be crafted.

  • Documents

    • Users in groups, and have access rights and restrictions.

    • File locking and version control (app-centric).

  • Version Control

    • Provided by individual applications. Microsoft only. Less secure. Version control is Not Mandatory ?!

  • Workflow

    • Weakly supported;

    • Can work with Microsoft InfoPath.

Excludes users of firefox and linux (and mac?).

Sharepoint leverages theMicrosoft desktop and Infopath

Leverages sharepoint.


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Sharepoint’s paradigm

  • The server is on the desktop

  • Not exclusive to sharepoint

    • Similar to google’s net computer paradigm

    • Opposite emphasis.


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Alternatives to Sharepoint

  • For teaching material:

    • Moodle, Blackboard, WebCT, …, ICE.

  • Content Management Systems

    • More than 100 free and commercial CMS. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_content_management_systems

    • Drupal, mambo – both use apache, php, mysql.

We need more than one CMS.

Context dictates usage.

Compare: study book vs assignment.


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Alternatives: ICE, shpt, moodle, svn


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Conclusions

  • Sharepoint is a sort of CMS-light.

  • Flat learning curve for users.

  • Ideal for management document collaboration.

  • Leverages existing paradigms.

  • Microsoft-only discourse re-inforced.

    • Local expertise may be discounted.

  • Weak support for customization, eg workflow.

  • Beach-head for Microsoft Infopath.


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Conclusions: 2

  • Users can use more than one CMS at once.

  • The choice of CMS should be tailored to the workflow patterns, pathways, and performance objectives of the work it serves.


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