Pedagogical Plan Manager
FAQ - Release: 1.0 Beta

  1. What is the Pedagogical Plan Manager?
  2. What browser can I use?
  3. What is a HiPP?
  4. What is a SNiPP?
  5. What are the different areas of the screen for?
  6. What is the structure manager?
  7. What is "Select View" for?
  8. What is the structure map for?
  9. What are the coloured bars on the left of the structure map?
  10. What is the "Passwords" window for?
  11. What is the extendible menu on the right for?
  12. What are the bubbles next to the content titles for?
  13. What is the "Delete" button for?
  14. What is the "Edit" button for?
  15. What is the "Add Item" button for?
  16. What is the "Reorder" button for?
  17. What is the "Inherit" button for?
  18. What is the "Comment" button for?
  19. How do I view a pedagogical plan?
  20. How do I create a new pedagogical plan?
  21. How do I delete my plan?
  22. How do I create a new SNiPP in my plan?
  23. How do I delete a SNiPP from my plan?
  24. How do I change the name of my plan?
  25. How do I modify the structure of my plan?
  26. How do I make hierarchical changes in the structure of my plan?
  27. How do I make sequential changes in the structure of my plan?
  28. How do I choose the fields I want to display in the content area?
  29. How do I enter data in a field?
  30. What kinds of data can I enter in a field?
  31. How can I edit data in a field?
  32. How can I add a comment to a field?
  33. How can I inherit data from another field?
  34. How do I set viewing and editing privileges?
  35. How do I print my plan?
  36. I'm having problems. What should I do?
  1. What is the Pedagogical Plan Manager?

    The Pedagogical Plan Manager is a tool designed for creating, editing and viewing pedagogical plans. To help manage various degrees of complexity in plans, the Manager adopts the notions Hierarchical Pedagogical Plan (HiPP) and Single-Node Pedagogical Plan (SNiPP). It is important to have a clear understanding of the notions HiPP and SNiPP, as these are keys terms adopted throughout the Pedagogical Plan Manager and in the support material.

    HiPPs are plans with a tree-like hierarchical structure. This structure is made up of one or more nodes called SNiPPs. Each SNiPP is a pedagogical plan in its own right and may also have its own child SNiPPs. In other words, a SNiPP can be the root node of a HiPP, and a HiPP may embrace part of a plan or the entire plan.

    The following image shows the pedagogical plan, the HiPP and the SNiPP, and how they relate.

    HIPP example

    ^^^

  2. What browser can I use?

    The beta version of the Pedagogical Plan Manager runs on Mozilla Firefox. Click here to download Mozilla Firefox for Windows, Mac OS X or Linux i686. Testing of the Pedagogical Plan Manager with other browsers is currently in progress.

    ^^^

  3. What is a HiPP?

    HiPPs are plans with a tree-like hierarchical structure. This structure is made up of one or more nodes called SNiPPs. Each SNiPP is a pedagogical plan in its own right and may also have its own child SNiPPs. In other words, a SNiPP can be the root node of a HiPP, and a HiPP may embrace part of a plan or the entire plan.

    ^^^

  4. What is a SNiPP?
    A SNiPP is a pedagogical plan in its own right and may also have its own child SNiPPs. In other words, a SNiPP can be the root node of a HiPP, and a HiPP may embrace part of a plan or the entire plan. For an illustration of this, click here.

    ^^^

  5. What are the different areas of the screen for?

    The editor screen is divided into four general areas:

    ^^^

  6. What is the structure manager?

    The structure manager allows you to view and build the structure of your plan. It is composed of:

    ^^^

  7. What is "Select View" for?
    Select View allows you to set the focus at HiPP or SNiPP level (see What is the Pedagogical Plan Manager?). Select the option you want in the Select View pull-down menu. In the structure manager a red border will appear around the active HiPP or SNiPP, whose contents will be displayed in the central area.

    ^^^

  8. What is the structure map for?

    The structure map is an interactive overview of the structure of your plan. It displays the view you have chosen with Select view (and consequently what is shown in the content area) and allows you to operate on the structure itself.

    ^^^

  9. What are the coloured bars on the left of the structure map?

    The coloured bars on the left of the structure map indicate the different levels into which the plan is structured. The top level (embracing the entire plan) is blue, and each subsequent level is represented by a different colour: green, orange, purple, and so on.

    ^^^

  10. What is the "Passwords" window for?

    The Passwords window is where you can manage passwords in order to set privileges respectively for viewing and editing your plan.

    ^^^

  11. What is the extendible menu on the right for?

    The expandable menu allows you to choose which particular plan descriptors to display for editing in the content area.

    ^^^

  12. What are the bubbles next to the content titles for?

    The yellow balloons next to the content titles in the central area indicate that a brief explanation of that field is available. To view it, hold the mouse pointer over the balloon and the explanation will appear in a pop-up window.

    ^^^

  13. What is the "Delete" button for?

    The Delete buttons in the content area remove the related item. When you click Delete, a prompt will appear asking you to confirm the deletion. Click OK if you want to proceed.

    Note that this will delete the SNiPP and any child SNiPP (i.e. it deletes the HiPP).

    ^^^

  14. What is the "Edit" button for?

    The Edit button opens the field editor and allows you to enter data in a field.

    ^^^

  15. What is the "Add Item" button for?

    Three fields (Subject Domains, Topics, Keywords) are structured as bulleted lists. When you are editing one of these fields and want to add a new item, click Edit, then Add Item and enter your text. Click OK to save.

    ^^^

  16. What is the "Reorder" button for?
    Three fields (Subject Domains, Topics, Keywords) are structured as bulleted lists. When you are editing one of these fields and want to change the order of the items, click the Reorder button and drag items up and down the list until you are satisfied with the new order. Click the Done Reordering button to save the list order.

    ^^^

  17. What is the "Inherit" button for?

    When editing a field, you can use the Inherit button to inherit automatically all the data bloc from the corresponding field in the parent SNiPP. In this way you can construct your plan in a top-down, cascade fashion.

    The inherit function inherits all the data from a given parent field and data can only be edited at its source (inherited data appear in grey in the content area to show that they are inactive). So if you use Inherit in fields that are bulleted lists (Subject Domains, Topics, Keywords) then the whole list will be automatically inherited en bloc.

    Note that the Inherit button is not available in:

    • the root SNiPP of your plan (there are no corresponding parent fields to inherit from);
    • the Identity>Title and Identity>Description fields;
    • the Tools and the Resources field sets.

    Note that light grey text indicates that the contents in that field have been inherited from the parent SNiPP.

    Note that if you want to reuse data from a different field in the same SNiPP or from the same field in a non-parent SNiPP (e.g. a sibling), simply copy and paste that data using the field editor or your computer clipboard.

    ^^^

  18. What is the "Comment" button for?

    You can add comments to the fields in any plan.Click on the Comment button to add your comment in the field editor. As with field contents, you can add text, images, hyperlinks and html code, and also attach files of various type. Click OK to save the data. These will appear above the field contents as indented italic text

    ^^^

  19. How do I view a pedagogical plan?

    The Pedagogical Plan Manager has a Viewer and an Editor. The viewer is presently under further development so we suggest you use the WYSIWYG editor environment for the moment.

    To view a plan, go to the home page and click Editor. You will see a list of pedagogical plans. Click on a title to open the plan, and then enter the required password.

    ^^^

  20. How do I create a new pedagogical plan?

    To create a new plan go to the home page and click Editor. Click the New button above the list of existing plans.

    A first pop-up will ask you to enter the default password; you will subsequently be able to personalise this in the Editor. For more on password protection, see: How do I set viewing and editing privileges?

    Enter the name of your new plan in the second pop-up box and click OK to confirm. The Editor will then open the new plan, which will contain a single SNiPP with the name you entered. This is the root on which you will build up a HiPP by adding other SNiPPs.The Pedagogical Plan Manager has a Viewer and an Editor. The viewer is presently under further development so we suggest you use the WYSIWYG editor environment for the moment.

    ^^^

  21. How do I delete my plan?

    To delete your plan you need to select the root SNiPP of your plan (in the structure manager) and then press the Delete button located to the right of the SNiPP's Identity Name in the content area. A prompt will appear asking you to confirm the deletion. Click OK if you want to proceed.

    ^^^

  22. How do I create a new SNiPP in my plan?

    To create a new SNiPP in your plan, click on the New button in the structure manager. Enter the name of your new SNiPP in the pop-up box and click OK to confirm. Your new SNiPP will appear at the bottom of the structure, and by default will be a "child" of the root. You can add as many SNiPPs to your plan as you like.

    ^^^

  23. How do I delete a SNiPP from my plan?

    You can delete a SNiPP from your plan by pressing the Delete button located to the right of its Identity Name in the content area. A prompt will appear asking you to confirm the deletion. Click OK if you want to proceed.

    Warning:

    if the SNiPP you want to delete has any child SNiPPs (i.e. if it is the root of a HiPP), then these will be deleted along with the parent. Thus, if the SNiPP you wish to delete is the root of the plan, the entire plan will be deleted.

    ^^^

  24. How do I change the name of my plan?

    The plan name can be modified by changing the name of the root SNiPP.

    Note that the change will only appear in the structure manager when you have refreshed the browser page.

    ^^^

  25. How do I modify the structure of my plan?

    You can modify the structure of your plan in the structure manager, which allows you to change both the hierarchy and the ordering within your plan. This gives you the flexibility you need to create exactly the kind of structure you want.

    ^^^

  26. How do I make hierarchical changes in the structure of my plan?

    To change the hierarchy within your plan, first click the Reorder button in the structure manager. Now click on the SNiPP you want to shift and drag it up or down the plan map. You will notice that as you drag over another SNiPP, that SNiPP is highlighted in blue to indicate a potential target position. If you drop on that target, your "uprooted" SNiPP will automatically become a child of this new parent, and will be positioned as the last child in the "family unit" (HiPP), i.e. after any siblings. Simply click on the SNiPP again and drag it to a new position if you are not satisfied with the result. When you want to save the new plan structure, click on the Done Reordering button in the structure manager.

    Tips:

    when making modifications, it is best to hold SNiPPs on the right-hand side of the map so that you can clearly see the target destination highlighted in blue.

    Warning:

    if the SNiPP you want to shift has any child SNiPPs of its own (i.e. if it is the root of a HiPP), then these will be shifted en bloc with the parent, as a family unit.

    ^^^

  27. How do I make sequential changes in the structure of my plan?

    To reposition a SNiPP anywhere in the structure, you need to drag and drop it on a new parent SniPP. When you do so, the "uprooted" SNIPP will automatically become the last child of the new parent , i.e. it will come after any other siblings in the "family unit".

    So to change the sequential order of SNiPPs at any given level in the hierarchy, you first need to identify the parent and then "shuffle" sibling SNiPPs via the parent until the desired sequence is obtained. This means that to shift a given SNiPP up the order, you will need to drag&drop a sibling onto the parent. That sibling will then go to the bottom and "push" your SNiPP up the order. Repeat this action until your SNiPP is in the desired position. Moving a SNiPP down the order involves dragging & dropping the SNiPP itself on the parent so that it goes to the bottom of the order. To achieve complex reordering at a given level in the hierarchy, you need to perform suitable up or down shifts, remembering that in order to get a particular SNiPP into a given position, you may need to operate on the siblings.

    Tips:

    when making modifications, it is best to hold SNiPPs on the right-hand side of the structure so that you can clearly see the target destination highlighted in blue.

    ^^^

  28. How do I choose the fields I want to display in the content area?

    The expandable descriptor menu on the right of the screen lets you choose exactly which fields you want to display in the content area at any given time. The descriptors are grouped into 4 sets (Identity, Rationale, Target, Specification), which in turn are divided into subsets. To open or close a set (or subset) of descriptors, click the white arrow in that set's name bar. To display or hide any descriptor in the content area, click its checkbox in the menu. If you close a (sub)set at a given point in the work session, its status will be retained when you reopen it.

    Note that when you open a plan, only the first descriptor set - Identity - is open, all other sets and subsets are closed. By default, each of the descriptors in Identity is initially checked so you can see the contents.

    ^^^

  29. How do I enter data in a field?

    To enter and edit a field in the content area, first ensure that its descriptor is checked in the descriptor menu. To activate a field for editing, click anywhere inside that field within the content area. When the field is activated, click on the Edit button and begin editing. Click OK to save.

    ^^^

  30. What kinds of data can I enter in a field?

    In all descriptive fields you can input:

    • text (written in the field editor or pasted from your computer's clipboard)
    • images
    • hyperlinks
    • html code

    You can also attach files of various type.

    ^^^

  31. How can I edit data in a field?

    Click the Edit button to open the editing window and enter data in the field. Use the options available in the tool bar to input and format data.

    Note that if you paste text that is already formatted, the field editor will ask you if you want to clean the HTML code; click OK to confirm.

    ^^^

  32. How can I add a comment to a field?

    You can add comments to any of the fields in your plan. Click on the Comment button in the field editor to add your comment. As with field contents, you can add text, images, hyperlinks and html code, and also attach files of various type. Click OK to save the data. These will appear above the field contents as indented italic text.

    ^^^

  33. How can I inherit data from another field?

    When editing a field, you can inherit automatically all the data en bloc from the corresponding field in the parent SNiPP. In this way you can construct Note that the Inherit button is not available in:

    • the root SNiPP of your plan (there are no corresponding parent fields to inherit from);
    • the Identity>Title and Identity>Description fields;
    • the Tools and the Resources field sets.

    Note that if you want to reuse data from a different field in the same SNiPP or from the same field in a non-parent SNiPP (e.g. a sibling), simply copy and paste that data using the field editor or your computer clipboard. In contrast with inherited data, data copied into another field can always be re-edited.

    Note that you will need to refresh the browser page before you can edit the field you have inherited from.Note that if you paste text that is already formatted, the field editor will ask you if you want to clean the HTML code; click OK to confirm.

    ^^^

  34. How do I set viewing and editing privileges?

    On the left-hand side of the editor screen under the structure manager is the Password window. This is where you can manage passwords in order to set privileges respectively for viewing and editing your plan.

    When you create a plan, you are required to insert a standard community password, which is automatically applied as the default read and write passwords. This gives your plan a standard level of protection: access is restricted to community members but any member can view your plan and edit it (e.g. to add comments).

    If you want a level of protection that is higher than this default level, you need to personalise your passwords. Personalising both view and to edit passwords will give you complete protection of your plan. If you personalise the edit password only, any member will be able to view your plan but will be unable to modify contents or add a comment.

    To personalise passwords, enter the password/s in the desired box and click on the Change Passwords button. A pop-up will appear, asking you: "Do you really want to change these passwords?" To confirm the changes, click OK; otherwise click Cancel.

    To revert from personalised to default password protection, click on the Change Passwords button and leave boxes empty. If you want to remove personalised view protection but maintain edit protection, enter the edit password only, leaving the view box empty.

    Warning:

    Personalised passwords cannot be retrieved so you are strongly advised to make a careful note of these when applying them. Obviously, only the accredited authors of a plan should modify passwords.

    ^^^

  35. How do I print my plan?

    To print your plan, simply use the Print function of your browser. This will give you a print out of all the fields currently displayed in the content area.

    ^^^

  36. I'm having problems. What should I do?

    If you experience technical difficulties using the Editor, first try refreshing the page in your browser. If the problem persists, contact remath_support@itd.cnr.it

    ^^^