Forums | Mahara Community
Feature discussion: Make it easier to sort pages / collections
22 December 2013, 5:04 PM
This feature discussion is started on behalf of Christian Kleinhanss who sent it to me in German.
A teacher in Mahara tends to have a long list of own pages or of pages shared with a group. Thus, it can be difficult to find pages that they are looking for. It would be great if there were more sorting options available, e.g. by applying own tags (not just the author's tags) or being able to move pages / collections around so that you can group them according to your classes or when you need to give feedback on them etc.
Google Drive allows you to sort files into folders, but they are then essentially only tagged.
22 December 2013, 5:06 PM
You are right that it can be daunting to find pages / collections when you've been busy in your portfolio. Thus, better sorting options would be great. The current collections framework is not so suited for that because it is very restrictive (pages within a collection cannot be shared alone and it would be prohibitive to make changes how that works and thus needs to be completely rethought).
It will be necessary to think of grouping pages, having them in "collections", sorting them also from another user's perspective in a new way not based on the current collections framework.
Fire away your ideas, everyone. :-)
26 December 2013, 1:45 PM
Why not make "soft link collections" and "hard link collections"? In Linux / Unix operating system you can create a hard link for a file, which is physically pointing to the same file. The other is a soft link, where it is just a pointer to the file. Couldn't we implement the same concept with the collections?
29 December 2013, 6:57 AM
In Google drive I like the 'Activity' and 'Recent' sorting feature along with the 'last modified' etc sorting. Dragging pages into folders would be neat although I wonder how it would work if I make folders and organise my pages and collections one way and then I link pages via collection navigation in another way.
06 January 2014, 4:00 PM
Here is an example George Washington.
I am using several resources for learning about the American Revolution.
1. Liberty's Kids (tv show)
2. 50 Famous Americans (essays about different Americans)
3. Core Knowledge Sequence.
Each of those items is its own collection. When we do a lesson, we create a page. In those pages, I have sections titled "George Washington". Possibly I also put a tag on the page George Washington.
If I want to make a "soft link" collection of George Washington, I would be linking to pages in all three of the other collections. So physically (hard link) each of the pages is stored in its respective collection, but they also link (soft link) to the new collection about George Washington.
Does that example help?
06 January 2014, 5:37 PM
From an implementation standpoint, it'd be great if we could just make a change to the Mahara library that prints lists of things broken up into pages. It currently handles changing how many items per page to show, and recording which page you're on. It would be great to extend it to allow for some better filtering, searching, and sorting, in order to accommodate big lists of pages, collections, tags, files, groups, etc.
Of course it probably wouldn't be as simple as just changing the code. I haven't looked at our pagination system lately, but I wouldn't be surprised if this kind of change would require updating the page template and PHP script for every page that uses the pagination library. I think it would still probably be worth doing.
12 January 2014, 3:01 AM
A very important question! We use mahara at our university and teachers complain about not finding easily the pages students share with them especially if they teach several classes and use Mahara for all of them . We even have teachers who now refuse to use Mahara because of that :-(
We'd prefer having something like kind of folders the teacher can create and sort the shared pages into these.
Right now teachers advise students to name the pages after a certain system so they can at least filter these shared pages , but nonetheless it's still not very user-friendly.
It would also be a good idea to be able to kind of delete or ignore shared pages. Many students forget to withdraw the shared page so after teaching several semesters with mahara teachers have hundreds of shared pages.
20 January 2014, 3:07 PM
These ideas have been reported already, and we know of the problem with sorting own pages as well as shared pages. Unfortunately, it's not an easy thing to fix with the way pages and collections work at the moment.
Instead of giving the pages specific names, I'd suggest to work with tags because teachers can also filter according to those and students can give pages and collections as many tags as they want still allowing them to have individual page names.