While working at Franklin University, my team was tasked with creating a discussion board for Sandbox, the software platform from which courses are created; a separate component of myFranklin4. After studying the current bulletin board’s functionalities and conducting research to find out the needs of course designers, I pitched a new interface that would function like the rest of the Sandbox interface.
The initial bulletin board wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. Discussions were hard to follow visually and metaphorically. The nesting of comments was never-ending and the conversations resembled that of a group of high school females jumping from topic to topic in a matter of a seconds.
The Sandbox interface was an object-oriented structure. So a discussion needed to focus not only on the class in general, but an object that made up the class: homework, topic, question, theory, etc. The discussion then would be an object attached to one of those objects and objects can be referenced.
Professors needed the opportunity to track a student’s participation in a discussion for a participation grade or an assignment.
Students and Professors alike needed to be able to follow the discussion with ease and avoid repeating theories/points. Even the capabilities of posting within a discussion needed to be examined. Editing, creating and the deleting were all business rules that needed to be looked at from a coding standing point, classroom, student and faculty needs.