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Student created alphabetical glossary

Student created alphabetical glossary

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Something that I often do with students create word banks around the language of a particular topic, unit or genre in English and History. I have found it useful for students to be able to research definitions of these terms and then share them as a class activity.

I have tried this as a discussion and it works okay, however, I have seen and used a glossary creator where items are linked alphabetically. It still allows the students to comment or add so it become the share activity would be great but indexed as a glossary., It then becomes a resource for the class for the unit.

Thanks

Adrian

6 Comments
James
Community Champion

Adrian ( @alee4 ),

Can you explain what it is you want that isn't accomplished by creating a content page and allowing students to edit it?

Content pages were originally designed to be wiki pages, although never as powerful as MediaWiki or other wiki systems, and much of the underlying code still refers to them that way. Most people don't use them as wiki pages and found that terminology confusing, so Canvas started calling them content pages or just pages.

Two issues I can think of from wiki pages are that they aren't graded assignments and it is difficult to determine who wrote what. The discussion would allow for grading, but you wouldn't want to take everyone's posts and make them the final definition and the content page allows for the best response to be retained. The page history shows when changes were made, but there is no quick view that shows just the differences between versions to identify who wrote what without looking through the entire page.

alee4
Community Member

Hi James,

The key aspect of my request is that it is able to be organised, searched labelled etc alphabetically so that it becomes a glossary / dictionary. 

Having it so you can track who has submitted, make comments on submissions etc in a similar way to a discussion would be good.

This would therefore allow multiple and simultaneous submissions that can sometimes 'lag' in an editable user page.

I have not really used this as an assignment or graded material but more an exercise / activity at the beginning of a unit to bring students into key words / terminology of the topic. The glossary can then be a useful resource for the rest of the unit. I would also interact to refine ideas and assist students develop their knowledge.

hope that clarifies a bit, thanks

Adrian 

James
Community Champion

Maybe I'm having a slow day in the understanding department, but I still don't see how what you're asking for is different from a content page that allows students to edit.

You can manually organize the content on the pages however you want including alphabetically. Very little in Canvas can be searched other than by using Ctrl+F (Cmd+F for mac) on a browser so that functionality exists as much as other places.

Sorting free-form information is difficult to do. It could be done with a list where there is some way of identifying the sort term (bold, span, a colon following) or a table. But for Canvas to supply this functionality would be challenging since different people organize their lists in different formats, which makes supporting it more difficult. Perhaps the simplest thing to do would be to sort alphabetically by whatever content is there, not paying attention to styling.

The dl, dt, and dd HTML tags are allowed by Canvas, so one could create a definition list. Those aren't supported through the editor menu, though, so they would need to be entered via the HTML editor. That can be challenging for students (anyone) to do. If it was an unordered (bullet) list, then Canvas wouldn't want to add sorting capability since, by definition, the list has no order to it. If it's an ordered list, I cannot see that Canvas would want to add sorting capability there either since presumably you put them in the order you want them in when you created the list.

What I've done in cases where I need to alphabetize a list is to copy/paste the information into Excel, where I can sort it, and then transfer it back to Canvas. That would work well when sorting by the text, no matter the styling. It could also work with paragraphs instead of just list items. You may need to go into the HTML editor mode and copy the tags before pasting into a spreadsheet. That way, any formatting and links would be retained.

alee4
Community Member

Hi James,

Getting close to the end of the school year - I understand your pain.

I was trying to have this discussion without mentioning the 'another platform' but . . .

In a previous school a few years ago we used Moodle as our lms. It contained a range of pre-made student activities, such as discussions and quizzes, one of which was / is a glossary creator. It was a convenient and effective student activity particularly at the beginning of a unit to have students work on the key terms of the topic.

the key point is not about the teacher alphabetising but the entry and maintaining of the information alphabetically - in a glossary. so it is searchable etc.

The entry of the information by students was very similar to a canvas discussion but link to an alphabetical search function A | B | C | D | etc. each of which are linked to the 

I will have a go at the page editing aspect but as you are indicating this is going to be done manually and will not be interactive. The reason I am asking if this could be considered because as a pre-made activity it is going to be easy to use. Iif I'm having to create a system where I link 26 pages etc that's going to be an enormous effort and relies on teachers knowing / and doing that repeatedly.

Thanks for your consideration and getting back to me. sounds like its not going to work.

Adrian

James
Community Champion

Thanks for the clarification. The only comprehensive LMS I've used is Canvas (I've used MediaWiki and written my own code), so I'm not aware of all the features other systems have. That helps put it into context.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Open for Conversation

Thanks for sharing this idea, @alee4 , and @James , thanks for getting the conversation going!