Frequently Asked Questions
What is Plone?
Plone is a open source software content management system. We are running Plone version 2.0.5 which is available for a free download and use from www.plone.org. For more information on Plone, please contact the mothersite.
Why can't I see the site correctly?
Plone 2.0.2. runs correctly only on certain types of web browsers. We recommend Mozilla Firefox (available for a free download on the internet) as the ideal browser to view out site in. If you are using Internet Explorer make sure the version is 6.0 or above and for Netscape users it should be 2.0 and above.
Why don't I see all the components of the site?
The CSCS courseware is designed specifically for the students who are taking the courses with us. While we do have some guest area for exploration, most of our courses and resources are not available freely. If you have already registered with CSCS for its courses, please login using your unique Id and Password and you will have access to all the relevant data on the site. If you are a new user interested in accessing CSCS courseware please write to the admin: [email protected]
I am logged in. Why can't I still access all the components of the site?
The CSCS courseware recognizes five categories of users:
1. Administrator: With an administrator password you have full control over the site, its back-end, user-end, other people’s objects etc. The Administrator has supreme power over all the objects defined in the site and can change, alter, delete or add at will. If you are using an administrator password, please make sure that you use it responsibly because the changes that you make might affect the global site as well as violate user rights.
2. CSCS faculty: The CSCS faculty has rights and control over all the CSCS material on the site. Along with the courseware, they also have access to the administrator’s calendar and they can upload material, make announcements, publish news, delete user defined information, create Discussion Boards, set preferences for their courses, upload material to the Comprehensive Reading Database, etc. The CSCS faculty however, does not have control over the design of the site and cannot enter the backend technicalities. If for some reason, you feel the need to access the backend and customize it for your needs, please get in touch with the administrator: [email protected]
3. Course Faculty: The Course faculty includes of all people responsible for teaching and implementation of the different online courses that CSCS runs. The course faculty has control over their own user defined objects and the courses that they are responsible for. They cannot change and alter other faculty members’ courses or folders. They have access over the comprehensive reading database and can add or delete material from it. They can also edit existing courses, discussion forums, news, announcements, etc. The course faculty additionally has access to Submitted assignments by the students and they will have the power to either Publish or reject the assignments.
4. CSCS Students: Those students at CSCS who are not responsible for teaching but are registered with CSCS at four different levels – the undergraduate certificate course, the Master’s course in cultural studies, the diploma in cultural studies or the doctorate in cultural studies / film studies, will have a limited access to the CSCS courseware. They will largely have reading rights where they will not be able to edit the existing contents. The three areas where the CSCS students have editing/creating rights are in Assignments, Discussion Boards and their profile pages. CSCS students will have access to all the material relevant to their courses and will be able to download all of it on to their local machines. If you need to add any material or to edit some existing data, please contact the administrator with your specific request.
Where am I in the site?
In your web-browser you will be able to see, a navigation bar running across your screen horizontally. Within this navigation bar, you can see the number of levels you have gone through and locate your position in the site. Plone necessarily runs on a tree structure where you access the largest folder first and then go into the specific sub-folders as required.
On the left hand side of your screen is a vertical box that also shows you the available spaces you can go to and your current position within the site. You can always use this space to navigate directly to your desired destination.
How do I upload new material to the site?
Please make sure that you have the necessary permissions to upload new material to the CSCS courses. Go to the Comprehensive Reading Database (CRD). The CRD consists of four different sections: Text archives, moving images archives, still picture archives and sound archives. Please select the data type of your material and enter the required folder. CSCS has standardized the nature of data that you can upload and make sure that your material is compliant to the standards. Your text material needs to be in a .pdf format. Your moving images material needs to be in a .mpeg format. Your pictures or still images need to be in a .gif format. Your sound material needs to be in a .mp3 format. Please ensure that your material is suitably formatted.
Once you have reached the folder where you need to upload your material, do the following:
1. Please ensure that you are not duplicating the material that already exists in the database.
2. Click on the tab below the navigation bar marked ADD. You will have a drop down menu that allows you to add different data.
3. Select DOCUMENT for text files, PICTURE for still images, and FILE for moving images and sound documents.
4. You will now have a new page opening which will ask you for the metadata of the information. Please fill in an eight digit code without any special characters in it. The eight digit code generally includes the name of the author/essay and the course title number.
5. Please enter a name for the file. This is the name that will appear on the web browser panel when the file is accessed.
6. Please enter the small description or abstract for the file – This is what appears before one starts downloading the file and makes browsing and downloading options easy.
7. If you have data which needs to be typed in, please use the text box for the content. Otherwise, go down, select STRUCTURED TEXT as your text format.
8. Click on BROWSE. A new browse pop-up will appear on your screen and allow you to navigate to where the file you want to upload resides. Double click the file.
9. You will see the local URL for the file in the BROWSE box. Click on UPLOAD.
10. Depending on the size of the file and the speed of your connection, uploading can take a long time, up to fifteen minutes. The upload size limit is currently set to 25 MB and you will not be able to upload material larger than that in the same instance. Once your file is uploaded, you will see a new page which shows the description of the file and the link to downloading the file.
11. Please make sure that the link works and that your file is in the shape and format you want it to be in.
12. On the right hand side of your tab-bar, please change the STATE of the document and select PUBLISH. The file will not be publicly accessible till you make it into a publish state.
13. If due to some reasons, the file does not appear to be in order, please repeat the process.
14. In case of any problems, please contact the administrator: [email protected]
What are States?
Plone is primarily a publishing tool and allows for different kinds of public and private access to the documents created by different users. Here is a brief description of the different states that this plone site uses:
1. Private: Private means that the file is visible and accessible only to the user who has created the particular document. You can make changes, edit till you are satisfied with the document in the Private state. It is a state that is preferred for work in progress or files which you do not want to share with anybody else. Note: The administrator will still have access over these files and documents and can change/delete them as might be required.
2. Visible: This is the state where you might want to share your documents/assignments with people who have the same login permissions as you. A visible document is shared only by a limited number of people and not available to the public.
3. Publish: This is the state where the document is now available and shared with other uses of the site depending upon the kind of permissions that are available on the folder within which the document is stored.
1. Private: Private means that the file is visible and accessible only to the user who has created the particular document. You can make changes, edit till you are satisfied with the document in the Private state. It is a state that is preferred for work in progress or files which you do not want to share with anybody else. Note: The administrator will still have access over these files and documents and can change/delete them as might be required
2. Submit: Once you are sure that your assignment is in the state which you want to submit it, select the submit tab and it will be available to the relevant Teaching Assistant/Faculty for evaluation. Once you have submitted the assignment you can no longer edit or make changes in it.
3. Accept: The T.A. and Faculty members will get a list of the submitted assignments when they login. The list will appear on the left hand side corner near the calendar. Once you have read and evaluated the assignment, please select ACCEPT which will automatically publish the assignment and make it public.
4. Retract: If the T.A. / Faculty members are not satisfied with the assignment, they can choose RETRACT as the state, in which case, it will be sent back to the student who will then be asked to re-submit the assignment after re-working on it.
What are the recognized categories while adding courses to the CSCS site?
Within CSCS courseware we have devised a certain way of understanding and creating our courses. Following the tree structure that Plone provides us with, we have a similar system for our courses.
1. The largest course folder is the title of the course. For example M.A. Online in Cultural Studies. Select the course for which you are adding the courseware. If the course does not exist and you are designing a new course, please go to the ADD tab and select COURSEWARE to proceed with the new course.
2. Within the course folder, we have several papers that constitute the course. The Papers are identified with a unique number and a title. For example: 101 Theories of Culture. If a paper does not already exist, please go to the ADD tab and select COURSE PAPER to proceed with the new paper.
3. Each course is further subdivided into Modules. The Modules contain reading material, assignments, mediated texts, hyperlinks to other sites and cyberspaces, etc. Each Module is identified by a number and the date on which it commences. If a Module does not already exist, please go to the ADD tab and select COURSE MODULE to proceed with the new Module.
4. Discussion Forums are connected with the Course Papers and thus we should have on discussion forum per paper in a course. The discussion forums are available in the public and hence not contained within the COURSE folder. Please go to HOME and select ALL DISCUSSION FORUMS to detect the DISCUSSION FORUM of your choice or to add new discussion forums, depending upon your permissions.
How do I add a new course?
You cannot add a new course anywhere except in the folder marked CSCS Education Initiatives Programme. You can add a new course only if you are the Administrator or CSCS faculty. If you have any other queries please contact the administrator [email protected]
Adding a course:
Step 1: Go to the folder marked CSCS Education Initiatives Programme.
Step 2: Click on the tab marked “ADD NEW ITEM” and a drop down box will appear. Select “COURSEWARE.”
Step 3: A new window will open which will ask you for the name of the course, the title and the basic description of the course. Fill in the appropriate details and the detailed description of the course.
Step 4: Alternately, for the detailed description you can also upload a word document saved as .rtf file. To save your word document as a .rtf file, just open the word document, go to FILE, do SAVE AS, and select RICH TEXT FORMAT. To upload the file, click on the button marked UPLOAD and browse to the desired document. Click on OK.
Step 5: Your document will have uploaded. Note: Uploading a document will replace all the data that has been entered into the DETAILED DESCRIPTION area. Change the STATE of the courseware.
How do I add a new course paper?
You can add a new course paper only within a defined courseware. To add a new course paper you need to have the name and the number of the paper, the description of the course paper, a reading list for the course paper and the names of the Faculty and Teaching Assistants for the course.
To Add a course paper:
Step 1: Got to the COURSEWARE to which the paper belongs.
Step2: Click on the tab marked “ADD NEW ITEM”. A drop down box will appear. Select “COURSE PAPER” A new window will open up. Please fill in all the required details.
Step3: A list of Teaching Faculty and assistants is already provided. Please select the names from the list.
Step 4: Please fill in the detailed description of the course paper. Alternately, for the detailed description you can also upload a word document saved as .rtf file. To save your word document as a .rtf file, just open the word document, go to FILE, do SAVE AS, and select RICH TEXT FORMAT. To upload the file, click on the button marked UPLOAD and browse to the desired document. Click on OK.
Step 5: Your document will have uploaded. Note: Uploading a document will replace all the data that has been entered into the DETAILED DESCRIPTION area. Change the STATE of the course paper.
How do I add a new course Module?
You can add a new course module only within a defined course paper. To add a new course module you need to have the name and the number of the module, the description of the course module, a reading list for the course module, assignments/exercises for the course module, and the names of the Faculty and Teaching Assistants for the course.
To Add a course paper:
Step 1: Go to the COURSEWARE to which the paper belongs. Go to the desired COURSEPAPER.
Step2: Click on the tab marked “ADD NEW ITEM”. A drop down box will appear. Select “COURSE MODULE” A new window will open up. Please fill in all the required details.
Step 3: Please fill in the detailed description of the course paper. Alternately, for the detailed description you can also upload a word document saved as .rtf file. To save your word document as a .rtf file, just open the word document, go to FILE, do SAVE AS, and select RICH TEXT FORMAT. To upload the file, click on the button marked UPLOAD and browse to the desired document. Click on OK. Click on SAVE.
Step 4: Your document will have uploaded. Note: Uploading a document will replace all the data that has been entered into the DETAILED DESCRIPTION area. Change the STATE of the course paper.
Step5: To add the exercises click on the EDIT tab. Click on EXERCISES. A new window will open up and you will be able to upload or add the exercises as desired. The procedures of uploading EXERCISES are the same as mentioned in STEP 3 and STEP 4.
How do I submit an assignment?
Assignments are the exercises related to each of the modules. While submitting your assignments, please make sure that you are submitting the write assignment for the correct module. To submit your assignment, go to the desired course.
Step 1. Select the folder marked ‘Assignments for all modules.’ Select the tab marked “Add course assignment submission.” A new window will open up. In the code name put your CSCS user id and the assignment number.
Step 2. Give the title of your assignment in the field marked ‘TITLE.’ Add the keywords or the abstract to your assignment in the next field.
Step 3. In the field titled body, type out your assignment. You can alternately also UPLOAD your assignment from an MS WORD document.
Step 4. Once you are sure that you have made all the changes that you desire in your assignment, change the state of the assignment to SUBMIT.
Please remember that once you have submitted your assignment you cannot make any more changes to it. Your assignment will be then accepted or rejected by the concerned faculty and comments will be given to you.
What is the review list?
You are seeing the review list because you are responsible for a course that is being run on the CSCS site. The review list largely consists of assignments and announcements submitted by the students and to be reivewed before the published stage. To check whether a particular assignment belongs to the module/course you are responsible for, please hover your mouse over the assignment in the review list and you will see a yellow widget that shows you where the assignment belongs to.
Once you have read the assignment please either select ACCEPT or RETRACT depending on your evaluation of the assignment. Remember that once you ACCEPT the assignment it will reach a final stage where no editing can be done. Also please assure that you evaluate and ACCEPT only the assignments you are responsible for.
Once a submission has been accepted, it will no longer show in the review list but will appear in the ALL ASSIGNMENTS folder, associated with its module/course.
What does the EDIT tab do?
The EDIT tab allows you to make changes, delete data, or add data to the existing material.
What are my editing options?
The editing options are available only to CSCS FACULTY and COURSE FACULTY in the site. The editing options allow you to change any existing modules/papers/courses that you might be responsible for, including deleting them. Please realize that though the undo option for deletion is available, it is does not function for certain kinds of deletion. Make sure your deletion is final as and when you do it. We maintain a log of all the activities that take place on the site and each action can be traced back to the user.
There is also a universal editing option which is available to all the registered users of the site. These are editing options for the objects that you own. Thus, assignments, announcements, discussion forum texts etc. which you have created, you can edit and delete as per the settings of the folders.
Can I make repeated changes to existing objects?
Yes, you can. Depending upon the privileges attached with your login, you can make as many changes to the existing objects as you want. It is a good idea to keep an object private till you have made all the necessary changes and arrived at a final draft. Make the Object VISIBLE, PUBLISHED or PROTECTED only when you are sure that you have made most of the changes in the object.
Can I undo the changes that I make?
You can undo the changes that you make to the existing objects. However, please realize that the site is designed to parse off undo commands which regularly and it is possible that you might sometimes not be able to undo the actions that you have taken. It is always good, in times of deletion, to keep a backup copy of the material that you are deleting.
How do I add text to the text box?
Currently we have two kinds of text boxes for most of the objects. Entering data in both the text boxes is easy. Just point your cursor to the empty area and start typing. However, there is a small formatting difference between the two types.
The text box with brief descriptions do not have advanced formatting options.
The detailed descriptions, on the other hand, allow you to do advanced formatting which you can either do via the external editor or by copying and pasting the text from a .rtf word document into the area.
How do I activate my rich text editor?
To enable or disable your rich text editor, in the Member’s area at the top left of your screen, please click on MY PREFERENCES. Go to PERSONAL PREFERENCES. Under CONTENT EDITOR, select EPOZ as your desired editor. Once you have done that, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on SAVE. From now on, wherever applicable, the rich text editor will automatically open.
How do I hyperlink?
There are two kinds of hyperlinks that you will be providing in the unfolding of your material. The easiest way of hyperlinking is to use the rich text editor for the task. Just select the text or part of text that you want to link to another object. Click on the icon that says “LINK” in the external editor panel. Provide the URL of the object there and click OK. A hyperlink will be automatically formed.
If you are linking to an object within the site, make sure that the object is uploaded in its proper destination. Once the object has been uploaded, RIGHT CLICK on the Object and select the option of “COPY LINK LOCATION.” Go to the external editor and press CTRL+V and you will have copied the URL into the box. Press Ok and the Link will be formed.
How do I search through the site?
We are currently working on a search application which will search throughout the different sites that CSCS manages. In the meantime, we have a search option that does a brute force search across the contents of this particular site. Just type in your search parameters and press search. A page with the results will be displayed.
Please note that only Published and protected items will be searched and displayed. It is possible that though the item is listed in the search result, you might not have rights to access it because of its Protected status. If you need to access the item, please get in touch with the administrator at [email protected] for further information.
What is a Discussion Forum?
A Discussion Forum is an online platform where the users belonging to similar courses can come together and initiate discussions about the different details within the courses. Each course paper in the different programmes will have separate discussion forums where the users can interact with each other. Each discussion forum has its independent set of guidelines and please make sure you follow these guidelines or your rights to the use of the forum might be revoked. You can access the Discussion Forums available to you by going to “CSCS Educations Initiative Programme” and clicking on “Discussion Forums.” Once you have the list of available Discussion Forums, click on the desired Discussion Forum to participate in the conversations there. If you think that you belong to a certain Discussion Forum but are unable to access it, please contact the administrator at [email protected] with the problem.
How do I add a new topic to the Discussion Forum?
All the registered users are allowed to add a new topic to the discussion forums to which they have access. Which means that though you might be able to access discussion forums for other courses, you might not be able to add new topics there.
To add a new discussion topic, go to the concerned discussion forum and click on “POST NEW ITEM”. In the new window that opens up, you can either type out your data or upload it from an existing document.
You can navigate through the Discussion Forum using the “JUMP TO” option.
In order to set up your personal preferences for the Discussion Forum, please go to MY PREFERENCES and click on FORUM PREFERENCES. Once you have chosen the preferences, click on SAVE and the preferences will be applicable till you change them again.
How do I reply to a thread in the Discussion Forum?
To reply to a post, click on the option marked “REPLY TO THIS POST” which is available over every individual posting on the discussion forum. You can also read the entire post by clicking on that option.
What are the platforms that you are using for the online chats?
Currently we do not have out own chat software and hence we are using the Yahoo Messenger for our regular chats. To download Yahoo messenger please visit http://messenger.yahoo.com/ and download the free messenger that is available there. If you are unable to install or use the yahoo messenger please let us know immediately and we will make alternative arrangements for you.
How do I start/join new chat sessions in the Yahoo Messenger?
Step 1: Please ensure that you have the latest version of the Yahoo messenger running on your desktop. The latest version of the Yahoo! messenger (YIM) is available for a free download at http://messenger.yahoo.com/. click on GET IT NOW and when another window opens up on your monitor, please choose the option of SAVE IT TO DESK. Once the YIM has been downloaded, click on the icon in order to install it on to your machine. If you are not sure of what installations you want, it is safe to choose the CUSTOM INSTALL option.
Step 2. Once the YIM is installed on to your desktop, click on the YIM icon on the desktop. Alternately, you can also run the YIM through the icon that appears in your icon tray at the bottom right corner of your monitor, just next to the time displayed.
Step 3: In the YIM login window, please type in your user name (example: John_smith) and the password. Please make sure that you type in only the user name and not tag an @ address behind it. In other words your user name can be John_smith but not [email protected]. If you are on a public computer do not use the options of REMEMBER MY NAME AND PASSWORD or AUTOMATICALLY SIGN IN. Please always make sure that you do NOT SIGN IN AS INVISIBLE if you are logging in for a CSCS chat.
Step 4: Once you have logged in you will see the list of people in your friends' list (please make sure that you have all the cscs students and facutly added in your friends list) who have already logged in. Go to CONTACTS and chose the option of INVITE TO CONFERENCE.
Step 5: A new window will open on your desktop. the new window shall show you all the people who are logged in and can be invited to the conference. From under the MESSENGER LIST, click on all the names (you can select multiple names by pressing CTRL key and clicking on the name with the mouse) you want to invite to the conference and click on ADD. Once you have selected all the members you want to invite, click on INVITE.
Step 6. This shall open a new conference window where all the users who have been invited can get talk together and carry on the chat. Once inside the conference window, a user can easily invite anybody else that they want to come and join the chat. As and when new people log in, they can be invited into the chat.
Step 7. To carry out personal conversations with the users, click on their name as they appear on the right hand side panel and a new Instant Messaging window will open up where the student and the instructor can carry out a private conversation. Please remember that none of these conversations are archived and it is necessary for the TA to do a select all and copy the conversation (public conversation) into a .doc file and save it for future reference.
Ste 8. If a student is unable to get the invite and join the conference just ask him/her to log in and log out agian. It is requested that everybody logs in at least five minutes before the scheduled time to make sure that everything is in order.
How do I submit my assignments?
I already have an existing Yahoo Id. Can I use it for the CSCS chats as well?
No. As we use the CSCS chats for classroom simulation, we would prefer it if we could identify all the users and also if you could give undivided attention to the chat in progress. Once you are enrolled in a course, we will open new yahoo Ids for you and send you the user ids and the passwords by mail. Your Yahoo chat id and your CSCS user ids will generally be the same. We also need to archive the scheduled chats and evaluate the participation of different students and hence the ids we provide must be used for all official chats unless otherwise specified.
How do I make an announcement?
The privilege of making an announcement is limited to a few registered users and you might not be able to make a new announcement. If you have something that needs to be shouted out, contact a TA or the admin and let them have the contents.
If you are allowed to make announcements, make sure that you make them in the folder marked ‘ANNOUNCEMENTS’. Click on the tab marked “ADD AN ITEM” and select ‘Announcement’. Fill in the details and click on SAVE. Check that all the data you have entered is adequate and make the announcement PUBLISHED or PROTECTED as per its nature.
If you do not give an expiry date to the assignment the default expiry date is one day from the time of its beginning.
How do I use the calendar?
When you go to the main page at cscs-archive, you have the option of two different calendars. There is a small calendar which is available for general purpose viewing and shows the important announcements for the day. To know the schedule for the day, just hover your mouse over the desired day and a pop up will show the details. Alternately, you can also click on the day and see all the events scheduled for the day.
The calendar has been designed to incorporate in it, all the announcements and news published on the site.
Once you have logged in, you can also use a different calendar view. On your HOME page, scroll down in the left hand navigation tree and click on the link titled DETAILED CALENDAR. Depending upon your permissions, you will see the things that are relevant to you. You can also add and delete events depending on your access rights.
Can I share my user Id and password with somebody else?
We would strongly dissuade you from sharing your password with anybody else. Please remember that your passwords often come with privileges that might make drastic changes in the structure of the site or the data within it. We keep a track of all the actions taken on the site and if we find harmful or undesirable activities by your id we will hold you responsible for them. Sharing of the password makes you vulnerable to such kind of behaviour which you might not be directly responsible for. We strongly suggest that you change the original password we send to you and keep it a secret.
Can I replicate your Plone courseware for my use?
No. The courseware is only available for online use. If you need to use it differently, please contact us.