The Ensemble Design and Development Effort

The Ensemble project seeks to provide to resources and services of use to computing educators at all levels. The purpose of this group is to support the design and development of the Ensemble product. Membership will be granted to any who wish to contribute. There are subareas for various parts of the project. This is the overview group.

A workspace for the Ensemble team

How do I change how often I receive e-mails?

Default settings

  1. To change the default settings, click on “Edit” at the top of your account page.
  2. Scroll down to near the bottom of the form; you'll see a box called “Messaging and notification settings”.
  3. The “default send interval” is usually initially set to “immediately”.  If you would rather not get messages immediately when content is published, and would rather receive e-mails all at one time every so often, you can choose a different default send interval, such as hourly daily, weekly, etc. 
  4. If you choose something other than “immediately”, you might want to consider receiving your notifications as a digest, which means one long e-mail containing many updates, instead of one e-mail per update.  The next page contains directions on how to set up a digest.
  5. Save the changes by scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking “Save”.
  6. This changes your default settings, not the settings for the notifications you're already signed up for.  The next page explains how to change your existing notifications.

Existing Notifications

  1. Click on “Notifications” at the top of your account page.
  2. Click on “groups” on the next line down.
  3. Change "Send interval" for the "Type" of content you want to be notified.

How can I receive multiple updates in one e-mail?

  1. Click on “Subscriptions at the top of the account page
  2. Click on “Settings” near the bottom of the page
  3. If you choose “digest mode”, you will receive one e-mail containing all of the updates that have happened since your last e-mail.  If you don't have that box checked, you'll receive one e-mail for each update.
  4. Click "Save" at the bottom of the page.


Can I receives update some way other than e-mail?

 Yes, you can, if you have a Twitter account set up.

  1. Click on “Edit” at the top of your account page.
  2. Scroll down to near the bottom of the form; you'll see a box called “Messaging and notification settings”.
  3. To change the default settings, click on “Edit” at the top of your account page.
  4. Scroll down to near the bottom of the form; you'll see a box called “Messaging and notification settings”
  5. The “default send method” will usually be “Mail”, which means an e-mail sent to the e-mail address associated with your account.  If you have a Twitter account and enter that information in your profile, your default could also be a Twitter message instead.


2009-10-01 Conference Call Meeting Notes

Instrumentation discussion

  • Boots: Dan's demo on rewards went over well @ ACM Ed Council Meeting
  • Dan:  It is up on the production site.  
  • Boots: now live, but not visible unless you know the link.
  • Dan: Server was buggy but updating systems seems to have fixed it.
  • Dan's demo should be part of the presentation at the meeting next week. (Dan: I'd be happy to do that)
  • Lois: Rewards and instrumentation.  List of names, not a header that identifies what this is from.  Links should be in ensemble (i.e., in fedora)
  • Boots: Not sure SIGCSE list needs to be in fedora
  • Lois: "In fedora" = metadata links
    (Whole SIGCSE list archive.)
  • Lois: Metadata, not the whole resource. 
  • Ed: status of the backup of resources at the San Diego Super Computing Center?
    • Cache with some policies for replicating things that are important.
    • Making things searchable and browsable through our user interfaces.
    • Instrumentation is summarizing data from the repository. Click on the link to the actual data.
  • Ed: Merger of data collection activities.  Objects elsewhere, metadata at Ensemble, union of all the activity in all the sites.
  • Boots:  Is there a privacy issue?  Should people be able to opt out?  Feature request: Profile.  Persistent personal preferences (e.g., opt out), photo, personal information (to build community).

How do we record bugs and features?

Meeting Preparation

  • Lois: Suggestion for the agenda for the meeting.  Group things together and have each presenter says 
    • Here's what we're doing
    • Here's what we plan to demo in November
    • Here's what we have in mind for the future/research
  • Rick: Need to have content flowing into the website, preferably by next week.
  • Ed: Need a curator for every collection that is large or seems to be important. 
  • Rick: Broader term for content.  Things that are highlighted on the website.
  • Ed: Talking about the collection, but we need both.
  • Rick: setting up an editorial process
  • Ed: Example.  In CITiDEL project.  History collection, not taken care of.  Syllabus collection.  Both need oversight.  
  • Lois: OAI harvest.  Do you find out about things that are now gone.  
  • Ed: Harvest only deals with the metadata records.  
  • Lois: Do you know if the metadata that you got earlier is gone.
  • Ed: Request new records, do not get updates of older material status.  Add-only model.  
  • Draft agenda included below. Discussion followed.

2009-10-29 Meeting notes

Groups - where do they appear in the site organization.

Lois: What do you see when you log in?
Ability to use breadcrumbs for group names.
Groups and subgroups.
Posting these as suggestions.
Villanova needs to review and take steps to make it happen.

If you click on groups, you see all of them. Too many.

Team members as admins see all.

One site or multiple sites?
If we move to multiple sites, what are the advantages and disadvantages.

Cross site search experience (Rick)
Each site has the same stuff installed.
Multiple sites not planned in that case, but might be added.
How easy or difficult is it to switch from one context to another?
Portland State is using multiple site.
Single drupal install, but each has its own database. Share schemes and branding, but the sites appear to be separate.
This is not something we can do with before November.

(Lois) Looked at breadcrumbs and display of top level of each set.
FOCES and Development are top level groups.
-- Boots --> Check with students about implementing the breadcrumbs and hierarchy. Get this done now.

No Case Tracker unless on the development group.

Simplify the list of items for how to create things.

Tab for Use our Tools
From PS: Two items about tools that are available.

Peter -- Tool to create examples. Then they can be donated to the collection. Will send the URL now so we can test the process.

Rick -- Were talking about the front page, now about what happens when we go through the arches. Should we have subeditors for each of these areas.
--- Greg and Frank for Tools
--- Boots + ? for communities
--- Rick + ? for resources

Under communities -- information needed about the communities.

Some are on the boundary of collection or community. The one that have no other place to be are in the community. Start by making the community be groups that do not have other homes.
Some may be on both sections -- both community and collection.
If they want to store files on the system, they are a community.
Some things may belong in both places.

What will be live in the alpha site?
We need something related to the rewards.

In Tools section, some things and some "coming soon."
Rewards and instrumentation -- show under tools or communities? both?

Lois: Feedback. Feedback on any page.

Activate comments on any and all parts. Feedback without logging in, use the checker to make sure there is no automated feedback spam. (Lois will look into that.)

Need editor for comments. One of the students?
Gather the comments, have students do the first check. Is there a way to bring all the comments to one place for review?

Check with FOCES and ACM about comments.
Comments enabled by default. Can be turned off.

Should we reduce the the number of content options to two -- one allows comments and one that does not? Perhaps more than that. Maybe include story and forum topic. Page (no comment) Page (w/comment), Story, Forum.

Peter -- need taxonomy of content types to aid in search.

Practical question -- What are we going to present in the resources area? Jumping off point to look at these things. Need an organization so we have a place to put things as we add them. Need a migration plan for when we get more resources to organize.
Start with the current list approach. Consistent look for all of the areas.

Replicate the boxes that are there.
Take the rotating box from the home page and put it on the first page behind the arch. Need a landing page for resources, one for communities, and one for tools. Make a template. Take the current computing resources page and make that the template. Add the rotating box. Tell us how to update it. Include a "coming soon" section on each page.

Next -- make a consistent way to update that page.

Lois - travel schedule - at VT on Monday, November 16. Will travel to Washington with Ed from there.

2010-06-28 Focus Group of CS4HS @ Cal Participants (High School Teachers)

What would you want from an online resource?

  • College credit and recovery
  • Connects me with my next level, user friendly for teacher
  • Online AP CS course
  • Tutorial for something (kid out for a week, for them)
  • Scope and sequence for a new AP textbook
    • As I upload my work, I connect it with a resource
  • Well-documented projects
    • Students can see how everything is linked together
  • Sections of information about CS that apply to non-CS courses
    • English teacher
  • Projects that relate to the experiences of the kids
  • Exciting projects and a chance to come together and show the projects
  • Online collaboration space for students
  • Subversion repository for student projects
  • One stop shop of "where to go find stuff"
    • How to build your own Moodle, etc.
    • I learn things by delayed word of mouth
    • Distribute information about new material
  • Concept map for Scratch
    • Community to help develop it, concept map, assess kids coming in to figure out how to scaffold
  • Hosted videos of final project demo
    • Web tool,
  • Google apps for writing, presentations
  • Link sharing, something that is well managed and categorized
  • Place where we can talk to each other, have a discussion
  • Guide that maps different resources to requirements
  • Standards?
    • e.g., Cal tech ed for CS
  • Using Google Maps to integrate all CS classes offered
    • Web presentation to highlight how uneven and underdeveloped is
  • Computation thinking skills activities for K-8
  • Connect CS teachers with resources (grad students, etc)
    • AP workshop
  • Password protected on the teachers side
  • If collaborative course, we could have larger competition
    • Undergrads at Stanford did this for a programming competition, it took 80 hours of planning
    • Say a Bay Area Scratch competition?
      • Frank Lee might talk about what it took to communicate with schools to show up
      • Setting expectations.
      • Start small

How many have used an online resource?

  • I used Alice and someone showed that
  • Alice has an online storehouse of tutorials
  • Need cultural relevence


  • Reviews and why
  • Nervous about a review thing, might get discouraged
  • "Is this comment helpful?"
  • Versioning makes things complicated (i.e., there was a bug in v1.0, not in v1.1, how does the comment that "there's a bug!" get removed?)rrffv

How do you do it now (teach, find resources)?

  • I had help, curtom work
  • CSTA
  • Scaffolded projects (evolved over time)


  • Continuous, so every little action earns something
  • Yahoo answers get points (likes verbose answers, gives "best answer")

A Subgroup Parameters Test

Can I set the defaulkt for this group to PUBIC?

Can I eliminate the menu offering the option of choosing another group?

A Subgroup for testing subgroup parameters.

Alpha Testing

See below some questions to consider as you explore. Please be sure to
report any
problems you face, anything you find confusing, and feel free to give
suggestions on
how things can be improved. Don't be constrained by the questions;
report anything
that might be noteworthy.

* Is it easy to:
- browse
- search
- get to tools
- find out about communities
- get involved in a community
* Are your expectations met:
- system speed/performance
- search effectiveness
- clarity of results
* Are the following clear:
- what this site is for
- who is developing the system
- who are partners helping with / involved in the effort
- who are project sponsors
* Is the site usable:
- suitable layout
- simplicity
- remembering where you are
- support of tasks that should be facilitated
* Do you have a clear understanding regarding
- what is a community
- what is a collection
- what types of searches are supported, and what each does
- why getting a login is worthwhile
- what is the role/benefit of Facebook connection
- what is the value/use of OpenID

Focus Group questions:

What is your usage model (how would you envision using a site such as this?)

How important are the following features planned for this system:
* Points and badges and recognition of user contributions?
* Social connections among users?

What features of other Web 2.0 sites are missing from our site that you would like to see here? What are the 2 or 3 most important?

From Lois:
Ensemble users associated with existing collections:
1. Curators/owners of existing collections
they want more users/viewers/contributors
2. (current) Users of existing collections
they want more contributions? exposure to other collections?
3. Contributors to collections
they want use counts/badges?
4. Community members that comment on and discuss content in collections
they want an active discussion? they want counts/badges?

University Faculty Members:
(small) items - individual examples, questions, diagrams
(medium) items - individual lectures, tests, assignments, simulations,
(large) items - syllabi with all associated lectures, assignments

University students:

High school teachers?:

High school students?:

Professional societies/groups who want a private place to put their working

Professional societies/groups who want a public place: for discussion? for
content? for ...?

From Dan:
If you were to create a new social network for a new group, what would make Ensemble the right choice to be the space you use?

From Greg: Get input from the evaluators.

Also get input from Maggie. From the whole board.

CC on all discussions about focus groups once we have something preliminary.

Boots --->>> get in touch with Bob and talk about focus groups. Report back next week.

From Dan:
Check status of faculty badges and such. What profile information do we need?

TECH now ready to export to the Ensemble site.

More next week.

Complete focus groups in February.

Community support, publicity, marketing

Group for Community support, publicity, marketing team


Group for Content Team

Details of Wormhole Implementation in Ensemble

 Please find the attached zipped folder with all the files used to implement wormhole concept in ensemble. Step by step details can be found in "Wormhole_documentation" text file.

Package icon wormhole_live_site_implementation.zip112.75 KB

Drupal Group

Group for discussion about how use of Drupal

Elizabeth Heinlein's documentation

Documentation of the work I did during 2010 at PSU

Ensemble (Only) Wide 100x30 Logos for NSDL (second pass)

Here are three images for Ensemble-only data. I like Ensemble-Solo-ECP-Arches the best.


Ensemble Wide 100x30 Logos for NSDL (first pass)

Here are four possible logos (for ACM-W and AlgoViz). I prefer the ensemble without the Computing Portal myself. -dan

Governing Board Feedback

Office presentation icon GovBoardFeedback.ppt59 KB

How can I unsubscribe from all e-mails?

  1. If you haven't already, log in to the site.
  2. On the left side of the page, you'll see a box with your user name at the top.
  3. In this box, click on “My account”.  
  4. Click on "SUBSCRIPTIONS" tab on top.
  5. For each non-zero number in the "Number" column, click on the corresponding link in the "Type" column
    1. Un-check all the checked boxes.
    2. Click "Save".
  6. Click on "Overview" tab.
  7. Click on "Settings".
  8. Un-check all the checked boxes. 
  9. Save.


  1. After clicking on "My Account", click on "NOTIFICATIONS" tab on top.
  2. Click "Cancel all your subscriptions". 
  3. Click on "Unsubscribe".

How can I unsubscribe from e-mails from a particular group?

  1. Sign in to your account.
  2. Click on "NOTIFICATIONS" tab on top.
  3. Click on "groups" tab. 
  4. Click on the group name.
  5. Click on the check box before "Type". 
    1. Un-check the check-box. 
  6. Click on "Save".


How do I get to my Account page?

  1. If you haven't already, log in to the site.
  2. On the left side of the page, you'll see a box with your user name at the top.
  3. In this box, click on “My account”.  This will take you to your account page.

How do I join a group?

  1. If you haven't already, create an account and log in.
  2. Go to the home page of the group you would like to join.
  3. In the group block on the left side of the page, click on “Join” or “Request Membership”
    1. A group that is “open” will have a “Join” link. A group whose membership is moderated will have a “Request Membership” online. Open groups allow you to join them directly; moderated groups will require an administrator to approve your request before you become a member.
    2. Some groups are closed, and there is no “Join” or “Request Membership” link. You must contact the administrator to join a group like this.
  1. If asked if you're sure you want to join the group, click on “Join”. If the group is open, you will now be a member of the group. You will see the following message “You are now a member of the .” at the top of the page.
  2. If the group is moderated, an e-mail has now been sent to the group administrator. If the administrator approves your request, you will receive an e-mail letting you know that you are now a member of the group. 


List of Ensemble Test Sites


Group for Look&Feel team

Front page redesign (on old design) three arches


Ontology Group

Personal Settings

This section explains how to change the basic personal settings for your account.

Planning for November 2010 meeting

Plan for the November Meeting.  What are the things we need to do?


* Update on the ontology project and a plan for integrating it into the site.


* A clear list of all active projects, with expected completion dates and any potential impediments to completion.
* Review appearance and content of pages and note what is fine, what is good, and what needs work
* A clear list of things we need to do to make this a fully operational site.
* Plan for continued funding




Portal Team (Lead by Dr. Fox)

Presentations about Ensemble

Please be sure that all presentations related to Ensemble are uploaded in connection with this part of the Drupal site.  Please provide the original and the archival version, e.g., both PPTX and PDF, for slides from PowerPoint.


Group for Representations team


Group for Research team

SIGCSE 2010 groups who might use Ensemble to help build their community

Here are potential communities who might use Ensemble to help build their community.

  1. Passion, Beauty, Joy and Awe movement (contact: Dan Garcia) : Friday 3:30-4:45pm Panel in Room 202C
  2. Teaching Track Faculty (contact: Dan Garcia, Julie Zelenski, Dave Reed, Don Slater, Susan Rodger) : Wed 12-5pm workshop, BOF Th 5:15-6pm in room 102D
  3. It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (contact Robert McCartney) : Sat 10:40am-11:55am Spec Sess in Room 202C
  4. CS Unplugged (contact Tim Bell) : Workshop 27 (they have a site but I don't see a Web 2.0 community)
  5. Creating Mobile Phone Applications with App Inventor for Android (contact: Ellen Spertus) : Workshop 22 (they already have a development community via Google groups, perhaps may not need more)
  6. Alice 3 and Java for CS1 & AP CS (contact Wanda Dunn) : Workshop 19 (related to AP Pilots)
  7. Concurrency movement (contact: Michael Wrinn, Intel, Tom Murphy @ Contra Costa College). Paper session Fri 10:30am-noon in 102AB, Panel Thu 3:45-5pm in 202C
  8. Computational Thinking (contact: Dan Garcia) We need Wiki for our special session. Fri 10:30am-11:45am in room 202C
  9. CS 10K (contact Jan Cuny) Dan will see Jan tomorrow in ATL and ask
  10. AP Computing : Fundamentals (contact Lien Diaz @ Collegeboard). There is an advisory group. Also, 5 Pilots were just chosen, they could use resource collection facilities. More after this weekend. There may be confidentiality issues here.
  11. Nifty Assignments (contact: Nick Parlante)

I want to point out the following BOF:
Building User-groups for Educators
Thursday 6:10-55pm in room: 202C
Paul  Steinberg,   Intel Academic Community
Tom  Murphy,   Contra Costa College
Increasingly, we rely on on user-based communities, yet building such communities can be complex. In this BOF, we will explore some basic questions: How do we build a user community for academics world-wide? How do we reach out to a diverse set of professionals at markedly different institutions? What are the best strategies for promoting engagement and user-generated content? What conversational styles and technologies work, and which do not? What possibilities exist for industry and academic cooperation? How can we best make use of new social media tools and trends? The conversation will be led by an academic community manager from industry and a computer science professor who has been at the forefront of building HPC learning communities. The intent is to assist both those building new communities and expanding existing ones. Particular attention will be paid to the use of internet-based & innovative platforms as well as the challenges of reaching a diverse user base.

STEM Robotics presentation

 The slide presentation about the STEM Robotics project, Portland State University and several High Schools.

File Attachments: 
File Robotics-Lois-Villanova-Nov2011.pptx193.94 KB

Second Life

Services and tools

Survey information

File Attachments: 
Microsoft Office document icon Ensemble survey response.doc56.5 KB


Group for Users Team

When I post something to a group, how can I make it private (or public)?

If you want your post to be viewable by users who are not members of this group, you must make sure the box marked “Public” is checked.  You can get to this box by clicking on “Groups” when you are creating your post.

representation of resources in the ensemle site

In exploring the ensemble site today with a new student worker, I noticed that the access to some resources is not complete. In particular, if you go to the resources tab and click on the CITIDEL link, you get a choice of two of the CITIDEL communities: tutorials and the Computer Science Teaching Center. Those are fine things, but there is no indication that there is a lot more in the CITIDEL site than that. If we are presenting what looks like a link to a resource, then the link should give access to all of the resource, not just a portion.

We looked at AlgoViz also and again we do not get to go directly to the AlgoViz site. We get some material presented in the Ensemble site. I did not explore it enough to know if the representation of AlgoViz is complete.

Please get all of the member collections to be visible in the presentation in Ensemble. We need to do this before the Alpha launch.



This section contains information on how to participate in groups - join groups, create and view content, leave groups, etc.

How can I post something to a group?

  1. Make sure you are logged in.
  2. Go to the group homepage.
  3. In the group box on the left, select which type of content you want to create and click on the “Create ” link for that content type
    1. Different groups have different types of content. Some examples of different types of content types are “Page”, “Poll”, and “Syllabus”. Each different type has different fields for you to fill it. If you're not sure what the different content types mean, you can ask your group administrator.
  4. Enter the contents of your post
    1. “Title” is the title of the post
    2. “Content” is the main text of the post
    3. Most content types will have additional content fields for you to fill in
  5. Fill out additional information about your post
  6. When you're done, you can preview your post before publishing it, or you can publish it directly.

How do I change my e-mail address?

  1. Click on “Edit” at the top of your account page.
  2. The field for changing your e-mail address is at the top of the page.
  3. Be sure to save your changes when you are done by clicking on the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.


What is a vocabulary?

“Vocabularies” are lists of pre-defined tags/terms that you can choose to add to your post. Some content types or groups may require you to choose at least one of these terms.  “Tags” are not pre-defined – you can type in any word(s) that you like.  You choose terms from a vocabulary and/or enter tags when you are creating or editing content.

Can receive e-mails less often, but still get all of the update information?

  1. Sign in to your account.
  2. Click on "EDIT" tab on top.
  3. Click on "Edit your notifications settings".
  4. Go to the "Messaging and Notifications settings" block.
    1. Under the "Default send interval" section, select the time interval (e.g., every hour, twice a day, daily, weekly).
  5. Save.


E-mail/Notification Settings

How can I post content to more than one group at the same time?

  1. When you are creating your content, click on “Groups”
  2. If you are a member of more than one group that uses the content type that you're posting, you will see check boxes for each of the groups that you can post to.  To post to more than one group, simply check more than one box.

How do I change my password?

  1. Click on “Edit” at the top of your account page.
  2. The fields for changing your password are near the top.
  3. Enter your new password in both fields (“Password” and “Confirm password”).
  4. Be sure to save your changes when you are done by clicking on the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.


How can I leave a group?

  1. Login to your account.
  2. On the left side of  the page, there would be a box with your user name. Click on ''My groups'' in that box.
  3. Click on the “Edit Membership” link in the last column titled "Manage", next to the group that you want to leave. 
  4. In the next page, below the "Manage Membership" text, click on the "leave this group" link. 
  5. Click "Remove".


How do I attach a file to a post?

  1. When you are creating or editing content, click on “File attachments” at the bottom of the page.
  2. Choose your file and click “Attach”.
  3. Save the post when you're finished.



How do I change my timezone?

  1. Click on “Edit” at the top of your account page.
  2. The field that allows you to choose your timezone is at the bottom of the page.
  3. Be sure to save your changes.



How do I add a Twitter account?

We do not have this support at this moment.
However, if you would like to see this service in the portal, please let us know.

How do I edit/delete content once I've posted it?

  1. Make sure you're logged in
  2. Navigate to the page of the content you want to edit
  3. At the top of the page, click on the “Edit” tab”
  4. If you want to edit the post, make the changes, and when you are finished, click “Save” at the bottom of the page.
  5. If you want to delete the post, click on “Delete” at the bottom of the page, near the save button.
  6. When asked if you're sure you want to delete the post, click “Delete”