Creating a Project

A Project in zLearn can reside in your personal account (this is true for both teachers and students), OR inside a Course created by a teacher.

A Project is backed by a cutting-edge collaborative workspace that combines research, curation, communication and collaboration into one integrated toolset.

Creating a Project: If you want to create a Project in your personal account, go to the Home page of zLearn and enter a name for the project to create a new Project. If you want to create a Project for a particular Course, first go to the Course Home page on zLearn (you should have permission to enter that Course), and then enter a name for the project to create a new Project. Once you have created a Project, you can do all the following from within the Project workspace.

Search for Information: zLearn works like most other search engines, with one key difference. It is geared towards searches where you are digging deeper for information or actively researching a specific topic. To support this kind of searching, zLearn's Project workspace is a place where you can actively research a topic of information over time, and together with other people. From the Search tab in your Project, you can type in terms, choose your sources and search for results. zLearn can search for online resources to find Web sites, books, articles, videos, images, and more on that topic.

Edit Your Search Results: A distinguishing feature of zLearn is the manner in which you can curate your search results. Each link/URL in your list of search results has a big button that says "Save", and a "Hide" link. Clicking on the "Save" button allows you to save and organize your results into folders (see next item). Your folders in this Project are on the top of the page as tabs. Clicking on the "Hide" link removes the search result from your view.

Create Folders to Organize Results: When you click on "Save" button to save a search result, a pop-up window will appear to help you create the folders into which you'll organize what you find. If you're creating a new folder, type the name of the folder into the text box and hit "save" to save it or "cancel" to cancel it. If you've already created a folder (or folders), they will be listed to the right of the search box, and you can click on any folder to save your link/URL in that folder. Once saved, folder icons with each folder's name will appear horizontally across the top of your Project.

You can also create a new folder simply by clicking on the "+" button in the horizontal bar across the top of your zLearn Project interface.

Manage Your Folders: If you decide you'd like to edit, manage or change your folders, simply click on a folder. Under its title (upper right corner), you can choose:

  • "Edit" to rename the folder
  • "Remove" to delete the folder
  • "History" to see activity that's taken place inside that folder

Comment on items: Do you have something to say about a particular link or result you have saved? Click on "Comment" and do thatů.leave a comment! If you invite others to collaborate with you, they'll be able to see the comments you left, and vice versa.

Liking items: Do you like a specific result item that has been saved into a folder? Click on "Like" for that item! If you invite others to collaborate with you, they'll be able to see the items you've liked, and vice versa.

Editing items: Click on Edit by the side of the item you wish to change, and you can readily change the title, url, annotation / summary, as well as image associated with that item.

Add a File: You can add your own files to a Project. Click on a folder in the Project where you want to add a file. Scroll to the bottom of the folder page, and click on the "Add a File" link. Follow the instructions in the popup dialog to upload a file and add it to the folder. If this is a document you are actively editing collaboratively, you and other team members in the Project can add new revisions for this file right in place, and zLearn will keep track of the versions and keep all old versions around for you. Just click on the "Add Revision" link for this file item to upload a new file version.

Add a Link: You can add your own link to a web page, web site, video or other online resources to a Project. Click on a folder in the Project where you want to add a new link. Click on "Add a Link" button. Follow the instructions in the popup dialog to add a new link to this folder.

Add a Post: You can add a post, like a blog post, to any folder in a Project. Click on a folder in the Project where you want to add a new post, and click on "Add a Post" button. Follow the instructions in the popup dialog to add a new post to this folder. Posts are useful to capture your thoughts or instructions for working together with your collaborators.

Invite Others to Search With You: zLearn's differentiating feature is your ability to invite people you trust to search with you in real time. If you would like someone's help on a particular search, move your cursor to the right of the screen and click on "Invite" in the space titled "Search With You" on the right pane. A pop-up window appears. You can type the email address(es) of the person you want to help you search, and that person will receive an email notice from zLearn. As soon as they click on the link in the email, they will have access to your Project.

Chat with Trusted Friends While you Search: If you and your search collaborator(s) are online at the same time, click on "Team Chat" on the right-hand side of your search page to enable the chat function. It works like every other chat tool; you and your trusted friend(s) can ask questions, comment on each others' searches/discoveries, offer suggestions, etc. The main difference is that this chatting works to connect all collaborators in a given SearchSpace. Collaborators who were offline at the time a chat session was started, will see the chat stream when they enter the SearchSpace the next time.

Recent Activity: Within a Project, you can click on the Recent Activity on the right pane, to get a complete view of what has been added / changed in the Project since its inception. This is very useful to review the kinds of changes that have been made to the Project over time.

Delete a Project: Maybe it's gone stale. Maybe you don't need it anymore. Whenever a Project has outlived its usefulness, don't hesitate to clear it out. Your zLearn home page will list of all your Projects (and likewise, the Course home page for any course will contain a list of all Projects in that Course). Click "remove" next to each outdated Project to delete it.

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