What is neoportal? (CLE 2.9)

In the CLE, the portal is a system component that collects all of the independent Sakai tools into one common interface. It provides navigation to sites and tools, and it allows the CLE to be customized with a unique “skin” for display of an institution’s logo and other graphics.

Neoportal is a redesign of the existing CLE portal. An enhancement for version 2.9 of the ANI Sakai CLE, neoportal improves the overall look and feel of the CLE, while also providing a variety of useful new features.


Requirements

The CLE can be configured with or without neoportal. Keep in mind, however, that a CLE instance configured for neoportal must be reskinned. If ANI hosts your CLE instance, neoportal configuration will require a service fee for reskinning. Contact ANI support for more information.

In addition, a CLE instance configured for neoportal cannot be configured for categories in the tools menu. As an alternative, you may configure the CLE for the Page Order Helper feature in the Site Editor tool. With this feature, site owners can change the order of tools in the tools menu, as well as add, remove, rename and hide tools. For more information, see Site Editor: How do I use Page Order Helper?   

Overview

In a CLE instance configured for neoportal, a course site may look similar to the following:



In addition to a different look and feel, neoportal provides the following features:

  • Collapsible tools menu
    Users may collapse or expand the tools menu in a site.


  • Direct navigation to tools in a site
    Each site link displayed across the top of the CLE screen includes a dropdown menu of tools. Users can navigate directly to a tool by selecting it from the menu.


By default, the first ten tools in a site’s tools menu will be displayed in the site link dropdown menu, but the CLE can be configured to display more or less tools.

  • User menu
    While users can navigate to a large number of tools in My Workspace by selecting from the site link dropdown menu, they can also navigate to a smaller subset of My Workspace tools by clicking on the user icon () displayed in the upper right corner of the CLE screen.


From the displayed menu, users can navigate to:

  • Profile (by clicking on their name/ID)

  • Preferences (by clicking Preferences)

  • Site Setup (by clicking +Add New Site to access the site creation page)

Users can also select Tutorial from this menu. A popup window then displays, with a sequence of pages explaining site/tool navigation, as well as how to use the Help and Profile tools.

(Note: The CLE can be configured so that the users menu, or specific selections in the menu, do not display. In addition, users who do not have permission to create sites will not have access to the “add new site” option in the menu.)

  • Sites drawer
    In neoportal, the My Sites tab is replaced by More Sites, which follows the displayed site links at the top of the screen:



    When users click on this link, they’ll see the sites drawer popup window:


    In this window, users can:

    • Access all active sites

    • Search active sites

    • Navigate to the Site Setup tool, by clicking View All Sites (tool home page) or +Add New Site (site creation page)

    • Navigate to the Preferences tool, by clicking the Preferences button

    (Note: users without permission to create sites will have access to the Site Editor tool via the +Add New Site button, but they will not be able to create sites.)

    • Quick publish access
      If a site is unpublished, a Publish Now button displays above the tools menu. A site owner can publish a site immediately by clicking this button, without navigating to the Manage Access page of the Site Editor tool.


    To learn about other enhancements for the CLE 2.9 release, see the Sakai CLE 2.9 preview.   



     

             



     

     


          

     

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Laura Gekeler (Wizard Ninja)

    Jim, this article does not address how neoportal can be used to address issues of the different formfactors which mobile devices have. Do we know yet whether students of institutions using neoportal are now easily taking quizzes from tablets or android devices, and so forth?

  • Avatar
    Jim Mezzanotte

    Hi Laura,

    As far as I know, the improvements for the mobile experience in neoportal are not tool-specific. Instead they focus on giving users more space in which to work--e.g., site name and tool title are combined in one line, and users can collapse the tools menu.

    There also seems to be a related focus on improving the user experience for the tablet form factor, and considering it as separate from smart phones because of the larger screen size. In CLE 2.9, there's a default property setting so the CLE does not recognize tablets as mobile devices (portal.tablets.use.mobile=false), and users on tablets get the "normal" full screen view (and can take advantage of the neoportal space-saving improvements).   

    There is also project Keitai (https://confluence.sakaiproject.org/display/MOBILE/Home) in the community, focused on improving the mobile experience.

    Best,

    Jim Mezzanotte

     

     

     

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