Continuing with our Gadget Challenge series, the Working Gadget winner of our 2015 Gadget Challenge was Nicholas Raia (pictured) from Farmingdale State College with his Page Comments Gadget. Check out our Q&A with him below to get the inside scoop behind his winning submission.
What’s your role using OU Campus at your institution?
I am a student assistant web developer at Farmingdale State College and when I joined the web team in 2014, they were about to undergo both a migration from OU Campus v9 to v10 and a complete overhaul of the site. For this reason, I was not just using OU Campus to edit pages, but was very involved with the templates, snippets, and assets that would be used on the new site. Though I was admittedly daunted by the sheer number of pages we needed to work with, I became very impressed with how smoothly the whole process went. It also helps a bit when you have a great support team on your side!
What motivated you to create the gadget?
The motivation for creating my gadget came out of a desire to better collaborate with members of the web team. When we began redesigning the site, the one feature I found myself wishing for was the ability to leave comments on the pages I was working on. That way, when someone else on the team was looking at a page, they could see the changes I made and leave feedback on my work. Without this feature, I relied on email, which was difficult to sift through and find feedback relevant to what I was working on. I figured that having the feedback right alongside the content would be a great improvement to the team’s workflow and when I found out about the 2015 Gadget Challenge, I had the perfect excuse to finally jump into the documentation and create it!
How would the gadget benefit OU Campus users at your campus and others?
I think my gadget would boost collaborative work in any team that uses OU Campus. Though it was originally created to address my specific need, I think the applications of it go beyond that. Anytime there is a group of people working on content, I think they would benefit from being able to leave feedback for one another. For example, there may be multiple people in the same academic department responsible for a page and they need a better way to coordinate their work. Overall, I think collaboration leads to better content because you have the advantage of multiple perspectives.
What are you looking forward to experiencing most at OUTC16?
I am very much looking forward to meeting the developers behind OU Campus and hopefully getting to ask them some questions. I am also excited for the workshops. After getting my feet wet with gadgets, I really want to see what others have come up with and learn how to get the most out of OU Campus. I’ve also never been on the west coast, so the experience itself is also something I really look forward to.