This Friday we’ll be doing the first of several NoodleBib software updates this summer. Each day this week we’ll post another blog entry introducing you to the new features.
First a little background…
As many of you know, NoodleBib began in 1999 as a tool to create bibliographies. After years of picky programming and focused, hard work (with lots of advice from the big three style editors and our users) we’re proud of the fact that NoodleBib is the most accurate, comprehensive online tool for creating MLA, APA, and Chicago-style source lists.
In 2006 we expanded our service to include online notecards. With the redesign of the notecards graphical interface and the addition of the outlining feature in the summer of 2009, the online notecards have become an integral part of the research process in thousands of schools. In fact, many schools now subscribe to NoodleBib for the notecards feature, and use the bibliography tool as an added benefit.
NoodleBib is quickly becoming a platform for student research rather than just a “bibliography composer.” As such, the need for a project overview screen (the Dashboard) is clear. Let’s take a look at this new feature:
The Dashboard provides:
- An overview of the project components (Bibliography, Notecards, and the Paper, which we’ll introduce tomorrow)
- A place for the student to write a research question and thesis statement
- Information about the assignment drop boxes and teachers that the project is shared with
- Teacher-selected relevant links (which could be a calendar, an assignment sheet, a pathfinder, blog, wiki, etc.)
- A student-created to-do list to keep track of tasks, assignments and milestones.
- Unified display of the teacher or librarian’s general observations, as well as specific comments linked back to the specific bibliography entry or notecard
Teachers and librarians will also discover that the teacher’s view of the student’s Dashboard is an efficient way to monitor progress and offer feedback.
As with all new features we add, we’ve kept this initial version of the Dashboard as simple as possible, to observe how it is used and to get your feedback. We look forward to your comments and suggestions for how we can make the Dashboard even more useful.