CommonSpace Review ...
Some Salient Facts about the Reviewer
| Testing Approach | The
User Can . . . | List of features | Overall
assessment | Return to the Opening Page
Comments on Features of CommonSpace
Following are my assessment of the value or importance of
To return to the list of features, click on one of the underlined titles.
A very useful tool because it operates in a familiar manner. Linking comments
to the text means they are not lost; in fact, the text scrolls and re-spaces
to accommodate a comment that runs longer than the marginal space.
Work well for rewriting text alongside the original, for a second draft.
When the writer clicks on the comment, the word or words
to which the comment is linked in the other column appear in a box.
Allow for very easy reading of commentary.
Sometimes as teachers or editors, we don't want to overwhelm our students
with notes. With collapsed notes, the student can expand them one at a time.
In my professional writing, I might want to have a series of notes that
help my editor or collaborator see my concerns. In the past I have done
this with italicized commentary embedded in the text. This is better.
Nice for situations in which a writer is re-writing her own text or an editor
is doing a point-by-point rewrite.
A handy approach to organizing a large project that might have multiple
revisions or versions.
Probably more useful to teachers than any other kind of user. If the emphasis
is on the reading of the text, whether for a rewrite or to gain an understanding
of the text, a question set can be a very useful tool. Collapsing them
so that readers deal with them one at a time seems to work well. It's also possible
to create comments in sound files.
Library of comments
Another teacher tool. For those who find themselves consistently using the
same comments on student work, this could be a boon.
This seems like one of the most productive and useful features of CommonSpace.
When students work together on a text, it can be very helpful to have
them (virtually) in one place, looking at their own screens and commenting,
each in their own columns, on the text before them. Unfortunately, I was
unable to test this feature firsthand, and the documentation does
not make it clear precisely how this would be set up. If it works as
promised it will be lovely.
Yes! Text-editors are sometimes pretty scaled-down, but this one lives
up to "full-featured."
- The spelling function appears in its own column.
- The best thing about color is that you can choose a background color for
any column or even choose a different color for each column, making the
work you are doing much more visible. A major boon, IMHO.
Hooray! I'm a Mac-user and my techno-tutors and my writing partner are all Windows
folk. Yes, it works. And you can even import directly from a Windows-based
word-processing program into a Mac. Easy, easy.
Clear, easy to follow, helpful information, but not so much that a reader
is overwhelmed; 140 pages is not hard to cope with in a reference guide.
Well-organized, with a special section in most chapters called, "Getting
the Most Out of. . ." For example, "Getting the Most Out of Columns"
has suggestions for use, such as round robin discussions and using a column
for notes to yourself.
Easy to do, helpful. The tutorial supports not just following directions,
but supports the learner actually learning. For example, when you have completed
a task, the tutorial sends you to look at what you did and see where the
workspace you created is listed.