Getting Back into the Swing of FSL

Categories Full Spectrum Learning Research

It has officially been six full weeks since the start of my Sophomore year at SNC. The weeks have consisted of trying to get back into the rhythm of school and maintaining balance with work.

I’m not going to lie saying the first six weeks were easy, sophomore year hit me much harder than freshman year. However, I am finally feeling like I have everything under a bit of control.

With that being said, I am also starting to get some projects rolling for this year with Full Spectrum Learning!

1. Data Grid

The major breakthrough I have had near the end of this week was the progress of the data grid! It took MANY months and a lot of trial and error, but I think I finally got it to a point I am happy with presenting to the rest of the college to hopefully get some data.

Here is the current progress of the grid:

It does not look like a lot currently, but I am excited to see how it grows when more data is added.

The major problems (and fixes) I have had with this report have been figuring out the data labels, the coloring, and getting the actual data to look correct.

The first problem was solved by making the data labels based on the intersection name instead of the actual class of data. We want a broad visualization of the data instead of class-specific and when you hovered over the point on the grid, only one class of information showed.

Second, Data Studio only allows 20 different colors to be used in a report, and there are 25 intersections on the grid. We decided to instead base the colors on the number of classes in a specific intersection. I have it set to three different levels of popularity, low, medium, and high. The shade of purple darkens the more popular it is. Because of the low amounts of data, there aren’t any intersections that reach the medium or high popularity level.

Lastly, the hardest problem of them all was just getting all of the data correctly adjusted on the grid. I figured out the easiest way to make it all work was to have all of the data on a separate sheet and auto-fill based on the new data that is filled in. Previously, when I added new rows of data from the form, the formulas on the other sheet would adjust and break. Working with Taylor, we figured out the easiest way to solve this problem would be using an Array Formula to fill the columns when the new data is added from the form. This allows the data grid to autofill seconds after the form is filled out.

2. Website Tweaks

A constant project I am working on is trying to add to and update the website. Currently, we are up to 9 videos on the interactive grid!

The major project of the few past weeks was adding a blog to the Full Spectrum Learning site! I found a plugin named Premium Addons for Elementor that allows me to show previews of the blog posts on a blog landing page. This also allows me to use Elementor to create a base and then add the previews without changing the theme of the site.

I also added a featured post section featuring three different works from professors and students.

Currently, there are six blog posts on the site. The majority of these are implementation reports from the SNC DigPINS site. I worked with Taylor to set up syndication of the blogs, meaning each time a blog is posted on DigPINS with that category, the post automatically is created on the Full Spectrum site. This process uses a plugin called FeedWordPress. Another great thing about this plugin is that when the link to the post is clicked, it brings the post to the original home. This makes sure that each post is not creating a duplicate, causing other issues.

For the posts not on the DigPINS site, we are using a plugin called Quick Page/Post Redirect. This allows a post to be redirected to the original when clicked, allowing the individual’s site to be featured. With this plugin, only the first few lines that appear on the preview need to be copied, the rest is not seen due to the automatic redirect.

Last week we updated the Full Spectrum Learning website to include the blog and a few minor other changes including changing the feature colors to purple and adding a bit more information.

You can check out the changes here:

3. Tech Bar

This year I have had the opportunity to become a Tech Bar consultant and I am really enjoying this new opportunity. Even though Tech Bar and FSL are not directly connected, they overlap a lot. I appreciate being able to explain my passion for websites and offering help to students who may not know where to start.

These first few weeks have been a bit hectic, but looking back a lot of progress has been made for Full Spectrum Learning especially with the Data Grid and Website in only a little over the first month!

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