Collaboration is the name of the game inside ALC. We are all actively engaged in collaboratively building schools, community, and (importantly) documentation about such efforts.
WordPress (the system this website is build on) offers great features for collaboration through it’s post editing process. I’d like to quickly share one powerful feature called revision history.
I’m going to frame this post around an example of my recent (still in progress at the time of writing this) project to document the ALC Everett #debrief. I asked for editing help from other ALF’s across the nation and had a number of people step up to help. Here’s what I did to make this happen:
- Write a post or page (or other content type) on an agilelearningcenters.org blog, in this case it’s the Everett website (everett.agilelearningcenters.org)
- Add volunteers to the Everett website
- Set their user role to Editor
- Review their edits via revision history
You can read about how to add users from my post: Adding Editors to Your Blog
Playing with Revision History
WordPress keeps a revision history of every change made to every post. So when you are collaborating you can feel secure knowing that if something goes horribly wrong there is no need to fear, it can be reverted back to a previously saved draft or auto-save (another feature of WordPress).
Revision history also allows you to review changes that other people have made to posts. Let’s look at a real example from the debrief page I’ve been working on.
First we browse our revisions, you can find this link within the Publish “meta box” typically on the top right of a edit-post page.
Once inside you’ll see a time line of edits along the top.
With this you can move the red dot around in time to see past edits. Each revision view shows you what was added or changed on the right (in green) and what was changed in red on the left. The right (green) column displays the current revision you are focused on while the left (red) column is the previous revision. You can check the Compare any two revisions box at the top right (red arrow in the above picture) to compare any two revisions.
I’m now comparing a revision from @Charlotte added on 3/26 at 10:39pm to my revision a few hours later at 12:30am on 3/27.
Let’s see what changes Charlotte made when she edited my work. I’ll move the left dot over one space to change the “from” revision to a March 25th one I made and the “to” dot over to Charlotte’s March 26th revision.
You can see the changes that Charlotte made. The left shows my revision and it colors each edited block in pink then each character that was removed in red. On the right Charlotte’s changes are shown in green.
At any point I can revert back to past changes.
This is a powerful transparency tool that allows us to be bold with our changes and edits (because they can be reverted), feel secure that no one can tamper with our work, and allow us to see who did what so we can better communicate with our collaborators.