From MozillaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Jetpack For Learning Phase 3


The latest Cohere jetpack (0.2) can be installed from:

What we have been doing since the Phase 2 submission:

  • Bug fixed with blank tooltips showing.
  • Added buttons to the slidebars to open the Cohere login or if logged in, go to your Cohere home page.
  • Added a button on the idea slidebar to clear your bookmarks.
  • Bookmarking has been made more intuitive. You now click and empty star to bookmark an idea. Ones you have bookmarked show as filled stars. The same bookmaring system was also added to the main Cohere website along with a new bookmark manager dialog.
  • The Idea creation/editing dialog and the Connection creation/editing dialog have been modifed to be a lot cleaner, clearer and hopefully easier to use now.

  • New OER Commons tab. A new slidebar has been added to the Cohere Jetpack which lists the first 20 (at present)  OER (Open Educational Resources) Commons search results for the page you are currently viewing. The keywords in the page header are sent to the OER commons search (or if there are no keywords, the words in the page title). In the future we may add some page parsing as well.

    For each OER Commons result returned we are given the url to the actual OER page. This means that as well as allowing the learner to see a list of OERs and their summaries and click to visit the OER, we can also give the learner the opportunity to view any Cohere ideas that have been added to that related OER webpage while they are on the current page.

    This not only allows learners to discover possible OER courses or materials relevant to the site they are viewing but also to see Cohere ideas on those OERs that may be useful/interesting to them while they are on the current website.

  • Twitter. The Cohere Jetpack has on demand tweeting. You can enter your Twitter login details through the Cohere Jetpack settings. There is a Twitter button on each idea. If you click it, it sends the Cohere url for that idea as a tweet to your Twitter account.

Jetpack For Learning Phase 2 Submission

What is the Cohere Jetpack Add-on?

The Cohere Jetpack Add-on is a tool for learners to make collaborative annotation and mapping of ideas and web resources. With the Cohere Jetpack Add-on learners can:

  1. collaboratively annotate the web;
  2. create semantic connections between annotations;
  3. and engage in online scholarly discussions.

You may like to watch our original concept movie (YouTube) (high res version)

In this submission we will walk you through:

  • Installation of the Cohere Jetpack Add-on
  • Some brief video tutorials on the main functionalities enabled by the Cohere Jetpack Add-on
  • Description of the potential impact of this Add-on for learners: At the end of this application we describe three educational scenarios that gives concrete examples of how the Cohere Jetpack Add-on can enhance learning.
  • Description of known issues and future development plan.


First download and install Jetpack Extension

Then please view this movie (YouTube) (15, 728KB high res mov file) on installing the Cohere Jetpack add-on

Then download the Cohere Jetpack add-on.

Using the Cohere Jetpack

Short Instructional movies

Here are some example webpages with Cohere data on them for you to explore:

Educational Senarios: How the Cohere Jetpack Add-on can help learners


Scenario 1: Making semantic connections between ‘ideas’ (full pdf of senario)

Summary and reflections on Senario 1

By using Cohere Jetpack add-on Anna could discover and bookmark Ivana’s ideas, and reuse them to create semantic connections between Ivana’s ideas and her ideas. This helped Anna to discover other Websites and ideas relevant to her investigation. By exploiting the description of the type of connection (semantic of the connection) she was also able to identify resources that triggered her critical thinking, since Ivana had labeled them as “challenging” her idea. Moreover from Ivana’s point of view, next time she explored her workspace she discovered a new connection, created by Anna, pointing directly to one of her ideas, and suggesting a new interesting reference to explore. The simple connection that Anna has created has established, from now on, a meaningful link from Anna’s and Ivana’s network of ideas and connections. These ideas and connections can be used by them and by any other learners to enrich their understanding on carbon emissions. In fact any other user navigating that OERs, and with a Cohere Jetpack add-on installed, will be able to access Anna’s and Ivana’s ideas, semantic connections and Websites directly from the sidebar while they are navigating the Web.

Scenario 2: Engaging in structured online scholarly discussions (full pdf of senario)

Summary and reflections on Scenario 2

By using Cohere Jetpack add-on Anna, Jack and Rebecca found a way to learn from each other’s work, while caring on with their individual tasks. Moreover the Cohere Jetpack plugin has enabled Anna, Jack and Rebecca to engage in a structured online scholarly discussion on climate change positions. This discussion will surely affect the results of their work in a positive way since they will have been supported, and will have worked not in isolation but in a collaboratively engaging way. Moreover Anna, Jack and Rebecca have directly experienced that there are different world views and positions to consider in their investigation, they have learned also to be self-critical and to defend their positions by basing them on resources and evidence. This scenario gives an example of how the Cohere Jetpack plugin is a tool for learners to exercise their critical thinking and engage in online scholarly discussion.

Scenario 3:Collaborative Web Annotation with ‘Ideas’ (full pdf of senario)

Summary and reflections on Senario 3

By using the Cohere Jetpack add-on Anna was able to receive help from Michelle to find a definition of resilience, moreover she could discover 6 new sites relevant for the assignment and finally she saved time by reading notes and summaries that Simon posted to the OER pages. Her friends’ notes and summaries worked as a filter of relevant information and she could finish her assignment earlier and better than she could have done by working alone. Finally in her personal working space she has now saved the relevant information she found plus the pointers to other relevant information created, either by her friends or by making a direct connection (i.e. Michelle providing an answer to her question), or automatically suggested by the system, by label matching annotations.

Known Issues

  • Single window limitation: We have limited our code to only hold one set of references to the slidebars and status bars as opening new windows was breaking our jetpack. We hope to resolve this assuming Jetpack can provide the parent window information we require. So if you open a second full window and navigate the web, the data will currently be displayed in the first window.
  • There are occassional server connection issues and slidebar content is not painted. We are working on this issue.
  • Ocassional empty tooltip draws
  • Not all text selections (clips) can be highlighted again in the originating webpage. Improvements are needed to the selection code to deal with more unusual characters.

Known Outstanding Development

  • We want to add a quick login to Cohere in our Jetpack.
  • When the Jetpack toolbars are available, we will be adding a Cohere toolbar similar to the one on our Cohere Extension.
  • We would like to add some form of alerting system to our jetpack when people connect to your ideas, possibly as tweets, taking advantage of the Jetpack twitter api!
  • We want to add a visualisation to the connections slidaber to show a network diagram of the connections listed. We have been experimenting with both an Applet and a Flash movie and hope to get one or the other to work.
  • We are thinking about easier and quicker ways to create connections maybe using the bookmarks system.
  • We will add the ability to clear your bookmarks from the jetpack and not just the main Cohere website.
  • Currently the clips reselection only highlights the first instance found. We will extend this to highlight all instances, should there be more than one on a page.
  • We want the selection colours used in the webpage to correspond to those used in our slidebars, rather than the default. We hope to use jetpack.pageMods in part to achieve this
  • On the Tools Cohere menu, menuitem label changing and item enabling/disabling is not working due to a bug in jetpack. So the affected menuitem have been removed, but we hope to return them.
  • Programmatically switching from one slidebar to another is not working in Jetpack at present. When it does, there are various interface interaction points where this would be desirable, and we hope to add this when it is working in Jetpack.
  • There is still more code tidying and commenting to do. Code tidying was limited at this stage in fear of breaking functionality. But more will be undertaken.

Original Concepts


Web2.0 technologies are increasingly providing learners with environments where they can learn together in new informal ways. These technologies build on the basic concept that learners need to learn socially, online, by talking and discussing with each other, and that this dialogue can help them to express their thinking, compare it with other learners and better understand their and other people point of views.

But the issue is: How do we make learners’ thinking visible? And, since learners will often disagree, how do we make their thinking contestable and addressable by other learners in order to stimulate their critical thinking?

Cohere Add-on

Cohere Mozilla Firefox Add-on aims at addressing this issue by providing learners with an environment for them to reflect critically and engage with documents, ideas and people online and directly through their browser. The Cohere Firefox Add-on provides an environment where learners can mark up pieces of information and engage in discussing different points of view on the same online resource. Moreover they can create semantic connections to explain their position toward other learner points of view, or toward ideas they may have proposed, theory they may have cited, or data they annotated online. In this way the Cohere Firefox Add-on introduces a layer of meaning that learners can use to engage critically in scholarly discussions.

What the Cohere Add-on does more then standard collaborative web annotation tools?

Cohere Mozilla Firefox add-on improves on already existing social bookmarking and collaborative annotation technologies by:

• Enabling classification of annotations: learners can annotate web pages with their reflections and each annotation can be further defined associating an icon to it that explains the role that that annotation would play in a scholarly discussion (i.e.: Am I raising a question? Am I providing an answer to other people questions? Am I providing a piece of evidence for a certain claim?..etc)

• Enabling semantic connections between annotations: Annotations can be connected in a network of meaningful relationships that explains how annotations relate semantically to one another (I.e. my annotation responds to the issues raised in your annotation, your annotation suggest a resource that can be useful to answer the problem I am tackling, …etc).

Following up

In the future we plan to develop the Cohere Add-on to create an environment for users to learn/teach critical thinking skills by:

• Making argument maps to describe and visualize higher order thinking

• Using or building templates to learn how to make good arguments, and perform sound scholarly discussions.

• Adding tagging features to make easier conversation clustering and annotation organization.

In Summary

Cohere Mozilla Firefox Add-on, developed in KMi at the Open University (Milton Keynes, UK) is a tool for learners to make collaborative annotation and mapping of ideas and web resources. With the Cohere Mozilla Add-on learners can: i. collaboratively annotate the web; ii.create semantic connections between annotations; iii.and engage in online scholarly discussions.

To know more about the Cohere Add-on you can watch the demo video. You can also download a higher resolution version of the demo video here. For further info on Cohere please visit the Cohere site. To contact the applicants please email:;;