Tutorial: Taxonomy

What is the taxonomy?

The Serlo taxonomy is the technical structure of topic pages and curriculum pages which the display of Serlo's learning objects is based on. It is a tree-like, hierarchically structured system.

From the functional point of view, the tasks of Serlo's taxonomy are:

  • arranging the hierarchy of topic pages and curriculum pages

  • setting titles and descriptions of topic pages and curriculum pages

  • arranging the display and order of Serlo's learning objects

Where can you see the taxonomy?

a) Example from a user's point of view

screenshot

description

b) Example from a editor's point of view

screenshot

description

Which elements is the taxonomy built of?

  • subject

    taxonomy options: topic, locale, cirriculum

    content allowed: none

  • topic

    descriptions: topics are collective terms, they can be differentiated with more topics as children. The last topic in the hirachie has learning content

    taxonomy options: topic, content group

    content allowed: every content, only if there is no topic as child. Too many exercises should be combined in content groups

    • content group

      description: content groups combine many exercises, to give better overview on the topic level

      taxonomy options: none

      content allowed: only exercises

  • locale

    description: locales locate curricula for example regarding to a country and a school type. Locales can have further locales as children. In rare cases, you will start directly with "curriculum", because there isn't any level above.

    taxonomy options: locale, curriculum

    content allowed: none

    • curriculum

      description: there is only one curriculum level, it is the last level before topics of the subject start. Thereby it defines a unique cirruculum.

      taxonomy option: curriculum topic

      content allowed: none

      • curriculum topic

        description: curriculum topics work like topics but within a curriculum. They are reduced to the amount of content defined by the (official state) curriculum.

        taxonomy options: curriculum topics curriculum content group

        content allowed: every content, only if there is no curriculum topic as child. Too many exercises should be combined in curriculum content groups

        • curriculum content group

          description: like “content groups” curriculum content groups combine many exercises, to give better overview on the curriculum topic level

          taxonomy options: none

          content allowed: only exercises

Topic tree

Example

  • math (subject)

  • numbers and quantities (topic)

    • fractions and decimal fractions (topic)

      • multiplication and division of fractions (topic)

      • decimal fractions (topic) (content: 5 articles, 1 course)

        • exercises to compare decimal fractions (content group) (content: 10 exercises)

  • geometry (topic)

topics vs. content groups

Dive deeper into this probelm - work in progress

How to arrange topics

To build a good topic tree is not so much a technical matter, than a question of didactic and the structure of a subject. That's why, there are different rules and guidelines how to build the topic taxonomy for every subject on Serlo:

  • referal to further subject guidelines

  • referal to further subject guidelines

  • referal to further subject guidelines

Write and design good topic descriptions

The layout of a topic description has to be a single column. It contains an image and text below.

Regarding images

  • The image must be embedded in a full width layout.

  • The image resolution has to be 1:2.5, e.g. 1000x400px.

  • The minimum width is 1000px.

  • The name of the image is "topic, motif", e.g. "Stochastics, dice".

  • Images should not contain text or formulas.

  • Graphics have a white background and should be centered.

  • The images must be freely licensed.

  • E.g.: Zahlen und Größen, Geometrie

Regarding text

We don't have much expirience regarding text. Generally, it's only useful, if there is a good reason for it to be there.

  • It can be an orientation or a summary, but should not contain detailed information.

  • It should not just repeat the name of the topic or the headings of the content.

  • At the beginning you can ask some important questions, which will be answered in the topic, e.g.:

    • Why does the apple fall perpendicularry to the ground?

    • What is time?

    • Why does an airplane fly?

  • The text should contain about 200 characters and not more than 400.

  • E.g.: Optik und Wellen, Atom- und Kernphysik

How to edit the taxonomy

  • rights, who is allowed to edit the taxonomy

  • every taxonomy element has: title, description (optional)

  • edit vs. organize (vs. "update taxonomy")

  • create new element: screenshot etc.

  • explain tools (plus, pen, trash ..)

  • change order of taxonomy elements

  • change order of assigned content (wenn es auch helper dürfen, sollte es in die Anleitung zur Zuweisung von Inhalten. Hier steht dann nur ein Link)