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Confluence: Mechanism

How does Confluence work?

Confluence was developed so that individuals could create pages, workspaces, and blogs. In a classroom setting, students can attach, track and search for files through this program. By using the discussion boards, students can communicate with other students not only in their own class, but in classes all over the world. These discussion boards allow for students to provide feedback to other students in order to help them provide the best possible information. Confluence helps students keep their information organized. With Confluence, students can administer and operate their own pages and tailor them to their own preference of organization. Confluence allows for students to integrate daily office tools into enterprise system and can be used as an extensional application platform.2

How can a person start using Confluence?

Confluence is very user friendly and easy to get started with. The Confluence site has a basic overview of all it's different features in order to help a new user navigate and develop their own wiki with ease.  In order to get started, the new user needs to learn how to log in and select the appropriate wiki space 1.  Once logged in and on the correct wiki space, there is a plethera of options available to the user to design and configure their own space.

Creating/Editing pages

In order to start inventing your own wiki, one must start with the basics by learning how to add a page.  A page is necessary in order for it to host anything else you want to add to your wiki such as other pages (children of your home page) and any attachments or links you might want to add.  Confluence makes adding and editing pages extremely easy and it does not take a wide computer knowledge base to construct your own space.

Adding a page video tutorial 1
Editing a page video tutorial 1


The easiest way to send individuals, like students, to other informative websites is by putting a link your page. A page creator simply specifies a section of text and makes it into a link. A link allows the user to click on the set of text to open a different website from their own or another one of their pages.  It's a fast and effective way to help individuals find more relevant information on the course material. 

Adding Links video tutorial 1


Adding images

An ancient proverb states, "a picture is worth a thousand words". This imples that visuals can provide individuals with a deeper understanding than with text alone.  Visualizing something allows for much larger amounts of information to be absorbed in a shorter amount of time.  It is much easier to understand the meaning of what is being said if there are visuals to demonstrate.  In a classroom setting, adding pictures would enhance the educational benefits of your page and provide visual appeal as well.

Adding images video tutorial 1


 

Adding/Removing attachments

Adding attachments to the page allows you to upload word documents, videos, or whatever you want the users to access.  The users will then be able to download the attachments or you can incorporate them into the format of the page in some way.  The attachment can be added into the page as a link or as a thumbnail preview for the users to click on and expand in their browser window.

Adding/Removing attachments video tutorial 1


 

Looking at/Restoring previous versions of a page

Mistakes happen and Confluence allows the user to go back and fix those mistakes with a couple clicks of the mouse button.  A whole paragraph can accidentally get deleted and that is no problem for Confluence to handle.  Restoring a page is just like reversing time.  If the user does not like how a page came out or a page got messed up, they can go back to previous versions of the page and try again.

Looking at older versions video tutorial 1
Restoring previous versions video tutorial 1

Commenting on a page

Commenting allows communication and it allows users to provide feedback on anything pertaining to the page, or anything else for that matter.  It is a place for dialogue to occur and helps to establish a way for teachers to stay in contact with their students for help outside of the classroom.  Students and teams working on projects can also collaborate via the comment system and work together to figure out problems without the hassle of setting up meeting times and places.

Commenting video tutorial 1


 

Adding/Removing tables

Tables have always been a great way to organize data and Confluence is no exception.  They are a great way to organized data and Confluence allows the user to apply a table to any situation with ease.

Adding/Removing tables video tutorial 1


 

Adding a table of contents

A table of contents allows for users to easily jump to different sections of a specific page.  It saves them the hassle of having to scroll down the whole page if the page happens to be quite long, such as this one.  They can just click on the section they desire and it takes them there.  Not only does a table of contents allow for easy navigation, but it also helps users to easily skim over the page and figure out where they want to go.  With a table of contents, Confluence users do not have to scroll up and down the whole page looking for the section they want.

Adding a table of contents video tutorial 1


 

Unique Confluence features

Conlfuence provides many features that can be used for different applications whether it is business or educational purposes.  2

Create and Edit Pages

Organize Pages into a Workspace

Blogging Capabilities

Attach and Manage Files

Receive Email Notifications

Use as a Discussion Board

Organize Information

Efficiently Search Workspace

Simple Administration

Wiki with Security

Atlassian's Openness and Partnerships

Integrate Office Tools

Customize Confluence

User Friendly
Students can also learn to use this program by being adventurous and exploring what works and what doesn't.  These are just the basics on how to get started, but there are much more advanced ways a user can customize their pages into their own unique spaces.  Confluence has a very handy User Guide for those that want to go beyond the basics and push the boundaries of its capabilities 3.

What materials does a person need to start using Confluence?
  • Computer equipment (monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.)
  • Internet
  • Basic computer skills
  • If in cases the need is rather large, it would be beneficial to go a technology assistant and get guidance of if you are really stuck.

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References

[1] Bennett, D. (2008, Oct 27). How To Use Confluence. Retrieved November 20, 2008, from Purdue University ITaP Dashboard Web site: http://wiki.itap.purdue.edu/display/INSITE/How+To+Use+Confluence  

[2]- Confluence Features.Retrieved November 18, 2008, from Atlassian.com Web site: http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/features/

[3] Confluence User Guide. (2008). Retrieved 19 November, 2008, from Atlassian Confluence at: http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Confluence+User+Guide;jsessionid=0972BA09B1DACEFE5027AF3824FDF2E3

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10 Comments

  1. Unknown User (hmparker)

    Maybe find information on how much Confluence costs, how people can choose from different versions, plugins that people can get to suit their needs. Also, give links to directions or videos on how to create pages, etc. Thanks for meeting the deadline!

    Hope

  2. Unknown User (jcaldero)

    It will be really helpful if you guys had a site on how exactly to use confluence. I think this would help many student in this class who are struggling with uploading pictures, and organizing their information in here.

  3. Unknown User (cgross01)

    Hereis a link to a bunch of tutorials provided by ITaP that tells how to do a bunch of things in Confluence.  We can use these to help explain how to do things in Confluence and creating pages and stuff.

  4. Unknown User (hmparker)

    Add screen captures to this page. Also, definitely add the link to the iTaP tutorials. Talk about children, comments, labels, editing abilities, history, exporting capabilities, etc.

    This page (http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/features/default.jsp) provides links to all of the different features of Confluence. Provide a link to each one on your page. They are listed just like this in the bottom right corner.

    Features

    • Overview
    • Create
    • Workspaces
    • Blogs
    • Attach
    • Notify
    • Discuss
    • Organise
    • Search
    • Administer
    • Secure
    • Open
    • Integrate
    • Customise
    • Usable
    1. Unknown User (fitzgera)

      Is everyone else getting "service temporarily unavailable" when clicking on the atlassian.com link?

      1. Unknown User (fitzgera)

        Alright, got it. Nevermind.

    2. Unknown User (fitzgera)

      Do you have any suggestions for what screen capture.
      Maybe a discussion board or the editing stage?

  5. Unknown User (hmparker)

    I would do a screen capture of our discussion board since that is really emphasized

  6. Unknown User (hmparker)

    Can someone add the indexes like this to all of the pages??? or you can just tell me how to do it. charlie tried, but i'm technology stupid and didn't figure it out.

    1. Unknown User (cgross01)

      I can take care of it. 

      It's much easier to show some one how to do something than trying to explain it with screen shots.