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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Unique Confluence features
Conlfuence provides many features that can be used for different applications whether it is business or educational purposes. 2
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.)
- 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.
 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
- Confluence Features.Retrieved November 18, 2008, from Atlassian.com Web site: http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/features/
 Confluence User Guide. (2008). Retrieved 19 November, 2008, from Atlassian Confluence at: http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Confluence+User+Guide;jsessionid=0972BA09B1DACEFE5027AF3824FDF2E3