CNB :: Project History






User's Guide

Source Code

Project History

Developer Page

CourseNotebook (cnb) is being developed by John Phillips and his students as a tool to research web-based programming and web-based collaboration and learning. It is written in the PHP 4 programming language and uses a MySQL database backend.

Version 1

Version 1 of cnb development started in April of 2000. At the time Phillips was chairman of Business and Computer Science at Palm Beach Community College in Boca Raton, Florida and had spent the previous year studying the Perl programming language and SQL databases. Phillips had already accepted a new position at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and wanted to develop a tool to help with classroom instruction. By early summer, cnb was tested on PBCC students and it looked promising. Phillips put it to real use Fall semester of 2000.

Version 2

Version 2 of cnb was developed in December of 2000 and January of 2001 over Christmas break. A great many features were added including email. However, after using it Spring semester of 2001, Phillips still felt it to be awkward.

Version 3

Version 3 of cnb was developed with the help of students in CIS 401 during Spring semester of 2001. Many great features were added including file upload, calendar/todo list, and i18n language support. Unfortunately, some of the student work was lost when the linuxwebhost server hosting (the student development site) crashed after the semester had ended. CNB 3 was a useful project for the students yet remains an unfinished work.

Version 4

Version 4 of cnb was developed in the Summer of 2001 when Phillips decided that the cnb interface was just getting too complex. Phillips developed a simpler interface that has a bit of a slashdot style yet still had much of the power that cnb3 offered. Students complained that the look of the other cnb's was dull, so a user defined color scheme was added to cnb4. Other features include a simple one-page-shows-all interface (no more bouncing from menu to menu), one paragraph message previews (no more multipage messages to scroll through), a subject field that is searchable, and an integrated quiz generator with automatic grading. CNB was ported to on February 28, 2002 and released under an MIT open source license.

Version 4.1

Much development work yet needs to be done on cnb. Our current focus is on adaptive quiz generation and grading. Phillips is also working to improve the administrative tools. Currently many administrative duties require knowledge of SQL. Logo
©2002 John E. Phillips