The Resource Viewer has been developed to give faculty more control over the display of Resources in Sakai. It allows them to
Present a subset of Resources, so students don't have to find the relevant files in a sometimes-overwhelming display in the Resources tool.
Display a description of a file, something many faculty miss in the Resources tool.
Add this collection/presentation to the lefthand (tool) menu with a name of their choosing. Since they can add more than one instance of the Resource Viewer to the menu, each with its own name, it lets them assemble something like lessons and present these as fundamental building blocks of the course.There's been discussion, in Sakai and now in Fluid, of rethinking Sakai so that its workflow and navigation are more task-centric and less tool-centric. An expanded vision of the Resources Viewer (unfortunately named, for this possible future) gives us one glimpse of what this alternate organization might look like.
Suppose that the Resource Viewer could hold not only a subset of Resources but selected chunks of other tools as well. Imagine a Resources Viewer that presents a reading, a discussion thread pertaining to the reading, a related research assignment, and a quiz. An instructor could present a course as a set of lessons, each integrating several tools, rather than as a collection of tools within each of which the student finds the current morsel.
There was discussion of this vision during the early development of the Resource Viewer. Let's keep it alive and build on it - or propose other models of ways in which Sakai could develop as a more integrated learning system.