Frequently Asked Questions > Using NOVICE


Can I have a NOVICE buddy to help me use the NOVICE site?

Yes! If you would like to ask someone for help using the NOVICE site, we suggest you contact one of our NOVICE buddies! Below is a list of buddies who you can contact via NOVICE mail:

Sarah Baillie - English - Veterinarian and Veterinary Educationalist, specialising in clinical skills and simulation Tierney Kinnison - English - ICT/Veterinary Educationalist, main interests interprofessional education and animal welfare/behaviour Jan Ehlers - German - ICT educationalist, specialist in e-learning and e-assessment Lisa Schaper - German - ICT educationalists, also interested in e-learning and e-assessment Tobias Boerboom - Dutch - Veterinary Educationalist, primary interests e-learning and veterinary education Esther de Groot - Dutch - Veterinary Educationalist, main interest evidence based veterinary practice Mira Mandoki - Hungarian - Veterinary Educationalist, interested in veterinary pathology and avian diseases Emilia Ciobotaru- Romanian - ICT Educationalist, specialising in pathology of dogs and cats

I don't know how to use Web 2.0 tools, how do I start?

Each Web 2.0 tool (the main ones being blogs, discussion boards and wikis) has its own page accessible from the NOVICE menu. At the top of each page is a help section which gives a brief description of what the tool does, so you can decide if it is right for you. This section also provides links to other useful sites. It would obviously also help you if you read through some examples that already exist on the site. Use the help group and this FAQ section for further advice on using the tools.

How do I add another member as a friend?

To add a friend who is already a member of this site, find any post they have made (blog, discussion, wiki page, comment, etc), then click on the arrow that appears over their 'avatar' (user icon) and select 'Add as friend'. If you can't find a post by the member, click here to view and search all the member's avatars.


The other member will then recieve a notice asking them to confirm the friendship. If they confirm the request then they will appear on your 'My Friends' page, and you will be able to message them using the 'Chat bar' at the bottom of the page.

Apart from looking popular, is there any reason to create friends on the website?

Yes! By becoming a friend with another member of the NOVICE community, you will be able to keep up to date with their actions via your dashboard, you can send them messages, you can invite them to chat and you can view their profile more fully.

What does subscribing to an RSS feed mean?

On the left hand menu of many pages, there is the option to subscribe to feed. You should subscribe to feeds that you are particularly interested in to make it easier to keep up to date with new posts. Once you click subscribe to feed, you are redirected to another page where you must confirm you would like to subscribe. You can then access the page at any time via your browser's Favourites section. You can also unsubscribe to the feed via your browser's Favourites section. To learn more about RSS feeds, view this 'RSS in plain English' video.

How do I customize my profile?

On your profile page you have two options of customization. First you can "edit profile" and fill in all your personal data. Second you can "edit page" and create a profile page with all your actions in the novice portal (e.g. wire, blog, twitter). Please also watch this webcast to learn how to edit your profile.

What is My Dashboard?

Your dashboard is your own personal space on the NOVICE website. You can choose what you want to view there and how it looks. For example, you may wish to view the recent activity of yourself and your friends. Click on the 'My Dashboard' button on the elgg menu to access and modify your dashboard. Watch our video to find out more.

How do I change my notifications about site activity?

To edit how you are alerted to new activity on the site, go to 'settings', in the elgg menu at the very top of the page. Then click on 'Notifications' or 'Group Notifications' on the left menu and choose what type of alerts you would like to receive. View our guide to changing notifications here.

What do I do if I read an incorrect or inappropriate post?

Firstly, if you believe a post to be inaccurate, you could reply explaining your thoughts. Please note though, that you must adhere to netiquete rules yourself or you will risk having your post removed. To notify NOVICE of inappropriate posts which do not follow the rules of netiquete, please use the 'Report this' button on the left menu of most pages. To find out more about netiquete, access the netiquete/house rules page here.

When I tried to publish a post, it disappeared, why?

This is most likely due to page inactivity. Pages should not expire for up to an hour, but this time can fly by especially if you have the window open in the background. Here are a few suggestions: 1. When you log in, check the box 'Remember me'. This will ensure that your login does not expire (just make sure you hit the 'logout' button if you are on a public computer, otherwise your account will stay logged in). 2. If a page has been open in the background for while, hit refresh before starting to compose your message. 3. If you have more than one account on NOVICE, only log in with one at a time. 4. Copy your message (ctrl+a, ctrl+c) before you submit it. 5. Write your message in another piece of software (e.g. MS Word) first, then you will always have another copy.


Last updated 2115 days ago by Sarah