The ENCOMPASS (ENCyclopedic knowledge Made a Popular ASSet) portal provides quick and easy access to videos from the lecture series and other science events, as well as support materials, lecturer bios, quizzes, images and audio.
The main objective of the ENCOMPASS 2.0 portal is to allow users to access lectures, roundtable discussions and live events featuring leading members of the Hungarian scientific community, as well as video reports on the social and economic implications of the given topics, and to do so as easily, quickly and from as many different perspectives as possible. With this in mind, the portal offers a variety of points of entry, internal links and options for further exploration. The lectures can be accessed via the Topic Area and Semester tabs, while the Experts have also been assigned their own menu item. Club Events, Roundtable Discussions and Video Reports are listed under the Magazine menu item. Fun tests relating to the lectures are located in the Quiz menu.
The videos of the lectures and other events, the most valuable and sought-after content on the site, can all be found in a matter of clicks. To satisfy the demands of today's users, this content can also be embedded on third-party sites. Each event has its own page, from which all related information is easily accessible.
A video wall will appear across the top of the home page – the most frequently visited page on the site – either chronologically, by topic or, at a later date, at random.
the video strip running across the home page
Under the video of the highlighted lecture, users will find a list of other related lectures. Brief descriptions of another seven lectures appear to either side. When the mouse cursor is moved over one of the grey columns, the introductory text of the given lecture appears on the screen, while clicking on the column opens the lecture's home page. The video window in the centre of the screen allows the video to be watched directly from the home page, while the strip beneath it enables users to select from related videos.
users can quickly cycle through summaries of the 15 lectures via the home page video strip
In the area under the video strip on the home page, we have made a navigation element available that provides instant access to the page of a selected topic area or lecturer.
quick selection by topic area
The latest entries from scientific blogs also appear on the home page, as well as headlines from the science section of origo.hu, Hungary's leading news portal. Discussion topics on scientific regulations, legal issues, ethics and communications are listed under the Metavita (Metadiscussion) menu item.
When a visitor to the site is not looking for a specific lecture or lecturer, but instead information on a particular area of science, the “lectures” item on the main menu brings up the "Topic Areas" sub-menu, where scientific topics can be explored via a hierarchical system. By browsing through these, users will have no trouble finding their area of interest:
selection of topic areas
Once a topic has been selected from the two-level hierarchical list, we arrive at an aggregation page listing lectures and events related to that category. From here, the given event can be accessed directly.
list of lectures on a given branch of science
Of course, lectures can also be browsed chronologically. ENCOMPASS lectures have been staged in 12 semesters since 2002, making filtering by semester a logical option. By selecting a semester, we arrive at a list of events related to that semester (lectures, club events, etc.), from where the selected content can be accessed directly.
list of semesters
The page of the given event (lecture, club event, roundtable discussion or video report) always features the video on the left-hand side. Key information is displayed on the right, including a written summary, the film length and a list of participants.
The lectures page features embedded videos of the lectures, with a selection of related content, including a written version of the lecture, a glossary of terms, useful links, bios and photographs of participants, displayed below it. The podcast version of the lecture can also be downloaded here.
Albert-Laszlo Barbasi's lecture page featuring an embedded video, written version and other complementary content
This arrangement allows users to view the written version of the lecture, take quizzes, and browse featured diagrams and photographs taken at the event even as they watch the video. In other words, all related content is on screen and there is no need to interrupt the lecture.
the written version of the lecture
Lecturers participating in ENCOMPASS 2.0 used the Prezi ZUI (zooming user interface) online presentation tool available at prezi.com. These presentations have also been made available through the portal. During the video of the event, the embedded Prezi window beneath it allows the entire presentation to be explored freely.
the embedded online version of the “Prezi” presentation used in the lecture
A list of events related to the lecture can be found at the bottom of the page. Clicking on these links opens individual pages for these events. Another navigation option on this page is provided by the grey columns appearing alongside the videos. These allow users to jump to the lecture immediately before or after the one in the embedded window. This feature makes it possible to explore all ENCOMPASS lectures one by one in chronological order.
ability to flick through lectures in chronological order
Lectures can be commented and “liked” by users logged into Facebook. We have chosen this solution because we believe that the display of the user's real name via the social network will help ensure the tone and content of comments are acceptable and “self-moderated”.
In order to measure whether the information contained in the lectures has been retained, tests and quizzes are provided with each. These can be found both on the individual lecture page and collated under the Quiz menu item. Users can have a lot of fun answering these quiz questions. Quizzes can be filtered by lecturer name, title and date.
quiz page: quiz questions for the selected quiz are displayed alongside the menu list
Visitors to the site looking for lectures given by a particular expert can choose between two search and navigation options under the Experts menu item. (These pages not only show the lecturers, but also participants in other events and members of their production teams.) The Experts database can be browsed either in list or table format. Selecting list navigation brings up experts in groups of 30 in alphabetical order:
participants listed in alphabetical order alongside the events they have been involved in
Users can also browse participants with the help of an expansive table. The table simultaneously displays all related participants and can be filtered by a variety of variables (name, specialisation, date and activity), allowing for quick and easy navigation. Clicking on the thumbnail images brings up further relevant information from which individual events (lectures, roundtable discussions, etc.) can easily be explored.
participants in grid format
By choosing an expert from the lists of participants, users can jump to pages where all information related to the given person is collated and displayed, including brief and extended bios, still image and video portraits, lists of publications and related events.
In addition to the science lectures, discussions and films available on the portal, visitors will also find articles like those found in scientific journals, such as interviews with award-winning young researchers, reports on major scientific conferences and many other items of interest related to the ENCOMPASS 2.0 programme series.
the page for young researchers awarded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
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E-learning materials associated with the 16 lectures in the ENCOMPASS 2.0 series can be accessed via the E-LEARNING menu item. This link brings visitors to a new user interface, which, although it incorporates elements of the ENCOMPASS 2.0 branding, has a very different menu structure and page layout. This is necessary to visually communicate that the e-learning environment targets a different audience (high school students) in a language they understand.
the E-LEARNING menu item in the main menu
The E-LEARNING home page provides a quick overview of the teaching materials available. Users are asked to select from a variety of login options (Facebook, Google or individual registration) before proceeding to their chosen e-learning topic. Users must log in to be able to take advantage of the additional features within the teaching environment.
the E-LEARNING environment home page
On entering the e-learning environment, users can choose from all of the available topic areas. The list of contents on the lecture topic title page provides a convenient overview of how the subject matter has been adapted to be of maximum interest and use to high school students:
table of contents for a given topic
Students can progress through the teaching materials in any order, completing interactive tasks and viewing still images and videos. Although the e-learning content was created to support the ENCOMPASS lectures, it was also often necessary to adapt the materials to better match the understanding and interests of younger visitors to the site.
a chapter from the selected topic area
After viewing the lessons, students can complete challenging tasks and tests (often in the form of games) to allow them to immediately assess their understanding of the material.
test questions related to the teaching material