Textivate Resource Management: An Overview

(Note that this user guide will not deal with the specifics of creating resources, as there are plenty of other user guides for those sorts of things. This one is more about the mechanics of the functionality of the Textivate home page.)

Textivate is like a text editor that is used to generate interactive resources. Imagine that it's being used to create files, just like a desktop version of Word or something like that.

New Resource

When you want to start a new resource, it's like starting with a new text file. In Textivate, to do this, you click on the New Resource icon (see below). This clears the content from all 5 tabs and starts you off with an empty unsaved "file".

Then you can go about the business of creating your own resource, by entering your content into the Text, Match, Extras and Sequence tabs (depending on the type of resource you want to create). Note that the "Show all" tab combines the content from the other 4 tabs, and this represents in fact the contents of "text file" that will eventually be uploaded to the Textivate server.

Saving / Uploading a Resource

So you've finished adding the text etc for your resource. But your "unsaved file" is only available to you at the moment. To "save" it and make it available to others, you need to upload it by clicking on the "Upload" icon (see below).

Once you have done this, your "text file" (the contents of the "Show all" tab) is uploaded onto the Textivate server and is identifiable via a unique 6-digit resource identifier. (You've now uploaded your text file into a huge online repository full of thousands of other text files, each with a unique ID, and each with different access rights).

If you upload your resource as a "Public" resource, all Textivate users will be able to find it via the public resource search. If you upload it as "Shareable", they won't find it in the resource search, but you will be able to share it with others via a link. If you upload it as "Private", only you will be able to access the resource. (If you have a "Basic" subscription, you can only upload files as "Private".)

Trying Out Activities

If you want to see what the activities for your resource will look like, click on the textivate>> button to go to an activity menu page. 

From there you will be able to click on the various activity options from the menu and try out the activities. Use Textivate's "Back" buttons to navigate back to the home page.

Assigning a Resource

Your resources are not automatically assigned to anybody simply because you have created them. If you want your students to interact with the resource that you have created, you need to send them or share with them a link to the specific resource, activity, sequence, whatever.

Once you have uploaded your text file to Textivate, you can get a link for that file, so that you can share it with others (as long as you uploaded it as "Public" or "Shareable"). To do this, you click on the "Share" icon (see below).

If your resource is uploaded (as "Public" / "Shareable") you will see tha same "Share" icon on the menu screen and on all activity screens. The URL that is provided via the "Share" icon differs according to the page that you are on (i.e. the link points to the page that you are on).

IMPORTANT: If you have created a "Sequence" for your resource, and you want to share a link to that "Sequence", you MUST make sure that you click on the "link to sequence" option. This changes the share URL so that it points specifically to the "Sequence".

See this user guide all about sharing links in Textivate.

The "Share" icon also provides options for sharing directly to your Textivate "Classes" (if you have set them up, see more below) and also for sharing with your Google Classroom.

Tracking Progress

Textivate is a practice tool and does not keep any records of student activity by default. But there are 2 modes in which Textivate will track student activity, in very different ways:

  • "Sequence": a specific set of activities for which you specify various parameters affecting the on-screen experience, as well as the pass mark, where you get to see the scores, time taken, etc, for each activity. See this user-guide introducing "Sequences".
  • "Challenge": a scoreboard competition where students score points on the scoreboard based on the number and accuracy of their interactions for all completed activities. See this introduction to "Challenges".

See this blog post which compares "Sequences" and "Challenges".

Saving Changes (No Share Icon!!)

Once you have saved / uploaded a resource, Textivate will look out for any subsequent changes that you may make to the resource. If you type / delete something new into one of the text boxes, or if you add a User-defined Gap-fill, a Trapdoor activity, text-to-speech, a parallel text, etc etc. -- i.e. if you make ANY changes to the resource content -- the "Share" icon will be replaced with a "Save Changes" icon (see below):

Why does it do this? Well, if you have made changes to the file on your device, but these changes have not been updated to the server, the "text file" on our server is out-of-date and no longer reflects the true content of your resource. So, you save the changes, and the "Share" icon reappears.

Classes / Student Log-ins

If you want to be able to share links directly with your classes, the simplest way is to set up "Classes" on Textivate. To do this (or to manage existing "Classes", change passwords, delete assigned links etc), click on the "Manage Students / Classes" icon (see below).

Once you have got a "Class" set up, you will see a "Share with class" button along with the other share options in the "Share" box (accessed via the "Share" icon).

See this user guide on setting up classes, managing students and assigning individual log-ins to students.

Accessing Saved Resources

To access your uploaded resources on Textivate, you use the "Search" icon, which is available below the text boxes on the Textivate home screen (see below)...

...or at the top right of the page on both the home page and the activity menu.

This "Search" function is the way that you access:

  • "Public" resources (uploaded by yourself and thousands of other Textivate users)
  • "My resources" (these are your own uploaded resources)
  • "Recently viewed" (like a history of the last 100 resources that you accessed)
  • "Favourites" (apologies to those in N.America for the UK spelling ;-)

Note that if you have set up "Classes" for your students with individual log-ins, "Search" + "My resources" is where students will see links that have been shared with them via the "Share to class" button mentioned in the "Assigning a Resource" section above.



Making text-based resources in textivate.

Textivate takes any text that you type (or paste) into the textivate textbox and turns it into multiple interactive activities (and worksheets).

Here's what you do.

1. Go to the textivate home pagewww.textivate.com

Follow the above link or type the url into a web browser.

You can get to the home page from any of the textivate screens by clicking on the "textivate" icon that appears at the top left of the screen. From the menu screen you can also click on the "Back to textivate home page" button.

2. Empty the text box.

When you arrive on the homepage, you may see a default "Welcome to textivate..." text, or another text (depending on whether or not you've been there before). To make your own resource, you need to clear this text first.