6 Aug 2017

Buddies and roadblocks in Pathways

First of all, it is great idea to work together with a buddy, and discuss together.

Thus not only you can discuss when you run in a problem but new ideas arise from each other. It is not about mentoring or coaching, it is listening to each other in turn. Once one of you is the "listener" another time the second one.

That system worked for me very well at my beginnings as storyteller, and it still works in marvellous ways today going through Path & Projects. But I think, other then the buddies, this post could be useful also to the new Guides, Base camp managers, which could get the same questions that we got from each other. And of course all who begin now Pathways, one after the other.

This is from FAQ on TMI and alas is not always true. Some parts of the Base camp are not so User Friendly and some of us have difficulties to figure out how to get through them. So I try here to remind some problems my buddies and me did encounter on our way.

First let us remind a very useful information I did find in the same FAQ: what computer to use? In fact as technical as it sounds, it compromises almost all recently used computers, tablets and smart phones! I was able to run Pathways in my Macintosh, on my iPad and iPhone even.

At least, after I did what is written in the image here, Pop-up blocker disabled. JavaScript enabled. At the beginning, I had problems finding where to find the "Disable/ Enable the Pop-ups" But now, you are lead hand by hand how to find it. But be aware: one had to Disable the Popup blocker not only on your system, but on your browser too, in my case on my Safari.
Those are all popular browsers. Some work differently from others. And all devices do not work at the same either. This diversity of course is not TMI fault, life is complicated and all that is on our computer is too.

For example, my own biggest complain against the Projects in Base Camp was that after I saved or printed a Project, I was lead to the Transcripts page and lost the place I was when I begin Printing. It took me three month to discover, that on my iPad a new TAB opens up for saving or printing, when I close it I get back to the tab before, exactly where I were. I could even navigate between tabs!

Then I come back to my Macintosh and investigated where it is the What you do when you click on a link, how to make it OPEN A NEW TAB instead of replacing the old one. I found it now! So the problem was how my system was configured not how the Pathways acted.
In the FAQ I found they added now a clear explication why we have to disable the popups. In any case, I told my buddy who complained "I do not want things to popup on my computer" that in the month I used Pathways, nothing "popped up" on my computer. Nothing else that the Projects.

Another problem I had it was when I wanted to help my buddy to Check his Compatibility as his Base Camp did work as needed.

Clicking on the letters on the brown line did not work and did not work!
It did take some time to discover: one has to hover under it, and click on the white button under it. For sure, this is not intuitive, as other times when one clicks on the buttons it works directly. And my grand son told me this is used when there are many choices under a menu only.

Well, once we know... and with time, perhaps it could be even corrected!

Once you got to the configuration check, you are told how your own Operating System, Browser, Screen Resolution, Color Depth etc fares. Here is mine, all arranged now. I had to add Java and JavaScript, did, as was asked. But the most important as I have seem with my Buddy was the popup.

As to Pop-up Blockers, depending on your system and browser, now Pathways Configuration Check if you click on what is wrong, opens up and explains step by step what to do, how to do it!

Another buddy had problems with the start, he would have liked to be directly in his Projects.

"Why the Pathways Base Camp is the third on the line, when that is what I do usually, day after day, there is where I go? Yes, at the beginning, I may read informations about club meetings, and so on in "the navigator" and chose my path, but once done that, I want to go normally to Base Camp!"

Well, it is a bit strange, but it is not difficult to click on the third rectangle usually.

Still, from time to time, it is interesting to go back and see if there are any new added to Navigator. And when you click on the Base Camp rectangle this opens up (as to now) Some big pictures and under it 5 rectangular boxes. I is strange that for long time, I did not even see there is a first one.

I learned to go directly to the second box: My Educational Transcript. Now, it was me asking my buddy "Why do not says on it : My path and projects?" Why did they name it "Transcript" ? In any way, that is that Second box, Transcripts where we spend most of our times, not very much caring about the two next boxes. 

I did try with a buddy "my feedback" first did not work then it worked, we asked "feedback" from each other. Why spend a whole box on that? Then it comes "my badges". You get one for every level. Alas, they are digital badges only, that I can not put on my tee-shirt. And they can be accessed also through the Transcript, in other way. 

The last box is very important, you can find ALL the Evaluations for ALL the projects in ALL the path in the Speech Evaluations box. So you can evaluate someone who is in a different path or level then you. Of course, when you are on your own path, level and project, from within it you got always on a page a link to Save or Print it's Evaluation Resource as it is called. 

Attention! you have to save it before you send it, after you filled it out for someone, if not, your buddy gets a unfilled feedback. As to how to fill it in, I did write already. Nowadays, instead of using the Adobe Acrobat Reader, that was free till now, I use the Preview that is free on all the Macs. I wrote already a post about how to find, where to put them after, and how to fill them.


The very first thing my buddy - or was it a mentor ? explained to me when I begun, so I will add it here, was that in order to be able to "complete a project" any project, one has to answer to ALL the Assessment questions, the one Before and the one After. Not using the arrow this time, but the NEXT and NEXT again and again and clicking on one of the numbers from 1 to 5. When you did click at the last one and on each page, a Save opens up, you save it.

When you arrive to the last page of the Assess your skills - AFTER, and save, the project is completed from the system point of view, and you are shown the differences of Before and After.

Of course, between those two, you did study the project, looked at videos, answered quiz, did some side research eventually (I always do), asked VPE for a speech and delivered the speech and added the feedback in your e-portofolio at the right level and right name so you can later recognise it. But those activities the Base Camp does not verify. And the VPE usually verifies only, eventually, when you have completed a new level, because he has to approve it and declare it in the Club Central TMI.

So far, those were the most important roadblocks my buddies and me encountered. Once understood, and got through it, all goes smooth and none of us think much of it and can concentrate on the wonderful Projects in our Path. Reflect on it, understand it, create something that really can be applied outside Toastmasters also. Applying again and again what I learned what a joy!

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