Tinderbox Posts


Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a few posts about how I use Tinderbox. (I have a TBX-only RSS. The full list presented in reverse posting order can be found by clicking here.) Many were written as I was figuring out how to do something new or was looking for a new approach to an old problem. In these cases, writing was a way of self-consciously (because publicly) thinking through my problem. At other times, I’d simply discovered how to do something and wrote to preserve my sense of what I understood at that point because I knew that what I understood would change and I wanted to be able to remember that earlier understanding later. Occasionally other people found some of this useful and later posts occasionally respond to these readers’ interests or suggestions.

Looking back now it seems like there might be value in presenting some of what I’ve done in a sensible order. That’s what I’ve tried to do below.

Course Planning

I first bought Tinderbox to use it for course planning. A week in and I was hooked. I can still remember trying to explain to a colleague what software I was using and why I was so astounded by it: I couldn’t find the words or the concepts I needed. These posts were my effort to capture what I had attempted in those early semesters and to identify what I wanted to change. The final post explains the happy results of the process.

Front-of-the-manual Tools

This series started with a simple post about the use I got out of Tinderbox’s most basic tools. In response to some feedback I received through Twitter and by email, I created a few additional posts about other basic tools I was using in a then-current project.

Grading Rubric

A series of posts that explains how a grading rubric I built in Tinderbox works.

Exporting Custom Texts

A series written under the conviction that most the trouble with export is conceptual: we non-computer folks think about it wrong. But it’s also written under the conviction that trying to learn to think about it like the computer folks when you’re not one may not work. My suggestion in each of these examples is:

  1. to start any export by drafting an instance of the exact output you want using tools you are familiar with; and then
  2. to work backwards from that sample to create a template that can be assigned to notes.

These posts are my first attempt to write a nest of web of pages with a single entry point posted on the blog timeline. The core examples in the series are: