- What is a thinking guide?
- How do I register?
- How do I edit my details?
- What do I do if I've forgotten my password?
- What do I do if I've forgotten my username?
- What can I do with ready-made guides?
- Thinking guide editor
- What is the 'Projects for review' tab for?
- Sending and sharing thinking guides
- Managing my thinking guides
- Video tutorials
- Videos to help you make the most of Exploratree's features
- Filling in a thinking guide
- Creating a thinking guide
- Presenting with Exploratree
- Using the sequencing feature
- Adding comments to a thinking guide
Thinking guides are tools or frameworks for thinking through an issue and considering different aspects or perspectives. They can be useful for helping to develop thinking skills. There is an initial library of useful thinking guides ready-made in Exploratree and we hope that you will use these, customise them and change them, and also make your own.Return to top
You can register by clicking the 'Register now' button on the homepage and filling in the registration form. You must fill out all items marked with an * and you have to give a valid e-mail address to which you have access to be able to use Exploratree. Once you have submitted your details you will be sent an e-mail with an activation link. Clicking this link will activate your account and take you to back to Exploratree and allow you to use your account.Return to top
You may edit your details from any part of Exploratree by clicking your username in the top right-hand corner (when you are logged in). From this page you will be able to edit your first and last name, change your e-mail address and change your password.Return to top
If you have forgotten your password then you can click the 'Forgotten your password?' link from the logged out homepage. You will be asked for your username and e-mail address, which you supplied when registering. You will then be e-mailed a new password.
Note you will never be given your original password for security reasons and it is recommended you change your new password to something more memorable straight away.Return to top
If you have forgotten your username then you can click the 'Forgotten your username?' link on the logged out homepage. You will be asked to supply your e-mail address and you will then be e-mailed your username.
Note if you have more than one account with the same e-mail address then you will receive all usernames registered to that address.Return to top
Ready-made guides are our pre-set thinking guides which are free for you to use. Each guide has a short description showing you what this guide is used for before you open it. You can use these as group or individual projects and fill them in as you explore and develop your thinking around an issue. You can change and edit these, use them in projects to think through issues, and send them to whoever you like.
You can print out the thinking guides and use them as worksheet handouts in class. You can also customise them to the needs of the class and topic.
View the tutorial video here: Filling in a thinking guide online.Return to top
The thinking guide editor is a part of the site driven using Adobe Flash. If you do not have Flash installed on your computer you will not be able to create, view or edit thinking guides.Return to top
If you have not yet registered you may demo the thinking guide creation application but you will be unable to save. You will need to register to be able to save your work.Return to top
The thinking guide application allows you to edit and create thinking guides. These thinking guides can be made from scratch or from a template.
To learn more about creating thinking guides watch this video.Return to top
'Create it' mode allows you to create and sequence a new thinking guide from scratch.
'Do it' mode allows you to use and complete a thinking guide project. If you have been sent a thinking guide to complete then 'Do it' mode is the best mode to use - it gives you many of the same tools as 'Create it' but doesn't let you sequence or add hints. You can drop text, images and shapes on to create your guide.
'Show it' mode allows you to present your work once you have finished. 'Show it' mode doesn't have as many options as 'Create it' or 'Do it' mode which means you are able to show more of your project on screen.Return to top
When you create any element you will see there are squares at the corner of the marquee surrounding the element. Clicking and dragging the square will allow you to resize the object.
You can also resize text and objects by set increments using the plus and minus symbols in the left-hand toolbar.Return to top
There is a print option in the top toolbar of the application. There are A4 guides in the editor that show you how many pages you will need to print out your guide.Return to top
The stage you see when you load a new thinking guide is the same size as a sheet of A4. The dotted lines you see on your stage show you where a new sheet of A4 begins. You can therefore spread your guide across several pages which you can print out and stick together. You can do this for a maximum of 18 sheets (size A0).Return to top
The 'Projects for review' tab allows you to view other people's thinking guides that have been submitted to you for commenting (if you are a teacher reviewing work for example). You cannot edit these guides as you would with those shared or sent to you in 'My thinking guides' but you can review them, leave comments in the yellow 'post-its' and send them back to the originator. You can also create folders using the 'New folder' link at the bottom of the page and move your thinking guides into these folders using the move icon.Return to top
The send page allows you to send thinking guides in a variety of different ways. You can send to friends, or to groups which you have set up. If you think you've got a particularly good thinking guide, you can also send it to Exploratree so we can share it with the rest of the Exploratree community. If you wish to submit to another user for commenting only you can do so from this page via the 'Submit for commenting' link. You are also given a URL (web address) which you can use to e-mail to other users so that they may copy your thinking guide.Return to top
The send to a friend option allows you to send to another individual or individuals. You may send to a known username or e-mail address, either is fine. If you wish to send to more than one then usernames/e-mail addresses must be separated by a comma (,) for example: 'Joebloggs, janebloggs' or 'firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com'.Return to top
If you have set up a group then you can send directly to the group which will mean you don't have to type out the names of each individual username. If you don't have a group set up yet you will be given the option to make a new group. You can set up more than one group.
As a teacher you therefore may wish to create groups for each of your classes. As a student you may wish to create groups for those you regularly work with by class.Return to top
If you wish to send your thinking guide to others for commenting and don't wish others to edit it then you can submit it for commenting. Recipients of your guide will then be able to leave comments on your work but not edit it directly.
Students can use this function to send to their teacher when they are ready to submit their work.Return to top
If you think you have a particularly good thinking guide then you can send to Exploratree. Exploratree will then review your thinking guide and may decide to use it as a template.Return to top
The share option allows you to collaboratively work with others (i.e. you can work on the same project). This doesn't mean you can both work on it at the same time. It does mean you can work together, taking it in turns to update your thinking guide, and when one person saves the other will see those changes the next time they open the thinking guide. To use this feature click the share icon on the thinking guide you would like to share and you will be presented with a screen which allows you to share with others by either their username or e-mail address. If you wish to share with more than one other please separate each subsequent user by a comma (,) for example: 'Joebloggs, janebloggs' or 'firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com'.Return to top
This is a way to leave comments for someone else to see on their thinking guide. They have to first send you their guide for you to be able to comment by using the 'Send', and then 'Submit for comments' feature.
View the tutorial video here: Adding comments to a thinking guide.Return to top
If you've been sent a thinking guide for review by someone else then it will open by default in 'View comments' mode. This mode does not allow you to edit the guide. Clicking the 'Add comments' button will allow you to add comments. You can then send the guide back to the sender with your comments attached.Return to top
From your logged-in homepage 'My thinking guides' menu you may send or share your guide with other users. You can also create folders using the 'New folder' link at the bottom of the page and move your thinking guides into these folders using the move icon. You can also delete individual guides. On the green column on the left-hand side you are also given the option to set up groups. If you have friends or colleagues who you regularly work with you can set up a group so that if you share or send with this group you will share with everyone in this group.Return to top
The move command allows you to organise your thinking guides within folders you have created. For example you may wish to create thinking guides for biology and history classes and have folders to keep them separate from each other. To move your guides click the move icon next to the guide you wish to move. The screen you are then shown gives you a drop-down which allows you to select the folders you can move to. Note, you cannot move thinking guides between tabs i.e. 'My thinking guides' to folders in 'Projects for review'. To do this you need to submit the guide for review.Return to top
If you wish to set up a group, for example if you have a set of friends you work regularly with in your chemistry class or you are a teacher wishing to set up a group for your class then you can make a new group. You can do this via the 'Add a new group' link under 'My groups' on the green left hand column of Exploratree. You will be given the option to assign a name e.g. 'Joe's chemistry class' and then add people via e-mail or usernames. If you add more than one other person to the group you will need to separate with a comma (,) for example: 'Joebloggs, janebloggs' or 'firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com'.
When you have created a new group you are given the option to review the group. From here you will be told if you have added any unrecognised usernames. You will also be given the opportunity to delete users from the group and add more if you have missed anyone.Return to top
If you wish to edit or delete your group you can do so by clicking edit under the group's name found on the left-hand green column. The edit screen allows you to delete or add new users. The delete option will ask you if you are sure you wish to delete the group and if you confirm you are then it will be deleted irrecoverably.Return to top
When making a thinking guide you may wish to sequence it so that one part is shown before another is revealed. You can do this in the 'Create it' mode using the 'Make a sequence' option on the right-hand side. To set up a sequence, click on 'Make a sequence', and drag and drop the appropriate step number to your chosen object. Note, you will need to add a number to each object that you want to appear in that step. You can have up to 16 steps in your sequence, and each step can include as many objects as you wish.
For example dragging the number 1 to a box will tell that box to appear in step 1, and dragging the number 2 to a triangle will tell the triangle to be invisible in step 1 but to appear in step 2. If you do not drag a number onto a shape then it will show throughout all steps.
Use the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons in the centre of the screen to move from one step to the next.
View the tutorial video here: Using the sequencing feature.Return to top
Filling in a thinking guide - adding content to a thinking guide.
Creating a thinking guide - making a new thinking guide from scratch.
Presenting with Exploratree - showing your thinking guides in Exploratree.
Using the sequencing feature - breaking down your thinking guide into steps.
Adding comments to a thinking guide - contributing and reading comments on thinking guides.Return to top