Changes on the Website for the 8th Edition

With the transition to the 8th edition of A First Look in 2011, we have kept the basic structure of the site introduced in 2008 with the 7th edition, but there are a number of changes that will affect your use of the site:

Edition Selection

For at least the first school year (2011-12) following the release of the 8th edition, you will be able to view the resources available for either the 7th or 8th edition. The site defaults to the 8th edition. If you have cookies enabled in your browser, it will remember the last edition selection you made.

Site urls (addresses) and your bookmarks

  • With the redesign for the 7th edition, we moved toward "Search Engine Safe" (SES) urls, but still included a "base page" (main.cfm) in the url of each page request. SES urls have several advantages:
    • They help search engines index a site since the url itself reads like a series of keywords
    • They are much easier for users to understand and pass on because they do not use abstract "query strings" (?view=theory&id=1234...)
  • With the 8th edition, the site now uses full SES urls.
    • For pages that are not edition-specifc:
      www.afirstlook.com./main.cfm/book becomes simply www.afirstlook.com/book
    • For pages that reference edition-specific material:
      www.afirstlook.com/main.cfm/theory_list becomes www.afirstlook.com/edition_8/theory_list
  • Some of the urls you used in the previous version of the site will still work, but it is highly recommended that you update all bookmarks.

Site Features

Main navigation tabs:

  • The Book (for general users) or Instructors tab (for logged in instructors) remain the "home page," with links adjusted to the currently selected edition
  • Table of Contents has been added as a tab to make it easier to quickly access it. It will show the Table of Contents for the selected edition.
  • Theory List remains the same, but shows the selected edition.
  • Theory Resources also reflects the selected edition. The basic structure remains the same, with these exceptions:
    • Principal Changes, previously restricted to registered instructors and based on a summary of changes from the Instructors Manual, is now called Changes and is available to all users. In addition to the summary from the Instructors Manual, edition 8 also includes additional detailed notes by Em Griffin.
    • Conversation Videos now display in the "detail" window instead of opening a new browser window or tab.
    • When using Theory view, the chapter navigation bar now includes the name of the next/previous chapter or section to provide a better sense of orientation. Note, however, that if you use the drop-down list to access an archived theory, the chapter navigation bar will disappear.
    • Self-Help Quizzes have been updated for the 8th edition, with significant editing of the McGraw-Hill questions by Em Griffin (includig some corrections or clarifications in answers). You can also choose to view 10, 15 or all 20 of the questions for the selected chapter. Questions are always shuffled each time you start a quiz, so you will always get a dfferent order.
  • Question (general users) Interactivity with site users will be replaced with a Facebook page, but an archive of past Question of the Moment postings will remain for the immediate future.
  • Interaction (registered instructors) has been dropped. The hopes to develop a Best Practices page never materialized. In addiiton, a user community wil be developed through Facebook.

Other navigation links and user options:

  • The footer no longer changes between public and logged-in users, so all users have all options available.
  • The Quick Search menu also reflects the wider availability of options to general site users, with only a few options added for logged-in users
  • In additon to introductions to Em Griffin and Emily Langan (Instructors Manual author), a "Consultants" page has been added to introduce Glenn Sparks and Andrew Ledbetter, who have played an increasingly significant role in shaping new editions of the book.

Text sizing and Display width:

  • The Text Size option is still available (though it may be less useful as browsers provide various options to change text size or zoom on a site).
  • The Width ajustment (narrow or wide) has been dropped since use of the option has become insignificant.

updated 8/11/2011



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