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Share your templates with the world

We are interested in receiving templates for CoFFEE from both educational practitioners and business users of CoFFEE.

To add your template, send a zip attachment with your template files to
Please supply us with:
- Description
- School level / Business usage
- Language
Note: all templates we publish here are free and fully open source.


Templates from the book  "Talking over the computer".


See resources for more information about the book.


This archives contains the CoFFEE XML session files of the pedagogical scenarios described in the book "Talking over the computer". The zip file contains xml files that can be unzipped and loaded in the Session Editor if you want to modify it or in the Session Controller if you want to run it.

The archives are available in the original languages but can be easily translated.
The standard installer of CoFFEE also provides several extensive example sessions that are easily adapted to your needs.



Scenario 1: the soil (in Italian)
Scenario 2: basic statistical concepts (in Italian) 
Scenario 3: the waste management problem (in Italian) 
Scenario 4: risk management in nuclear power (in French)
Scenario 5: nature/nurture debate (in English) 
Scenario 6: learning how to plan (in English and Dutch)  


Warning: the xml files that have been designed with older versions of CoFFEE may cause problems while running the sessions. To avoid such problems, you can open the session in the latest version of the Session Editor included in the standard installer of CoFFEE and save them before running it.



Question 1. 
Category: General

Can CoFFEE be used over the Internet?


The short answer is - not at the moment, but keep following because we're already looking into it. CoFFEE was not originally designed to be used outside the local classroom network. Its tools and architecture were specifically designed to optimally perform in face to face situations. These were the requirements of the LEAD research consortium which financed the development and which ended in November 2008. The University of Salerno (in Italy) continues to support and develop CoFFEE and has received a grant from IBM to adapt some CoFFEE tools for work collaborations, which may include remote collaborations. The idea of using coFFEE over a remote network is high on the development team's priorities. They are looking at using CoFFEE with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and are also exploring other technical possibilities.

Question 2. 
Category: Technical issues

On what Apple computer does CoFFEE run?

Answer: CoFFEE 3.3 and up should work with Mac OS X 10.4.11 or above.

Question 3. 
Category: General

Why is CoFFEE not available in my language?

Answer: CoFFEE was developed within a research project (LEAD) which consisted of partners from four countries, so we first made it work in their languages. But it can certainly be translated into more languages. In fact, we are regularly adding new languages to CoFFEE, based on specific requests and offers to translate the interface and other materials. If you'd like to translate CoFFEE to your language, please go to:

Question 4. 
Category: Technical issues

When is CoFFEE for Linux coming out?

Answer: Linux versions of CoFFEE are usually released a few days after the main release. They are tested on Ubuntu 8.04. 
Question 5. 
Category: General

When is the next version of CoFFEE due?

Answer: We don't have a final date for the next version, but it will probably happen around February 2009. Please Sign up to the 
newsletter to receive an update! 

Question 6. 
Category: Templates

what is a (good) CoFFEE template?

Answer: A good CoFFEE template would be subject-matter independent. This means that other teachers could use it in their specific context, whether they teach geography or chemistry. A template is a combination of tools and steps that are designed to support an activity type (e.g brainstorming, planning or problem solving) within a particular setting (small groups, whole-class, a particular age-group), and typically also a particular language. Technically, a template consists of a session file, a description file (in rtf format) and a template information file (xml), which can all be created in the Lesson Planner's Session Editor. Editing the description file requires a rich text editor, such as Open Office Writer, Microsoft WritePad or Word. The session editor will automatically launch your default editor. 

Question 7. 
Category: Technical issues

I want to upgrade to a new version. What is it exactly that I need to back up?

Answer: There can be a number of files that either you created yourself or were generated by CoFFEE.
To upgrade to a new version of CoFFEE, you will first need to completely remove the CoFFEE directory from your computer, but before you do that you may want to back up some of those files.
Here is a list of them, and when they would be on a windows XP system (in English): 
  • Your sessions - [root]:\Program Files\CoFFEE\Controller\Sessions
  • Paused sessions (in case you wish to resume them in the future) and trace files (for researchers) - [root]:\Program Files\CoFFEE\Controller\trace 
  • Your templates - [[root]:\Program Files\CoFFEE\LessonPlanner\Templates 
  • Your classFile files, those files that store your student lists - [root]:\Program Files\CoFFEE\Controller\ClassFiles 

Question 8. 
Category: Tools

Is there a voting capability in CoFFEE?

Answer: There's something very close to voting - the Positionometer. Learners can express their opinion on a question on a scale, but they can also change it for as long as the tool is active or until the end of the step, so the results of the vote can change with the discussion.
 An interesting use scenario for the Positionometer tool is to combine it, in a private configuration, with an open discussion in the Threaded Discussion tool. As a private tool, the learners don't see what others are voting, and others don't see theirs, so they can feel free to shift their positions on the subject at hand. The teacher can export the vote results to a file and see how classroom opinions have developed during the discussion.

An interesting tip for general studies or civics teachers: 
  • Research has shown that using the positionometer as a public voting tool caused learners to vote more uniformly! 
So, if you'd like to encourage a diversity of opinions, let students express themselves in "private mode" first, and export an image of the positionometer. Then, let the students vote again, in public mode, and note the change. You can then share the different results with your pupils, and discuss the reasons for this difference.

Question 9. 
Category: Tools

Which CoFFEE tool should I use for brainstorming?

Answer: The Threaded Discussion tool is probably the best tool to use for brainstorming. 
It allows several conditions to arise, which are favourable to brainstorming but would not occur in regular classroom discussions:
  •  First, learners can overcome what researchers call product blocking, i.e. having to wait for their turn to express themselves. With a text-based digital tool, all the learners can express themselves simultaneously. 
  • Second, research done with CoFFEE reveals that using the (peer) anonymity option during a discussion encourages learners to express themselves more, as well as to express a greater diversity of opinions and ideas (note that learners only appear anonymously to each other - not to the teacher).
  •  Finally, with the categories feature, it is possible to conduct multiple distinct discussions at the same time. 
Question 10. 
Category: Technical issues

Who should download and install CoFFEE?

Answer: CoFFEE was primarily designed to be used by teachers and students in networked computer classrooms. Teahcers or technical administrators can download and easily install it within minutes. 

Question 11. 
Category: General

How much does CoFFEE cost?

Answer: Nothing. CoFFEE is an open-source software which you are welcome to download, install and use completely for FREE. 

Question 12. 
Category: Technical issues

How do I install CoFFEE?

Answer: Just download the installer application, double click it and follow the instructions. It really is that simple. To use CoFFEE in a networked clasroom, you need to install it on several computers. You may burn a copy of the installer to a CD and install it from there. You should intall all the components on the teacher's computer, whereas for the students' PC's you will probably only need to install CoFFEE Discusser. 

Question 13. 
Category: Technical issues

On which Windows computer does CoFFEE run?

CoFFEE 3.3 officially supports Windows2000 and Windows XP. It is also being used with Windows Vista in some schools.

pina palmieri,
3 Feb 2011, 09:56