The SmartFAQ module has been designed and built for use with Xoops2 Content Management System platform. The module provides interactive features that allow the Web administrator and site users to post and respond to questions and answers. The module allows the administrator to create categories and sub-categories for the Q&As. Each category has a short description giving a clear reference for the type of material for that section. On selecting the module, users can immediately see the top level categories with their descriptions and also title links for any sub-categories that are included beneath. Navigation is via links that open each category or item for further viewing.

The module has several additional features for organising and displaying the Q&A content. Depending on how the material is arranged, there are blocks that display 'Random questions' links that open the answers, 'Did you know' statements, a list of 'Recent Open Questions', How do I..., Contextual Q&A, Recent Q&A (Detail) and Recent Q&A List. It is easily possible to create a whole website, or interactive knowledge base by using this module only. Alternatively it may be set up as a discreet 'contextual help' module, where selected material will be automatically displayed only on specific web pages and modules.

The module provides a fully integrated notification system. This allows users to track any particular Q&A or a question they are waiting for an answer for. This will automatically send them an email when any new or updated material is posted against that item. This is particularly useful and opens the possibility for using the module in a similar way to a 'customer helpdesk'.

Further organization features of the module allow users to see all 'open questions' by other users awaiting answers and also to submit alternative or additional answers to exiting Q&A combinations. These features may be turned off to general users or made visible only to selected groups, thus allowing the administrator to create a moderation user group who can manage the publication of material.

We are going to work through a typical installation, configuration and setup of the SmartFAQ module that demonstrates the sequences and requirements to make the module work. To makes things clear and save unnecessary text we will display images of each administration and user screen. For details about any area on the image, all you have to do is hover over a link, checkbox, option, form or tab. This opens a short description of what this function is for and how to use it.

Here is a short overview of the features of SmartFAQ :

  • Users can request a Q&A

  • Accepted requests are published in the Open Questions section.

  • Users can see, in the Open Questions section, the questions that are yet unanswered.

  • Users can propose answers to these questions.

  • When an answer is approved, the Q&A is published in the Q&A section.

  • Each Q&A can have other information like a 'Did you know?' and 'How do I?' statement.

  • These statements can be randomly displayed in blocks, along with a link for the complete answer.

  • Q&A can be linked to a specific module or a specific URL.

  • If such a link is made, the Contextual Q&A block will display contextual Q&A relatively to where the user is on your site.

  • At any time, users can submit a better answer for a Q&A that already has an answer. This newly submitted answer will obviously need to be appoved by a moderator.

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