When it comes to developing materials and learning resources for your course, I think it’s important to know when to keep it simple.
We have all seen examples, or know of some, where every possible bell-and-whistle has been applied, in good intention, but the final result has made the course complicated and heavy.
Here are a few tips on how, and why, to keep it simple, which apply as much to online distance learning courses as well as campus courses:
Signpost: provide little ‘signposts’ to learning resources, assignment details, marking criteria, timetables, etc. to help the student. The larger the course or course materials then the more complicated the course structure could be, and the more lost a students will find themselves in your course. Continue reading →
“The size of a small cauliflower, the human brain is the most complex organ in your body. It squeezes out 70,000 thoughts a day. But where does it store information? And how does it generate flights of fancy? Explore the inner workings of your personal ideas factory.”
This video posted to The Guardian ‘extreme learning’ section is a great introduction to “how your brain works” (and therefore learns).
Sorry, the video isn’t embedded but if you click it it will take you to The Guardian website where you watch the short video.
By now you may have heard that Getty Images are making 35 million images available, for free, for you to use, without fear of being sued.
So, how is that going to work then? As with all images (or text) you will obviously have to provide correct attribution to the owner / source / copyright holder, and this is done for you by Getty Images as part of the ‘embedded viewer’. When you find the image you want through the royalty free image search you can use the ‘embed’ option.
“Where enabled, you may embed Getty Images Content on a website, blog or social media platform using the embedded viewer (the “Embedded Viewer”). Not all Getty Images Content will be available for embedded use, and availability may change without notice.”
Whilst searching for some resources on planning and designing online courses I came across this excellent brainstorming ‘sketchnote’ (I’ll write more about these another time) from Giulia Forsythe called ‘planning your online course’.
Take some time to look at this in detail, there’s a lot here for you (click to enlarge it).
“Contemporary approaches to the digital transformation of practice in university research and teaching sometimes assume a convergence between the digital and openness. This assumption has led to the idea of ‘digital open scholarship,’ which aims to open up scholarship to participants from outside academic scholarly communities. But scholarship, digitality and openness exist in tension with each other – we can see the individual features of each, but we cannot make sense of the whole picture. It resembles an ‘impossible triangle’. Particularly confounding is the tension between digital scholarship and open knowledge, where the former is focused on the creation by specialist communities of knowledge of a stable and enduring kind, whilst the latter is characterised by encyclopaedic knowledge and participation that is unbounded by affiliation or location. However, we need not be permanently thwarted by the apparent impossibility of this triangle. It is a stimulus to look critically at the contexts of practice in which a relationship between scholarship, digitality and openness is sought. Constructive examples of such critique can be found in the emerging research field of literacy and knowledge practice in the digital university.”
Regular readers will know I have written my thoughts and experiences about ‘what is a Learning Technologist’ for a number of years. Indeed the series of posts is into double figures now and consist of my own reflections, posts I read, research, and conversations I have with others in my ‘profession’.
In these discussions and collaborations I have also been attributed as a spark for others who have also started to question the role, and their role, in ‘learning technology’in others. This is by no small feat, but an honour in that the conversations are widening and engaging many more individuals and helping to focus and drive a deeper understanding of the roles, the individuals in the roles, and the expectations placed on the role (from ourselves, our colleagues and peers, our networks and associated organisations – like ALT or SEDA – and our employers).
One such, ongoing, conversation is with Wayne Barry (@HeyWayne) who is himself writing a series of posts on ‘Who are the Learning Technologists?’ on his blog. Now on his fifth post I thought I’d add a little to the conversation here to highlight, broaden, and engage the question(s) further.
Steve often writes individual posts or, like recently, he writes a series of post with common themes to expand or challenge a certain approach or concept of education – his 2010 series on ‘Distance Learning / Distance Education’ initiated some interesting discussions. Steve has, this time, been looking at the survival of Higher Education – please read all of Steve’s posts, you know you’ll be the better for it.
I’ve linked to Steve’s original work here, as well as my response I posted to his website – I concentrate on specific aspect of his posts/series, but please be sure to read the full posts so my comments (and the quotes) are not taken out of context: Continue reading →
VideoScribe HD (iPad): I’ve enjoyed watching videos from RSA Animate, as have others, that take an audio track (usually a presentation or speech) and animates the drawing of concepts and take-away quotes. The best of these is the speech of Sir Ken Robinson ‘Changing Education Paridigms’.
“Award winning software, Sparkol VideoScribe is a completely unique way to create engaging animated videos quickly and easily. Often called Whiteboard animation or sometimes Fast Drawing, VideoScribe replicates the stop-motion capture style of drawing that’s so popular on commercials at a fraction of the cost.”
VideoScribe HD (£3.99) https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/videoscribe-hd/id505464331
Advertised features of the App include (and are also available on the PC/Mac 7 day free trial): Continue reading →