Sunday, March 13, 2011

Online tools

Wordle: online tools
Online learning
I have been preparing a presentation about some of the tools used at Otago Polytechnic for online learning. While searching the Moodle and WikiEducator courses it became apparent that a number of different approaches and tools are being used. Simply using standardised platforms does not provide any sort of consistency. Many teachers are using their creativity and selecting a wide range of tools to add variety to the interactions. In some cases, the portability of materials is not always considered, and many teachers are forgetting to use formats (such as pdf or slideshare for presentations instead of powerpoint) which students can easily access. It would also be beneficial if more courses on Moodle were open as this would show potential students what they are going to learn. Open Education Practices: A User Guide for Organisations addresses most of the issues.

For example on most Moodle courses there are a number of documents in Microsoft Word or Powerpoint formats, and this could be problematic for students who do not have this software. It is quick and easy to use something like Rich text or pdf format instead of Word, and iSpring to convert powerpoints to shock wave files or even to upload them to slideshare or bliptv. Conversion of video is also important and mp4 is the ideal format for Moodle.

1 comment:

David McQuillan said...

Hi Bronwyn,

I would see MS products as having similar accessibility to pdf docs (In that most people have the software required, and if they don't there is an easily downloadable freely available viewer).

Interesting that mp4 is the ideal format for Moodle. I'm currently creating FLVs (ISpring default). What are the advantages of MP4?

Agree about benefits of opening Moodle courses. This seems to be currently discouraged, but opening courses would be more in line with the poly IP policy....Obviously there are copyright-related issues with people providing articles, etc. to their students.