Category Archives: learning resources

Engaging Interactions

If you are developing e-learning materials or learning objects it can be nice to add an interaction.

B J Schone has written a very nice ebook on twenty five different engaging interactions.

I hate boring eLearning courses. I get frustrated when I’m not intellectually engaged in a course and when I feel like I’m wasting my time. I know many learners feel this way, too. As an eLearning developer, I’ve had good luck using engaging learning interactions in my courses. These interactions break up the monotony and improve the learning experience for the end-user. After covering new material in a course, a learning interaction (or from here on, simply an interaction) gives the learner a chance to actually do something and (gasp!) apply their knowledge!

This covers a lot of different ways in which learners can interact with a subject (through e-learning) and therefore enhance the learning process.

Old Books Going Online

The British Library is taking over one hundred thousand books, digitising them and putting then online.

Old Book

The programme is focussed on the 19th century, alas if the author died after 1936 then it is unlikely that there books will be digitised, as their works are still in copyright.

The BBC has more on this exciting programme:

More than 100,000 old books previously unavailable to the public will go online thanks to a mass digitisation programme at the British Library.

The programme focuses on 19th Century books, many of which are unknown as few were reprinted after first editions.

Photo Source

Administrate Athens Accounts, you can’t from home!

So there I was on leave, when I got a phone call from work, someone needed access to JORUM. Though they had an Athens account, they probably weren’t part of the staff group we have which allows access to JORUM (as JORUM is a staff only resource). So using my Athens Administrator account details I tried to login to Athens from home, only to find that I couldn’t because it was also restricted by IP address! So unfortunately the member of staff will have to wait till next week, because the other Athens administrator is also on leave (come on it is August, virtually no one is around).

Now I suppose if we had a VPN at work I could have logged into that and then I could have access. Or if I had my home IP address “added” to the list of safe IP addresses (I have done this before with other IP restricted resources). However at this point neither of those are possible, so the member of staff will have to wait a week!

Will Shibboleth solve these issues? Maybe, maybe not, as you still need to administrate accounts with Shibboleth.

Creating Accessible Presentations

TechDis have published the third of their accessibility essentials guides. This third guide can tell you all you need to know about creating accessible presentations in PowerPoint.

As multimedia presentations are increasingly favoured as a means of delivering lectures, the importance of making them accessible to all learners becomes crucial. Software such as PowerPoint can present barriers to some learners, but it can also support others, and this Guide to Creating Accessible Presentations can show you how.

It has four sections:

  • Using Microsoft PowerPoint Accessibly within Teaching and Learning
  • Implementing Inclusive Practice
  • Delivering Presentations Inclusively
  • Good Practice in Providing Alternative Outputs to Support Accessibility

The guide also looks at the importance of making PowerPoint components accessible for others to re-use.

Check out the guide.

Free, unlimited access to two thousand years of images

Free, unlimited access to two thousand years of mankind and medicine in pictures made available through Creative Commons Licence

Teachers, students, academics and the public can now download and use images depicting 2,000 years of mankind and medicine for free, thanks this newly launched website from the Wellcome Trust.

There are some really nice images on the website which has many uses for various learning activities. The fact they are freely available makes it great for both practitioners and learners.

Wellcome Images 

Using NLN Materials as additional support material

Use NLN Materials to provide additional support to learners.

  • Use NLN materials in a similar vein to text book or reading list as additional support and resources for students. In my college we are able to provide ready-made-packages of NLN materials and weblinks which are ideal for this purpose.
  • Use NLN materials for differentiation (both less able and more able learners). Are you finding some learners need additional support or further extension, by providing access to extra materials, such as the NLN materials, you can provide a more indvidualised learning programme for your learners.
  • Use NLN materials to provide background for classroom delivery. You can use the NLN materials to provide background reading for a topic in the same way that you could use a chapter of a book, with the advanatage that the use of the materials is tracked and you don’t have to worry about having enough copies in the library.

Of course the NLN materials are just one way in which you can support learners, there are other e-resources and online materials which can provide additional support to learners in a similar way.

Reuse and Repurposing – what’s the difference?

Reuse

Reuse is using the learning object virtually as it is with a different group of learners and/or for a different qualification. In some cases additional materials will be presented alongside the original learning object.

For example using an object on customer service for Hospitality and using it with Business students

Repurposing

Repurposing can mean a variety of processes. From using a substantial part of the learning object with additional learning content to disaggregating the learning object and using components within a completely new learning object.

For example using a video clip from an object on health and safety for Hairdressing and using it within a new learning object for Business students.