When it comes to videos for learning, audio is even more important than what appears on the screen. A viewer can tolerate a grainy image, but introduce an audio problem such as static or clipping and their attention can be completely disrupted. In a controlled environment, such as Media Production’s UCreate – a one button studio – capturing quality audio is simple as it’s built right into the room and system itself. Recording in other environments, however, can have some unexpected results. Whether recording in a classroom, an office, or at home there may be a video you watch after recording where you realize that the audio is not up to your standards, and unfortunately, it’s something that only reveals itself after the fact. I can still remember sitting in the Neatby Timlin theatre for the screening of student video projects, and when my video appeared there was no sound at all. It was a different problem, but ever since then audio has been front of mind for me in creating and distributing media.
Some days, the right idea comes along at the right time. In today’s case, that has to do with online discussions. Facilitating authentic, engaging discussions online can be tricky at the best of times. Some students participate enthusiastically, while others may prefer to lurk. Students can learn just as much by watching and reflecting on a discussion as they can by participating, regardless of the format. So the question might be, how do we facilitate engaging discussions that help our students towards the learning goals for the course? Continue reading “Discussions or reflection? Why not let students choose?”
If you make use of the Canvas discussion forums, you might have noticed that busy discussions can become a bit unwieldy to read. Canvas does have an option for threaded discussions, indicating a new thread and replies by slightly indenting posts, but once a discussion is active it can be difficult to keep track of the layout and hierarchy of the conversation(s). One option is to use the collapse threads button and explore each thread individually.
The collapse threads feature can be useful, making students’ names and the number of posts in each thread visible. Unfortunately, the discussion text itself is still quite small, and now we would have to click into each thread to expand it. Continue reading “Adding a bit of hierarchy to Canvas discussions”
Panopto is an all in one video recorder, session builder, and video streaming platform that has been a key part of the Learning Technology Ecosystem at USask for years. The recording and trim tools build a solid foundation for enabling the creation of engaging videos for learning. If you haven’t looked further into the editing suite available in Panopto, this post is for you. Here you will learn about 5 little tricks you can do using the Panopto editor that may make your video creating, editing, and streaming processes just a little bit smoother.
Generally, the ideal page layout for course materials in Canvas is to have the information readily visible and in hierarchical order. Making use of styles such as headings makes the page more accessible both visually and for assistive technologies. In addition to the hierarchy, other visual elements introduced in our previous post can be used to signal different messages to students.
Today, we have another tool for your page layout toolbox, collapsible content, sometimes referred to as an accordion. When I say accordion what may come to mind first is one of the most fun musical instruments to play and listen to, but what we are talking about in this post is a menu that is “a vertically stacked list of headers that can be clicked to reveal or hide content associated with them” (Loranger, 2014). Usually, these will reveal content under one header while hiding content in the rest. We can get a similar effect using a simple HTML tag, details.
Hi I’m Details, click here to see more great content.
The content here is hidden until you click the details summary. If you click it again, this content will disappear.
In discussing online learning broadly with faculty, instructors, students, staff, and the public, it becomes evident very quickly that there are as many different interpretations of what it means or can look like as there are people to talk about it with. In higher education in particular, it is quite common for online learning to seem like it is an asynchronous (anywhere anytime) setting. Live real-time classes have existed in a variety of formats over the decades, from classes broadcast over television and radio networks, to closed network screens, and now through the use of web conferencing tools such as Zoom and Webex. This post includes just a few ideas for using synchronous strategies in your online class as a first step.
Continue reading “Using Synchronous Sessions: Learning in Real-time”
Leslie Langham has taught most of their courses online at least twice now. They put in long days, evenings and weekends developing content for their courses – choosing readings, finding relevant videos and images, crafting assignments – and interacting with students providing feedback. Leslie feels confident in the courses they put together and deliver online, but also feels like a little something is missing. Sometimes students seem to miss the most important points made in the videos, or pick up on some key concepts but miss others.
In their face-to-face class, Leslie is used to using a student response system and other activities and technology to check for student understanding, but aside from using the Canvas Quiz tool, doesn’t know how else to support students by providing interactive opportunities to self-check their new understanding and practice their new skills. After consulting with an instructional designer they settled on incorporating some H5P activities into their online course.
Leslie now has a variety of interactive learning activities throughout the course, providing students timely, relevant, and specific feedback on key concepts automatically. This includes interactive videos where students can check their understanding as the video is playing, check the outcomes of their decisions with branching scenarios, test their knowledge with digital flashcards, analyze images with interactive elements, and more. All of these activities are presented right in the course content, allowing students to engage with it straight away rather than going away into some other platform requiring yet another login.
If you haven’t tried H5P yet, or don’t know much about it, you can read the article Hidden Gems – H5P for Interactive Content, which describes the tool generally and gives a pretty good overview of why you might use it. For more articles about H5P, check out our entire category of H5P related posts.Continue reading “Creating and Sharing H5P Activities from WordPress and Pressbooks”
If you haven’t tried H5P yet, or don’t know much about it, you can read the article Hidden Gems – H5P for Interactive Content, which describes the tool generally and gives a pretty good overview of why you might use it. For more articles about H5P, check out our entire category of H5P related posts.Continue reading “Creating and Sharing H5P Activity Without a Website”
Jamie Jameson is teaching a combined 400/800 level course this term and the final project is a group presentation of their students’ work as a digital poster. In previous years Jamie’s assignment was often submitted as a PowerPoint presentation. This year they wanted to try something new, enabling students to create and curate multimedia into the presentation, as PowerPoint always made this feel clunky; as well as asking students to create something that is shareable not only in a remote learning context but is also easily shared with a broader audience.
Jamie considered continuing to use PowerPoint, but having students work in groups would sometimes result in multiple versions and led to confusion about which draft to present to the class. Sharing of the PowerPoints was also a problem. If PDFs were shared, the presentations felt static and lacked the multimedia elements that enhance the presentation. Visually rich presentations resulted in very large file sizes and could become increasingly difficulty to distribute, not to mention that viewing them on different devices could drastically alter the perception of the presentation. Jamie also considered asking their students to create a website, but concluded that their own comfort level with teaching their students the intricacies of web design could detract from the purpose of the assignment, the students’ research.
After consulting with an instructional designer about the project, Jamie settled on the final assignment submissions by way of Microsoft Sway. Their students created responsive Sway presentations of their research collaboratively online, presented it to the class, and they were also able to post their Sway projects to the class website.These presentations were brought to life with pull quotes, animations, student created video as well as YouTube videos, and images. Finally, students were able to include their work in the e-portfolio they assembled over the course of their program. Continue reading “Hidden Gems – Multimedia Presentations with Microsoft Sway”