In the November issue of the e-Strategy Newsletter comes an article about some very exciting tools that have been developed by UBC’s Arts ISIT group: New e-Learning Tools Make it Easy for Faculty and Students to Create Media-Rich Learning Resources .
The WebCT Learning Object Extractor and the Timeline tool are template tools – they allow instructors and students to create learning objects. The timeline tool uses a form based interface to build a Flash object for displaying a rich timeline – incorporating text, graphics and multimedia. We know that students learn in different ways and we want to be able to provide multiple representations — the timeline does this, allowing instructors to reconstruct a moment in time for students that blends the sights, sounds and text (commentary) resource. Don’t think that there is any reason why students could not do this as well… Now, if I could only figure out how to get a rock inside the timeline….
The WebCT Discussion Object Extractor Tool, I must admit, absolutely blows me away. Often one of the deepest parts of online courses is the threaded discussions, and in many ways, the most ephemeral. Sure, you can download the text, but somehow, part of the whole effect is the threading, a visual representation of the ebb and flow of conversation… This tool allows faculty and students to extract parts or all of that conversation and re-use it for other contexts. You can even extract the discussion in an anonymous way, which decreases privacy concerns. This tool will allow instructors to do things like extract pieces as exemplars to post in their course, helping to set expectations for other students.. What an excellent example of re-use!
Kudos to Uli Rauch and his team in the Faculty of Arts, in particular to Warren Scott and Tim Wang, for releasing these….
Like I said… I love working here at UBC!