Sue M’s UBC MET E-Portfolio

ETEC565A – Section 66C – Summer 2009

Archive for the ‘submitted’ tag

Multimedia Experience & Enhanced Learning

without comments

Reflective blog question
Think about an example of how multimedia have been used effectively to enhance your learning.

I experienced good use of multimedia in two online Psychology courses delivered by the same instructor over a two-year period.

I would have to say, that she certainly attempted to “maximize the affordances of the web”, based on the technologies and resources that were available at that time (2001-2003).

She chose a modern text that included and interactive CD that included interactive media, animationsaudio/visual glossary,  and instructional videos.  These combined with the textbook and online companion site from the publisher, plus many links to audio interviews from authentic sources, articles, studies, online assessments and demonstrations of labs and experiments  certainly kept the course interesting,  provided opportunities for interactive learning and appealed to multiple learning styles!

I learned a lot during these courses and I retained a great deal, especially of the components that were interactive and visual (in comparison to a correspondence-style print-based Psychology course I took – similar content and yet it took major effort on my part as I had a real challenge retaining all the material covered and recalling all the text-based content!!).  I’m definitely a kinesthetic learner and benefit greatly from audio/visual as well, especially for complex concepts – if I see it and can try it out, I’ve got it, but if I just read about it, I don’t retain nearly as much!

Written by Sue M.

August 1st, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Reflections

Tagged with

Reflection on Social Media Story Telling

with 3 comments

For Assignment #5, given the choice of telling a personal story or story that could be used in class in relation to an activity or part of my curriculum – I chose to use SlideRocket ( to experiment with telling a multimedia story related to a module from BIOL151 – Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (a fully online course developed for delivery via WebCT by the Online Development Team at Vancouver Island University). 

URL available at:  – please use password: etec565c
Please note: All media is the copyright of VIUonline!

Reflection on Development Process 

Well there were various categories of issues for me – the technical issues, the design challenges (to move from thinking in text to trying to think visually and kinesthetically and “tell a story”), and the potential for increased engagement, creativity, motivation and collaboration.

1. Learning How To Author a Multimedia Story with SlideRocket

 Given that I have used a variety of  graphic presentation applications, I understood the basic concepts of creating slides in SlideRocket.  New tasks that were fairly simple to learn included: adding Flash interactive learning objects, recording audio narration for individual slides, publishing a “public” presentation and inviting people to view the pre-release. 

The documentation was light and at times incomplete, and that caused quite a bit of frustration as well as wasted time and effort.  A few times the system froze in the process of saving and then the Flash interactivities did not work properly.  Still a few bugs and features that don’t work as expected!  I had to remove some of  interactivities and some of the audio narration files, as there seemed to be conflicts.

However, harder than learning new software and additional Web 2.0 features, was trying to think as a visual, auditory and kinesthetic (haptic) learner.  If I took the text-based content away, how would I explain the concepts?  I still have not mastered this aspect of designing with SlideRocket, but I’ve made a huge first step.

2. Choosing This Particular Tool

After reviewing over 60 Web 2.0 Tools, I purposefully selected this particular presentation tool due to the following functionality:

  • For Teaching & Learning:
    • Ability to embed flash learning activities and interactive media and video
    • Option to add audio narrative per slide or background music/sound track for the entire presentation
    • Streaming audio and/or video speed presentation and remove barriers of long time delays to download a/v media or poor quality – chopping media presentations
    • Highly portable presentations – ease of use and low demand on learner’s local computer system with no hard drive space consumed and no requirement to download the presentation, media or software files.  This removes barriers for learners completing online courses at work or on other computers where file downloads are not permitted!
  • Collaborative development for multiple authors
    • Potential to share a presentation with others in your organization and specify who can use (view, print, share) and who can edit the presentation (update, modify and re-use)
    • Development assistance through history and rollback to previous versions
    • Exportable to various formats
  • Sharing: Use and Re-Use
    • Potential to publicly share presentations via a URL or as an embedded media element in a web site or blog
    • Ability to invite individuals and/or goups (via e-mail) to an asynchronous review of a presentation (not publicly published)
    • Opportunity for groups of up to 50 individuals to attend a synchronous meeting to collectively review and discuss a presentation (a private viewing or publicly published presentation)
  • Options to check statistics and track number of viewers

3. Impact of Tool on Design

This tool had an impact on the manner in which I told the story of How Homeostasis is maintained via Feedback Systems and Feedback Loops – the design process was different from simply authoring content using text to either display on the screen or be presented via audio narration!

Background: Students in the BIOL151 course must learn many new terms, definitions, and processes prior to entering the Bachelor of Nursing degree program.  It is a challenge to transform a course based on a drill and practice instructional approach to fully online teaching and learning that engages learners.  To assist learners, we developed illustrative media and flash animations demonstrate concepts throughout various modules.

Story Redesign:  To tell a Web 2.0 Multimedia Story of  How Homeostasis is maintained via Feedback Systems and Feedback Loops (a topic within BIOL151), I selected SlideRocket  which allowed me to embed flash learning activities and interactive media within the presentation delivered via the web.  This allowed me to shorten the amount of text-based content and enhancing engagement with content by telling the story through interactive learning objects that provide ways for learners to engage with self-assessments, learning activities and interacitve media.  The addition of voice-over narration will further enhance this multimedia story and extend appeal to additional learing styles.  Overall the number of text-based screens that learners have to read and process has been reduced by more than 50%, and visual appeal has increased immensely. 

Was it the right tool?  This type of approach is appropriate for the identified target audience and the learning outcomes of this course.  I believe by learners engaging multiple senses and interacting for guided discovery of key concepts followed by completing interactive learning objects for self-assessment, learners will experience deeper learning than they would through a more passive delivery approach.

4. Suitability of SlideRocket in My Online and Mixed Mode Teaching

Would I use SlideRocket to produce materials for learners in the courses I teach?

I would not use this type of tool or approach to teach an entire “lesson” or online “module”.  However, there are times where it would be beneficial to interject an interactive learning object after a few screens of content presentation, so learners can have an opportunity to interact with the content in a different manner, and apply new concepts and receive immediate feedback.

There is no functionality for self-tests in Moodle, as there is in WebCT,  and learners really like the ability to check their understanding of new concepts before proceeding.  Embedding a Web 2.0 multimedia interactivity, illustration or story would be a great way for a quick checkpoint.

5. Impact of Student Access to A Multimedia Story-Telling Web 2.0 Tool such as SlideRocket

If learners were given access to this type of web-based authoring tools, I believe they could quickly and easily learn to create multimedia stories, as the development environment is very visual and intuitive.  It is easy to add picture, flash animations, video, audio clips of sound, music and narrations, shapes, charts and tables.  With these elements learners could be much more creative than developing in a text-based environment. 

Learners would have increased motivation and development would be more “fun” due to the social aspects of this Web 2.0 tool.  Learners can work collaboratively with classmates on course presentations, they can invite Instructors and/or classmates to review a draft prior to publishing their presentations.  Each can contribute components and build on each other’s work, then share and exchange presentations with whomever they choose.

The potential use this tool provides for collaboration and exchange is promising.  The ability to share developments could expand the re-use of course materials and promote new derivations from knowledge building, thereby assisting with long-term sustainability related to the production of sophisticated learning objects and other multimedia.

For the Record – Things I’d Like to See Added to SlideRocket:

  1. More learner control over the audio narration – ability to stop and start, rewind, fast forward, replay a specific range.
  2. More learner control over the navigation from screen to screen – ability to go to the end or beginning quickly, or to a specific slide.
  3. The script of the audio narration is included in the notes section of each screen, yet there should be an option for learners to be able to read the notes.


Written by Sue M.

July 20th, 2009 at 10:35 am

Posted in Reflections

Tagged with

Social Media

with one comment

Class Wiki for Collaboration – Personal Reflection

As I have not spent a great deal of time exploring social media or other related social-networking platforms useful for enhancing e-learning, I found this week’s readings and tasks to be extremely fascinating!

These address my quest to design and facilitate enhanced e-learning environments and opportunities for Adult Learners. The aspects of social media related to the shifting of power and authority of the printed word fascinates me, as does the new area of e-learning 2.0.

Impressions of this week’s experiences exploring one social media tool in particular, a class wiki…

  1. How the group collaboration and discussion within the wiki space differed from a standard threaded discussion space:
    • Using the discussion page that is connected to the wiki page, I didn’t really feel like I “entered into conversation” with my peers about the kind of issues and trends that were evident in the sightings posted.
    • I actually found posting my “discussion” contribution to be more like a blog entry – felt more like an individual reflection / expression than an interactive exchange.
    • I found the discussion to be very linear in the wiki, as posts were added chronologically, instead of “attached to” a particular aspect of a previous posting. I much prefer the back and forth exchange of ideas in a threaded discussion forum.
    • Don’t think there was as much “discussing” in a wiki as there is in the threaded discussion forums (could be due to familiarity with this tool for discussion)
  2. Kinds of advantages in using wikis for group collaboration:
    • Good tool for collaborating on the creation of a document (5 Suggestion, 5 Challenges)
    • Being able to edit another group member’s posting in order to expand on an idea started or to add related ideas, additional content and/or references was a helpful feature.
    • We could add, edit, and expand creatively in context. This approach for generating a collaborative document seemed more productive than posting a series of discussion postings that would have to be recapped at the end to generate an organized summary of contributions about a particular point(s).
  3. Some of the challenges of working with others in a collaborative wiki space:
    • Being able to edit another person’s posting seemed kind of dangerous (someone was asking where the “undo” button was ;>)
    • At one point I returned to our “collaborative” document only to find some content that had previously been there was gone – perhaps inadvertently deleted or purposefully removed !?! As there was no posting in the discussions to indicate who had decided to do this, who had discussed this action, who had agreed upon this action (at least not that I could find)….I found that rather disturbing at first.
    • First discussing group process and reaching consensus regarding roles, responsibilities and approaches to the task, would have been a good starting point. Without these, editing / deleting other postings can cause the group to lose good contributions, for discussion to break down, for individuals to lose interest and defer the completion of the task to others.

Why Social Media? Some Lessons Learned!

According to Iverson (2005), in E-Learning Games: Interactive Learning Strategies for Digital Delivery, “we must actively engage our participants if we are to keep them motivated and involved in the learning process.” Learning happens through interaction and collaboration and is a dynamic, creative process that involves the true exchange of ideas, not simply the accumulation of facts.

In order for learning like this to become a reality in fully online courses, new types of technologies and practices had to develop to enable enhanced interactions, sharing and communications. “Those applications defined as ‘Web 2.0‘ hold the most promise because they are strictly Web-based and typically free, support collaboration and interaction, and are responsive to the user. These applications have great potential to be used in a way that is learner-centered, affordable, and accessible for teaching and learning purposes” (Wikis and Podcasts and Blogs! Oh What Is A Faculty Member Supposed to Do? 2007). This article also states that “…emerging technologies are designed to assist learners in becoming active, engaged learners and information evaluators as opposed to passive learners who merely reflect their instructor’s knowledge. In this new environment learners rely on and interact more with other learners, further building and constructing each other’s knowledge.”

Downes (2005) in E-Learning 2.0, explains how over the last few years the web has been “shifting from being a medium, in which information was transmitted and consumed, into being a platform, in which content was created, shared, remixed, repurposed, and passed along.” He states that social media is about enabling and encouraging participation through open applications and services – “socially open, with rights granted to use the content in new and exciting contexts.”

Social media is increasingly being used for educational purposes and is available in many different forms including blogs, wikis, podcasts, photo sharing, instant messaging, social bookmarking and social networking, to name just a few. Wikipedia describes social media as, “online content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies…a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It’s a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologues (one to many) into dialogues (many to many) and is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers.”

In 7 Things You Should Know About Blogs (Educause August 2005), blogging is seen as a way for learners to generate, share and keep up with timely and topical class information, when social media activities are tied to the learning outcomes and course concepts. Learners “form rich connections with one another and the content and – because of the reflection and sharing – find great relevance in the material.”

Siemens (2002), in The Art of Blogging – Part 1. Overview, Definitions, Uses, and Implications, stresses that educational blogs breaks down barriers. “They allow ideas to be based on merit, rather than origin, and ideas that are of quality filter across the internet ‘viral-like’ across the blogosphere.”

According to Frand (2000), moving learners “from ‘interacting on the Net’ to ‘critical thinking’ is not necessarily a simple or easy leap. Yet it is a necessary one.” Using social media for the collaborative construction of knowledge can challenge learners to think creatively and critically.

Downes (2004), in Educational Blogging, stresses that for social media in education to be successful – building of community must first be “embraced and encouraged”. It is essential to develop a learning community built on trust, interdependency and a desire for collaboration and meaningfully engagement that “connects people through shared interest in information” (Alexander, B. 2006).

References Related to Social Media & Electronic Literacies

Written by Sue M.

July 5th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Posted in Reflections

Tagged with


without comments

Editing the E-Toolkit

Tried out editing content in the E-Toolkit Wiki and adding content.  It was extremely easy!

  1. Edited the section under Examples of Synchronous Communication Tools
    • Moodle’s built-in Chat Tool
      • Moodle Chat Module:
      • Chat module includes documentation on: Adding/editing a chat, Chat permissions, Viewing a chat, Chat sessions, Chat reports, Chat FA
  2. Added content to the Practice for Moodle Users section:

Now I’m going to test these Audio Chat and Audio/Video conferencing tools…and then once I’ve decided on one, I’ll try integrating it into the Moodle course that is in development.

Written by Sue M.

June 27th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Reflections

Tagged with

Reflection on Building an Assessment Instrument in Moodle

without comments


I have designed and developed a quiz in Moodle for the online course I am developing for ETEC565A, as per Assignment #4 criteria. 

  • In my E-Portfolio #4, Assessment Tools – Quizzes, I defined my process, the documentation consulted, and included notes to self for areas I need to revisit to ensure I have followed best practices for their implementation within the Moodle course and have adhered to sound pedagogical instructional design!

 Although I’ve developed many quizzes in Moodle both through importing question text and through coding questions and quizzes directly in Moodle, this assignment took more time than I had planned. I realize that I started to develop the questions and assemble the quiz in the LMS, without first completing the off-line design.

Prior to starting to build in the LMS, I had written the text for a variety of question types (multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks, short answer, essay and matching).  However, I had not considered sufficient distracters for multiple choice questions, nor partially correct alternatives allowable for the short answer questions.  For each question, I had not authored general feedback for the entire question and specific targeted feedback for each correct, partially correct and incorrect responseNor had I designed the grading feedback for the entire quiz.

As I explored deeper the documentation for questions and quizzes, I learned Moodle quiz functionality has many layers and can be very powerful with additional features than I have used previously, both at the question level, the category level, and the quiz level.  I am still experimenting with various combinations of settings at each of these levels and evaluating the effect to the presentation of individual questions and the overall quiz delivery for learners, and the impact of these combinations on marks and grading feedback.

Reminder:  Check notes to self, one month prior to start date (no later than August 14, 2009).

Written by Sue M.

June 27th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Posted in Reflections

Tagged with

Reflection on Selecting Communication Tools for Moodle Course

without comments

Reflection on Selecting These Communication Tools:

According to Adria and Campbell (2oo7),  in “E-Learning as Nation Building”,  the glue that holds communities together involves active connections among people that involve trust, mutual understanding, respect, and shared values and behaviours.  

Murphy and Laferriere (2007),  in “Adopting Tools for Online Synchronous Communication”, report that the immediacy and spontaneity of synchronous communication was much more effective at building a sense of community and social presence – especially audio/video web-based conferencing that allowed participants to see each other in real time and communicate with several people simultaneously – this helped “make people come alive”, created a greater sense of intimacy and greater sense of knowing each other, which helped learners overcome any feelings of  isolation, etc.

“The Continuing Struggle for Community and Content in Blended Technology Courses in Higher Education” ( Schwier & Dykes, 2007) states that “If a course goal is to create an online community, then an instructor must be a participant in online discussions in order to nurture community development and growth“.   The authors state that content and community are both critical to creating effective learning environments and that evidence of community is found in interactions that occur between the learner and the instructor, content, learning activities, and other learners.  Instructors are challenged to create an atmosphere that nourishes real and deep engagement among the learners, the instructor, and the content through dialogue and interaction via platforms for online chat  (or other synchronous communications tools) and discussion boards (or other asynchronous communication tools).

Learner content interaction, if allowed to dominate a course, naturally emphasizes objectivist principles of learning and correspondence models of instruction. Learner-learner interaction, by contrast, emphasizes social constructivist models of learning.  Moreover, the two, when in balance, offer learners the opportunity to co-create knowledge and the substance to guide their efforts ” (p 160).

Given one of the major goals of this course is to build an online learning community – I’ve tried to incorporate a mix of asynchronous and synchronous communication activities throughout the course that will create opportunities for learners to connect and work together, share their experiences and build on their prior knowledge.  But first we have to help them build trust in a safe environment.  During the first couple of modules we will reach out to learners in multiple ways to try to provide learning activities that appeal to multiple learning preferences/styles and also that will help build rapport and relationships. 

We need to be cautious not to reduce the flexibility students desire from online courses, and must be sensitive to having a balance between asynchronous and synchronous communication activities, and finds ways to accommodate a variety of schedules.  Some of the synchronous activities planned may need to be optional, with recorded webcasts available to those who truly cannot attend. 

Citings from Making the Transition to E-Learning: Strategies and Issues. Bullen M. & Janes, D. P. Eds. (2007).  Information Science Publishing,, Hershey, PA.
  • Adria, M. & Campbell, K.  (2007). E-Learning as Nation Building. In M. Bullen & D. P. Janes (Eds.), Making the Transition to E-Learning: Strategies and Issues (1-16). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.
  • Murphy, E. & Laferriere, T. (2007). Adopting Tools for Online Synchronous Communication: Issues and Strategies. In M. Bullen & D. P. Janes (Eds.), Making the Transition to E-Learning: Strategies and Issues (318-334). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.
  • Schwier, R. & Dykes, M. (2007). The Continuing Struggle for Community and Content in Blended Technology Courses in Higher Education. In M. Bullen & D. P. Janes (Eds.), Making the Transition to E-Learning: Strategies and Issues (157-172). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.

Written by Sue M.

June 25th, 2009 at 1:06 am

Posted in Reflections

Tagged with

Toolkit Reflections – Building My Moodle Course

with one comment

Over the years, my colleagues and I  have developed some short-cuts, productivity tools, templates and models, which we use for rapid development of a Moodle course.

Each of us has our own preferred off-line design tools and instructional design approach.

Instructional Design 1st

I have to think through the entire course from start to finish before I can start writing the content and designing learning activities and assessments.

The structure of the course is huge for me – as I really have to grasp the big picture, and know the overall purpose and goals of the course – Why are we developing this course? Why are we putting it online? What do we hope to achieve and why? What is our target audience and the characteristics of our learners, their backgrounds, literacy, expectations, etc.?  How will this course be deemed to be successful – what is the evaluation criteria?  Who are all the stakeholders who will have a say in the design, development, delivery and evaluation of this course – what is their bottom-line?

Once I have the big picture, I draft a Course Outline & Mod-Topic Plan – a statement of the course purpose and goals and desired learning outcomes, logistical information, and a list of Modules/Units I believe need to be in the course, expanded with a list of Topics (key concepts / skills) for each module/unit.

Then I set about looking for a textbook for background reading that covers all or most of the content identified.  I prefer a Canadian edition and a text supported with a Publisher Companion Site for online student resources, instructor resources, and/or DVD’s/CD’s that accompany the text, and preferably access to an interactive mylab site for demonstrations and hands-on practice and assessments.

Once I’ve evaluated several potential texts, I refine the Mod-Topic Plan to align with my preferred text and online resources available.  I also refine my Instructional Strategy and develop a Module Organization Plan – this helps me think through the structure of a typical module – the elements in the Module Intro, components of each Topic, and elements in the Module Wrap.  I build a chart – a visual representation of a Module-Topic Structure and another of the overall Course Map.  This helps provide a sense of scope – the structure and sequence of the course, itemizes types of course components included, and indicates the complexity of the overall course and individual modules-topics.

Once I’ve tweaked these off-line design documents, I develop a Schedule of Course Events, which is essential to ensure there is sufficient time for online students who are learning from a distance, to complete all of the required components, deal with the time delays and overhead of asynchronous communications and technical issues, as well as providing sufficient time for learners to reflect, discuss, connect and develop an online learning community – without cognitive overload and unrealistic time pressures.  At this point, some serious decisions are often made – to remove some content, to make some modules/topics optional, to reduce the number of components (focus on quality not quantity in discussions, and collaborative work, etc.)

Building the Moodle Course Structure

I first build a “Mod X” in Dreamweaver (DW) – the folder and file structure of a typical online course module, with a Mod Intro folder, a Topic folder, and a Mod Wrap folder.  Within each of these folders, I create example screens, i.e., 6-9 different screens in the Mod Intro, 10-12 different types of screens in the Topic, and 5-6 example screens in the Mod Wrap.  Each of these examples screens will have placeholder text and will have an assigned DW template (for colour, fonts, location of images and icons); each screen will be saved with a file name that follows a naming convention.  (A strong, consistent folder/file structure is essential for building modules.)

Once a complete Mod X is developed that aligns with the types of screens and module-topic structure defined in our Instructional Strategy, I’ll generate a SCORM module and upload the SCORM, and test it within the context of Moodle.  For “proof of concept”, I then use this Mod X to develop one complete module in the course, and make adjustments to the Mod X, as necessary.

Once satisfied that the Mod X  is solid, I use it within Moodle to build the entire online course structure,  based on the off-line design documents list above (Mod-Topic Plan, Schedule of Course Events, etc.)  Labels, resources and activities are all added to the course shell, and linked to placeholder files or Mod X  SCORMs.

This way, I can quickly generate a model of the online course that will include the number of modules, the components that will make up each module, with specific link names to placeholders for each type of Moodle activity and resource that will comprise individual modules and weeks.

Developing the Content, Activities & Assessments & Synching the Course

Once the online course model is in place, it’s time to finalize the content for each of the modules, design instructions for activities and assessments, select media and interactivities – one module at a time.  During this process, I often rearrange things within the model course.  As I complete the design and writing of an element, i.e., screens, a discussion, learning activity, quiz questions, an assignment, etc., I upload the completed element to replace the placeholder content in the model course, update links, refresh the course, test the links in student mode, and backup the course.

This process continues until all components are designed, developed/authored, uploaded, linked, and tested in the Moodle course, and the course is then ready for a quality review, and prepped for a pilot delivery.

BTW:  I am trying to follow this same process for my ETEC565A Moodle Course (without the benefit of some of the tools, scripts and productivity tools available through my team, that vastly increase my productivity :>)

Written by Sue M.

June 24th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Reflections

Tagged with

Toolkit Reflections – Initial Moodle Tasks

without comments

I’ve used Moodle since 2005 (although we use the latest version (Moodle 1.9.5+ and we will be moving to version 2, as soon as it is stable.).

So, I did not find the initial tasks of adding an ice-breaker discussion forum for introductions, nor adding a single web-page welcome, very difficulty nor time consuming.

Adding a Welcome Page

Since 2005, I have developed some shortcuts and some blank templates that are already set up in Dreamweaver with some templates that include a css and a gui folder.  So I can quickly create a new html page, based on a preferred colour scheme, with icons and fonts I’ve predefined.  All I have to do is add my text, apply some styles, spell check it, insert any desired media, save it, upload it and link it in Moodle.   This takes only as long as it takes me to write the content.

Adding a Discussion Page

The longest part of adding a discussion, is deciding which of the four formats is best suited to the type of communication and interaction desired.

Moodle discussion forums have several types from which you can choose:

  1. Standard  Forum for General Use  – (two-way communication) for Introductions and General Discussion
  2. Q & A format – (two-way communication) during each module – anyone can post a question and any one can post answers to the questions
  3. Single Post Per Participant –  (one-way communication) for posting Learning Goals during week 1, the for Reflection on Learning during the last week, posting reports for discussion as in Module 7
    • Group Discussions – with any of the above three discussions for topic-level and module-level group activities, such as group summarization of chapters
  4. Single Simple Discussion – (two-way communication) – single topic discussion developed on one page, which is useful for short focused discussions

Only negative for me was – wish we were using the latest version of Moodle, with all of the blocks and modules I’m used to having available, i.e., like spell check  and quickmail, etc.

Written by Sue M.

June 24th, 2009 at 11:37 am

Posted in Reflections

Tagged with

Reflection on Using WebPress for building an E-Portfolio

with 2 comments

This is the first time I’ve used a blogging system, such as WordPress.

It has been frustrating at times when the system locks and the AutoSave has not indeed saved anything, and I’ve had to re-create work from scratch (often losing motivation and creativity).

Then I tried first creating the content in Word, so I can spell check and grammar check and format content so it is aesthetically pleasing…and I’ve used the “Paste from Word” functionality in this blogging system – not always with success.  The system has either frozen (but at least I have my original work, still in Word), or the formatting is all messed up.

I find myself spending more time fiddling with trying to get consistent formatting and finding out after I think everything has good spacing and layout in the “Visual” mode of the Add New Post or Add New Page, that when I Publish my content, and view it (as not logged in)…the “true” formatting is quite different – with huge spacing gaps or weird indentation, or fonts from a heading drifting down to be inherited by sub-paragraphs, etc.

Overall, it’s nice to have a some-what wysiwyg building environment, but it has taken up too many hours of wasted time on unimportant aspects of assignments (the formatting is not what is marked)…which unfortunately has interfered with the quality of some postings or exaggerated the time-on-task.

Suggestions….write in Word, save in Word, and if cutting and pasting doesn’t work as well as expected, save your Word doc as a web page, view the source and copy into Dreamweaver, and then Clean Up Word html, and cut and past the html code into the HTML mode of the pages in this blogging system.

My initial thoughts and frustrations.

Written by Sue M.

June 24th, 2009 at 11:20 am

Posted in Reflections

Tagged with

E-Portfolio #1: Flight Plan

without comments

Personal Information

Susan V. Morrison
Living in Nanaimo, BC  since 2001 with:
Family:  4 Children, 2 Grandchildren, 1 English Bulldog
Before BC:
Born in New Brunswick –> raised in Nova Scotia -> high shool and university in Montreal -> worked in Montreal, Frobisher Bay, then Peterborough, Whitby and Ottawa Ontario -> raised children in Bowmanville Ontario

Professional Information

Current Employment
Vancouver Island University
Educational Technologist: Instructional Designer / Course Developer (Distributed Learning) with VIUonline!
Online Instructor – Information Technology &  Business courses

Previous Employment
Training Innovations  – Research & Development Computer-Based Authoring System (AIM)
Computer Learning Centre  – Director of Education / Instructor

  1. Master of Educational Technology (UBC Aug/09)
  2. Post-Grad Certificate in Technology-Based Distributed Learning (UBC)
  3. BA in Adult Education (UCFV)
  4. Provincial Instructors Diploma (Min. Adv. Ed. BC)
  5. Honours Diploma in Computer Programming (SSFC)
  6. Accounting (Trent U)
  7. Professional & Industry Certifications 
Goals for ETEC565
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
  1. Learn how to develop in WebCT Vista and compare its features and capabilities to those of WebCT 4/6 and Moodle – to further inform my decision making in selecting learning technologies for future specific courses/programs.
  2. Learn methods that provide individuals with opportunities to “pursue individual curiosities” (even within a “structured” course).

“Good Practice Uses Active Learning Techniques”

Synchronous Communication

1. Learn ways that live, real-time communications can help address diverse learning patterns and multiple communication styles and preferences.

“Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of class is a most important factor in student motivation and involvement.”

2.  Assist learners to make connections to their prior knowledge and related experiences, and find ways for them to share these with class participants as a means of building knowledge together.

“Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening… They must talk about what they are learning, write reflectively about it, relate it to experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.” 

  1. Explore ways to assess higher-order skills, in online courses.
  2. Develop methods for authentic, relevant self-assessment .

“Knowing what you know and don’t know focuses your learning.”

  1. Personalize and customize learning activities to address multiple learning styles and diverse ways of knowing and communicating.

“Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning. Many roads lead to learning. Different students bring different talents and styles…”

Social Software
  1. Learn selection criteria and how to use social software tools to enhance individual and collective learning experiences.
  2. Teach responsible social interactions associated with social media practices.

“Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing ones ideas and responding to others improves thinking and deepens understanding.”  

Resources Required
  1. Access to recent, relevant articles, studies, reports, etc.
  2. Opportunity to review example of learning technologies implemented in sample or authentic courses.
  3. Access to new tools and systems with the ability to interact and gain hands-on experience
  4. Opportunity to learn how to infuse learning technology enhancements into an example course (practice implementing new tools/software)
  5. TIME 
Literature Referenced

About this E-Portfolio

Written by Sue M.

May 11th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Posted in E-Portfolio

Tagged with

Spam prevention powered by Akismet