Two new learning tech tools you can try for trolley problem week

There are two new learning tech tools in development right now, and in the testing phase. If you want (entirely optional!) you could try one or both during the trolley problem week (March 19-23).

New course website system

This course website right here is on the UBC Blogs system because I wanted it to be publicly available for other teachers and students of philosophy in case they might find any of what we’re doing useful. But this is really a system for blogs, and doesn’t have the same functionality as a full course website system might have.

UBC is developing such a system called Course Spaces, which also runs on WordPress like this course site right here, but it has more functionality. We have put next week’s material on a test site for it, which you can check out here: https://arts.coursespaces.ubc.ca/PHIL-102-003/ (log in with your CWL to access all the functions of this site)

The same material will still live on this site as it always has; it’s just that if you want to try it out on a new site to see what it looks like and what functionality it has, and have a chance to give feedback, you can do so.

Some useful functionality:

  • You can take notes on any course page; so, for example, if you wanted to take notes on the videos for the trolley problem you could do so right on the same page as the videos. You could then copy and paste them elsewhere if you want.
  • There are a few informal quiz questions after each video to see if you’ve gotten some of the basic ideas down correctly from the videos. These give you the answer right after you submit yours, and they are not marked.
  • You can bookmark particular pages, or check them off to say you’ve completed them, and then you can see your progress through the course or module that way.

You’ll need to log in with your CWL at the above link in order to access most of this functionality!

New video watching tool: ViDex

The trolley problem videos are available on this site, or the above site, or you can watch them through a new video tool called ViDex.

ViDex is an interactive video player that has been developed in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, in collaboration with Microsoft, with the goal of making videos a more effective learning experience. It lets students create notes, bookmark, tag, and highlight inside the videos.

If you want to see a bit about ViDex, there are a few screenshots at the ViDex website. A demo will also be given in class on March 14.

To access the videos on ViDex, you need to have a Microsoft 365 account through UBC. If you haven’t create an account, please do so. It is free, and it gives you access to Microsoft Office as well; although it is not necessary to download Office in order to access ViDex.

To find instructions for setting up your account, please visit videx.ece.ubc.ca, and look at “Getting Started” on the top right of the page. After you set up your account, you should be able to access the course videos by clicking on the invitation link posted at the top of this message. If you have any problems setting up your account or accessing the videos, please email videx@ece.ubc.ca.

Then, once you’ve set up your Microsoft 365 account, you’ll need to go to an invitation link that Christina will send via email (it shouldn’t be posted publicly (it’s only for students in this course) so I can’t put it here).