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5 easy pieces 2011

by on Apr 25, 2011


Five Easy Pieces:...

Five Easy Pieces:
Simple Web 2.0 Tools to Increase Course Interactivity and Visual Pedagogy

By Dave Wolf

There are several easy web 2.0 services that can enhance our courses by stimulating students by either increasing the degree of interactivity or visually augmenting course content. This presentation will illustrate how a few specific tools offer alternative ways of presenting content. These tools ensure that students can access information quickly and seamlessly. Reducing clicking and lag time from the learning management system gives students more time to focus on the information and makes them more likely to explore the content. The tools also help streamline content presentation to offer a sleeker and friendlier learning environment.

Besides allowing for a better content presentation, the presentation will explore new ways to easily share information with students. Instructors can share content visually by embedding source materials and having mark up tools. Using the visual information has a well documented history of improving communicative effectiveness. By sharing work-flow charts and type hierarchies, instructors are statistically more likely to improve student understanding and reduce miscommunication. Coincidentally, this improves student satisfaction.

The tools explored all have account options that are free. The tools easily merge with our courses – making them effective and cost-effective. The nature of the tools makes then re-usable. They are created in one account, but can be embedded in multiple areas. This empowers the developer or instructor with the ability to make a change in one place and have the content updated in every instance. The accounts also allows for instructors to easily reuse content each semester.

This presentation will demonstrate how instructors or developers improve there courses by adopting simple tools that can:

1. Embed documents and slide shows within the course
2. Embed web pages with instructors notes to visually illustrate points
3. Create interactive concept maps
4. Create work-flow charts to help students better understand assignments
5. Create and embed non-lineal visual presentations to augment instructor’s notes or content guides.

These free tools offer instructors flexibility while improving student interactivity with course content. Those at the presentation will learn how to quickly use and embed several interactive tools that will enrich their courses.



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