Writing online content sustainability

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  • Writing online content sustainability through DIRECT link
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  • Intro/Welcome: Housekeeping/techy stuff: See if all the attendees are there in the session Check that participants can hear us (people type into the chat window to confirm) Check that we can hear participants (ask people with mics to unmute them, say something and mute them again) Explain roles of presenter and moderator Check whether anyone has any questions at this point What this webinar is for: To cover basics of presenting content for an online audience To introduce TELT CBA resource To provide an opportunity for you to ask questions
  • Let’s go back to first principles for a minute.
  • What's the difference? The presence or absence of YOU. When you teach online, you are effectively replacing your physical presence with your online presence - talking directly to your students via the computer screen, and this will be reflected in what you write, how you write it and how you organise what you’ve written. More about this later... A caveat at this point: we do very little fully online teaching at NTU so for the purposes of today, we’re talking about some degree of blended learning: teaching which happens partly online and partly face-to-face. This could be a conventional face-to-face course where the online component is purely supplementary; it could be on a professional PG course where there are a number of campus-based study days, and between them are some online activities. So – everything I’m about to cover is general good practice stuff. But – the more online the course is, the more important this becomes. At one extreme, you’d have a conventional F2F course, where you see students every week. So even if your content is patchy and poorly written – it’s bad but it’s not the end of the world because you’re there to clear up any misconceptions. At the other extreme is a fully online course
  • So - hypothetical situation: > I have some content. This could be anything – PowerPoints, lecture notes, videos > I have some formative activities in mind. That is, I have some idea what I want students to do over the course of the module. Some of these are are online, some are F2F. I'll say something about writing online activities themselves in a bit.
  • The part that's missing, and the part I still need to write... is a LINKING NARRATIVE to take students through the module. When you write a narrative, what you're doing is leading students through your content. So - if there's a paper you want people to read, say what's interesting or important about it; say what, in particular, you want people to bear in mind as they read it. If something interesting and relevant came out of a previous activity, or a face-to-face seminar for example, say so. Anything that you would tell students face-to-face to introduce, contextualise or otherwise add value to a piece of content or activity, do this in your narrative. So for example, before an activity, you might: Introduce and contextualise it Make explicit links to: The assessment Module ILOs Other parts of the curriculum or other activities (online or F2F) Students’ academic, professional or general experience]
  • Anything that you would tell students face-to-face to introduce, contextualise or otherwise add value to a piece of content or activity, do this in your narrative.
  • So for example, before an activity, you might: Introduce and contextualise it Make explicit links to: The assessment Module ILOs Other parts of the curriculum or other activities (online or F2F) Students’ academic, professional or general experience
  • Afterwards, you might summarise the results, draw out key themes, ask related questions or suggest further reading.
  • Source: http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/files/crashCourseInLearning.pdf The basic premise is that the language we use when we're working with students is more important than we realise for a variety of reasons... a fair bit of it is down to the power dynamic between students and teacher too which is where language comes in. Using informal language enables dialogue which fosters interaction which leads to deeper student engagement. Because of the lack of physical communication signals when you're working online, breaking down barriers of communication through the appropriate and approachable use of language is heightened
  • Image Source: Fabian Blanca, http://www.flickr.com/photos/faby74/3022829811/
  • How will the narrative ‘fit’ around the rest of your stuff?
  • In writing your narrative, you’re effectively guiding and instructing so keep things simple. It could be that your narrative is just a few short passages sprinkled between your resources and activities. If you find yourself writing longer bits of text, try to: a) Chunk things appropriately; split text into sections roughly the right size for a web page; use headings appropriately and consistently – try to use a maximum of four heading levels. b) Consider using the journalistic ‘inverted pyramid’ model: one idea per paragraph; most important idea first.
  • Image Source: GreenWhiteOrange, http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamel/3330127814/ I have had conversations in the past with colleagues who initially feel uncomfortable with an informal style of writing, and say that they would normally try to model the style of writing they want to see from students. That’s fine, but if that’s an intended learning outcome, design an activity to address that. For the narrative itself, use the language that bests suits it.
  • Writing online content sustainability

    1. 1. Writing and Presenting Online Content Barry Gregory, eLearning Developer Centre for Academic Development and Quality
    2. 2. Online vs face-to-face teaching… Source: amarola, http://www.flickr.com/photos/amarola/268642793/
    3. 3. What’s the difference? Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66164549@N00/2260970300/sizes/l/
    4. 4. What do I already have? I have some resources… Resource 1 Resource 2 Resource 3 I have some activities… Activity 1 Activity 2 Activity 3
    5. 5. What do I need to write? Resource 1 Resource 2 Resource 3 Activity 1 Activity 2 Activity 3 A narrative to… provide a ‘pathway’ through
    6. 6. What do I need to write? Writing around existing content/activities:
    7. 7. What do I need to write? Writing around existing content/activities: Before: •Introduce and contextualise •Make explicit links to: • The assessment • Module ILOs • Other parts of the curriculum or other activities (online or F2F) • Students’ academic, professional or general experience
    8. 8. What do I need to write? Writing around existing content/activities: Before: •Introduce and contextualise •Make explicit links to: • The assessment • Module ILOs • Other parts of the curriculum or other activities (online or F2F) • Students’ academic, professional or general experience] After: •Summarise •Draw out key themes •Pose further questions •Suggest further reading
    9. 9. What about writing style? Source, mrclean, http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrclean/371372515/
    10. 10. Source: http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/files/crashCourseInLearning.pdf
    11. 11. Use plain English Image Source: Fabian Blanca, http://www.flickr.com/photos/faby74/3022829811/
    12. 12. Don’t say… If there are any points on which you require explanation or further particulars we shall be glad to furnish such additional details as may be required by telephone.
    13. 13. Don’t say… If there are any points on which you require explanation or further particulars we shall be glad to furnish such additional details as may be required by telephone. Do say… If you have any questions, please phone.
    14. 14. Some guidelines… Make Text 'Scannable': • Highlight keywords • Provide meaningful headings and subheadings • Include one idea per paragraph Keep your Tone Reader-Friendly: • Be conversational • Be welcoming • Use plain English
    15. 15. Plan your writing… Source: Jenna Carver, http://www.flickr.com/photos/babyowls/2329783873/
    16. 16. Use chunks and pyramids… Source: Thomas Hawk, http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/499430191/
    17. 17. Dumbing down? Nope. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamel/3330127814/
    18. 18. Final thought about writing online content (as opposed to print content): Make the most of the online environment: • Link to things • Embed things • Don’t reinvent the wheel! Watch this short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkhpmEZWuRQ

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