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Multimedia learning materials for scholars at a distance


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I presented this to delegates from the Open University of China on 4th June, 2013, at University of Leicester. The OU China has 3 million students, so even finding a stable VLE or LMS is a challenge.

I presented this to delegates from the Open University of China on 4th June, 2013, at University of Leicester. The OU China has 3 million students, so even finding a stable VLE or LMS is a challenge.

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  • 1. Materialsfor scholars at adistanceTerese Bird Technologist and SCORE Research FellowInstitute of Learning InnovationOpen University of China4 June, 2013
  • 2. What will we talk about?• Virtual Learning Environments/LearningManagement Systems• Comparing the formats• Text• Sound• Video• Interactive
  • 3. Leicester’s Virtual Learning Environment
  • 4. What format for content?• It’s usually faster to read than to listen or watch• A picture paints a thousand words• Photos can mislead• More is communicated by voice than just the words(Nie, Armellini, Witthaus, & Barkland, 2010)• Video: some things must be demonstrated• Interactivity encourages exploration
  • 5. Mobile is important• In mid-2012, 51% of UK citizensowned a smartphone (ThePaypers, 2012)• 14% of adults in Europe ownedtablet in 2012 (Lomas, 2013)• 35% of UoL Medical School 3rdyears own an iPadPhoto by mike cogh on Flickr
  • 6. What format for content?Medium Positives NegativesText •Speed•Pre-existing material•Flat•Does not communicateemotionImage •Much communicated ina single simple package•Can be misleadingwithout contextSound •More communicated byvoice than just words•Convenient formultitasking•Smaller file than video•Not seen as flashy asvideo?Video •Most infocommunicated•Great fordemonstrating skills•Bulky and padded•Demands attention
  • 7. Text – think ebooks!• PDF with appropriate images• iBooks Author – PDF and .ibook (iPad) formats• Free with latest Mac OS• Print to PDF – it’s beautiful• For the .ibook formats – can include video
  • 8. Take advantage of iBooks Author
  • 9. Take advantage of iBooks Author• Free with latest Mac OS• Saves as pdf and text
  • 10. Now make an epub• Copy and paste the text into Pages.• Add photos.• Add video if you’re sure the devices can handle it– iOS: iBooks– Android: Kobo, Ibis Reader• Let it flow!• Tips: Only inline. No floating objects.
  • 11. Calibre• Take a Word doc• Save as html• Import into Calibre• Save as epub or mobi• Pdf to epub doesn’t really work• Also try
  • 12. Picture books!• Just use simple pdf!!!• Brilliant results!• Maps, drawings, images
  • 13. Handy guide to ebooksFileformatWhat device Whatsoftwarepositives negativespdf Everything Adobeplugin, MacOSRuns on everything Does not flow,does not takeadvantage ofthe device’spowerepub Everythingbut KindleCalibre Flows, takesadvantage of thedevices’s powerOpen source,somewhatfutureproofmobi Kindle Calibre Kindle is big Kindle only.ibooks Apple iBooksonlyIbooksAuthorBeautiful & easyiPad is marketleaderApple iBooksonly
  • 14. Handy guide to Flickr imagesPhoto by milomingo on Flickr
  • 15. Sound• Why sound?– Copyright is easier – recorded lectures– File size is smaller– Listeners can do something else at the same time– No bad hair days – staff like it!– Voice communicates more than the printed word– Effective and easy way to close distance
  • 16. How?• Audacity• Garageband• Window Sound Recorder• But please save as mp3 (wma and wav are dead)• And apps!!!...
  • 17. Audioboo• Like YouTube for sound• Record in browser• Attract comments in browser• Or simply upload• RSS out, iTunes out  it’s like magic• Can send these to Apple if you like• 5-minute sound limit
  • 18. Soundcloud• A bit more socially aware• The app lets you record so good for students torecord their own stuff and post up• Very intuitive• 2 hour TOTAL limit on sound• Can share out via iTunes
  • 19. Sound threaded discussions• Wimba Voiceboard• Voice Thread• Voxopop
  • 20. Examples of use• Audio feedback – increased marks & retention• Voice discussions• Audioboo – Field use – listen to teacher’s descriptionof a flower, student audio-records her owncomments and findings• Student can record, using Audioboo for iPhone (don’tuse iPad app yet)
  • 21. Lecture podcast series on iTunes U
  • 22. Video• How many of you have made a Youku video?
  • 23. How to embed a video• In YouTube, click Share – Embed – to get code
  • 24. How to embed YouTube into Moodle• In Moodle, select Compose a web page,• Change to html, paste in embed code
  • 25. How to embed a Vimeo or YouTube videointo your website• This video on ScreenR will show you:
  • 26. ScreenR
  • 27. Recorded lectures• Record the face or just the slides?• Streaming or download?• Automatic enterprise, or one-by-one?• Huge server space required, expensive• Students like them to revise, good for languageissues
  • 28. Editing movies – keep it simple• iMovie – free with Mac – saves as .mov, .mp4• Windows MovieMaker – but doesn’t save as mp4• Only go to Final Cut Express if you have to!– Bleeped out sounds– Fuzzed out faces– A cut-out logo floating over the image
  • 29. Narrated Powerpoint-type presentation• Screen capture software: QuickTime, Camtasia,iShowU, or ScreenR• Speak out your presentation and record, save as file or .mp4• Put on Youku or iTunes U, link from there into yourlearning environment• Slideshare – load presentation, add narration, linkfrom there into environment
  • 30. Easy interactive• Internally-linked Powerpoint, save as pdf• Prezi
  • 31. Easy interactive• QR codes•• Can be used inpracticals, museumsPhoto: victuallers2 on Flickr
  • 32. Thank you!!!• Conole, G. (2013). The 7Cs of Learning Design. SlidesharePresentation. Retrieved March 21,2013, from• Lomas, N. (2013). Forrester: Tablet Ownership In Europe To Rise 4x In 5 Years — 55% OfRegion’s Online Adults Will Own One By 2017, Up From 14% In 2012 | TechCrunch.TechCrunch Website. Retrieved February 27, 2013, from• Nie, M., Armellini, A., Witthaus, G., & Barkland, K. (2010). Delivering University Curricula:Knowledge, Learning and INnovation Gains — University of Leicester. Leicester. Retrievedfrom• ThePaypers. (2012). The Paypers. Insights in payments. Retrieved January 3, 2013, from