But WAIT...before you rush in to throw masses of content into your online course and spend hours and hours creating more, perhaps start by taking a breath and considering the following questions:What are you trying to achieve in this course? Is it about simply passing on information...or is it more about developing a skill or building a deeper understanding? Does every teeny-tiny bit of information have to be in it? What bit clearly aligns with what you are trying to achieve? Is it all essential...or is some of it just 'nice to know'? Can you start with just the essentials, and then add the 'nice to know' as supplementary information, so that it is available but doesn't clutter the course? How can you put everything into a 'real world context' so that it is more engaging and easier to understand? Remember that e-learning isn't just about 'content', and articles such as Build Better E-learning Courses by Getting Rid of Some of the Content can provide some direction.
OK, so you've broken your course down into essentials and 'nice to know', and now you are ready to create the content. Following are some tools that can assist with turning your existing Powerpoints, documents and photos that you might already have, into e-learning content.
Microsoft PhotoStory3 is a free application that allows users to create a show’n’tell presentation from simple digital photos. It is used in education for the creation of learning resources by trainers, and is also given to learners as a learning or assessment activity. Some examples - History of Radiology or Travel digital story. To get started, check out the ‘How To’ Tutorials and the website Educational uses of digital storytelling.
SlideShare is a site which allows you to upload and share your PowerPoints, with an option to add an audio narration. You can use SlideShare to upload PowerPoints to the internet so they are available for learners at any time. (gives a unique URL) or embed them straight into a Learning Management System such as Moodle, Blackboard etc. An amusing example of an uploaded powerpoint (with a great mesage) is Death by PowerPoint. :-)
iSpring Free turns Powerpoint into Flash which means you can easily create web-ready Flash presentations preserving every aspect of your original PowerPoint content. After conversion you can embed it in your LMS or website, or send it out to students via email. You can download the application from here .
CutePDF creates PDF files on the fly, and makes professional quality PDF files. Use CutePDF to turn your Word documents into PDFs, ready to upload to the internet, your LMS or send out to learners via email. (Althought the use of downloadable PDF's is not e-learning, it is a great way to start and provides some flexibility for learners.)
You've exhausted the search and you've looked at what you have...but there are still gaps. Here are some tools which can assist with creating content from scratch (and don't require any high-level technical skills):
ARED (Application for Rapid E-learning Design) is downloadable software, designed to allow practitioners with little more than basic computer skills, to easily build their own e-learning resources using six dynamic templates. The tool has been created by the Framework and can be downloaded from the ARED website. Most final products sit inside of courses and are not accessible however following are a couple of examples:How to Write a Business Case for E-learning E-learning Webventure A course has been developed in how to use ARED: Introduction to AREDv2.1 (Enter as a guest) T
If you are looking for something that does a little bit more, eXe is a freely available authoring application to assist teachers and academics in the publishing of web content without the need to become proficient in HTML. Perhaps start with the video introduction or go straight to the Online Manual. There are a number of proprietary products that provide more sophisticated resources - but you have to pay! Articulate Studio is one example.
Screencast-o-Matic is a free and easy way to make a screen capture video recording with audio (a.k.a screencast) and upload it - no installation or downloading required. Screencast-o-Matic can be used wherever you demonstrate something on a computer, for example:Creating a drop-down list in Excel A screencast about how to create a screencast!
Why does it have to be text? Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. You can can record live audio, import sound files, edit and export in many formats, ready to upload into your online course. Here are some examples of how audio can be used effectively - example 1, example 2or example 3
Microsoft MovieMaker is a relatively simple program which can be used to create video content eg a demonstration, upload them to sites such as YouTube, TeacherTube or Vimeo, and then embed them into your course. You'll find lots of introductory information on the Microsoft site, and a series of online tutorials on using Movie Maker can be found at Atomic Learning If you are looking for music to use, try FriendlyMusic (more info here).
photo by Artifex creation (cc licensed)
Creating content from scratch
(and rethinking what you already have)
HOW TO BUILD AN ONLINE COURSE
• What are you trying to achieve?
• Does every teeny-tiny bit of information have to be in it?
• Can you start with just the essentials?
• How can you put everything into a 'real world context‘?
Remember that e-learning isn't just about 'content'
WHY NOT TURN WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE.....
INTO E-LEARNING CONTENT?!
TURN PHOTOS INTO VIDEO - WITH PHOTOSTORY3
History of Radiology or Travel digital story.
Educational uses of digital storytelling. Photo by amateur_photo_bore (cc licensed)
UPLOAD POWERPOINT TO THE INTERNET –
Death by PowerPoint.
Photo by Mike Licht (cc licensed)
TURN POWERPOINT INTO FLASH –
WITH iSPRING FREE
Photo by Jim Nix (cc licensed)
TURN WORD DOCUMENTS INTO PDF –
Photo by Zyllan (cc licensed)
Photo by ryochiji (cc licensed)
CREATE SIMPLE TEMPLATE-BASED ACTIVITIES -
Photo by Krug6 (cc licensed)
How to Write a Business Case for E-learning
CREATE (SLIGHTLY MORE COMPLEX) RESOURCES
- WITH EXE
Photo by photobunny (cc licensed)
CREATE ON-SCREEN DEMONSTRATIONS –
Photo by KB35 (cc licensed)
Creating a drop-down list in Excel
A screencast about how to create a screencast!
CREATE AUDIO - WITH AUDACITY
Photo by woodleywonderworks (cc licensed)
example 1, example 2 example 3
CREATE VIDEO- WITH MICROSOFT MOVIEMAKER
Photo by the City Project (cc licensed)
Info on the Microsoft site
Atomic Learning (tutorials)
South Australian E-learning Coordinator
Australian Flexible Learning Framework
Phone: 08 8226 1673
Twitter: marlenemanto Flickr: marlenemanto Delicious: marleman