Pardon our dust

Maybe this time you can call it a comeback..

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We’ve been out of our blogging routine for a little while now but we wanted to let you know that we’re changing things. And some things have already changed.

Our biggest change is the faces behind the font, so we should (re)introduce our E-Learning team:

Megan MacKenzie has worked in the E-Learning Office as an E-Learning Instructional Designer since February 2012. In that time, she has had the opportunity to work with some pretty amazing people (and content) at UPEI. Megan’s favourite part of the course design process is developing assessment to align with course outcomes, because it allows her to use her skills in creative problem solving to find new ways of doing things. Megan loves using experiential learning, peer-based learning, and ePortfolios to help students find new and exciting ways to engage with content and express their learning.

Jason Hogan has been working with the E-Learning Office as the Instructional Multimedia Specialist Since October 2014 working on a variety of course pieces. As of November, he became one of our E-Learning Instructional Designers, working with Megan to help support online learning at UPEI. He’s excited about the projects we have going on in the E-Learning Office this year.

Kristy McKinney is our newest addition to the E-Learning family, arriving here at UPEI in early January. She is taking over Jason’s former position as the Instructional Multimedia Specialist. She’s bringing a lot of multimedia experience to the role and we’re really excited to use her skills and insight.

One more of our changes is our blog. We really believe it can be a great resource for us to talk about a lot of the things we enjoy in our roles, whether it’s a few technical tips; tutorials on some software we’ve been using; some pedagogical ideas that you might want to try; or cool things we’ve found and want to share with you. We’re rolling up our sleeves and committing to this; we’ll be publishing a new post on our blog on each Thursday afternoon going forward.

So check back to see what’s here, let us know what you think, and let us know if there is anything you’d like to see or something you’d like to share with us.

Organizing & Naming Your Course Materials

Students are often enrolled in three or more course, with many of these posting online materials. Add to this previous and future semesters and we can see that students must potentially search through hundreds of resources to find what they’re looking for.

This is where we can help.

By simply naming our resources in a clear manner, it helps students more easily find what they need, when they need it. This also helps us in the same way. Let’s look at three ways to name documents more clearly.

When you are uploading files from your own computer, make sure they are named consistently.

  1. Course Code and Number begin the document name. For example, the syllabus for English 101, Sept 2013 would be called “ENG101 Syllabus Sept 2013”. This type of naming structure affords several ways to find the document. If you simply name the document “syllabus”, this may result in many unclearly named documents.
  2. In Moodle, when posting your resources, name them the same name as the filename, minus the course code. This way the syllabus from ENG101 mentioned above would be named Syllabus Sept 2013.
  3. Label your media files and links using brackets at the end of the file. For example, if you have recorded an introduction to your course and have posted it on YouTube, you should name that link “ENG101 Course Introduction (YouTube Video)”. Likewise, if you have media files that need to be downloaded, you should clearly label them. For example, “ENG101 Shakespeare Radio Interview (Audio Download)”.

Using these naming standards not only allows for better organisation, but it tells students what the files are before they open them or download them. This is a very important feature as students increasingly use mobile devices which have limited storage and maybe accrue extra fees with streaming or downloading.

If you have questions about naming and organizing your course materials, please e-mail elearning@upei.ca

Audacity

Audacity is a free audio editing software that you can use on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Audacity allows you to easily record, import, export, and edit audio for a variety of purposes.

You could use Audacity to record lecture notes to accompany slides, for interviews with subject experts, for an alternative to written assignments, or for podcasts. You could even take famous speeches and re-edit them into smaller pieces. You can then export your audio file in a lot of different formats allowing for greater accessibility.

To learn the basics on Audacity, check out our playlist here.
Interested in learning more?  Visit our YouTube channel, where we have uploaded some tutorials to get you started!

Still looking for more information?  Click here to contact the E-Learning Office.

Google Groups

Integrated with other Google Apps like Gmail, Calendar, and Drive, Google Groups is an excellent way to participate in online discussions with other Gmail users. Free of charge and easy to use, Google Groups allows users with shared interests to interact either through a web interface or email.

Using Google Groups, you can easily use photos, nicknames, and translate to communicate with anyone across the world. You can edit your posts with a rich text editor and access them from most mobile devices including Android and Mac iOS.  You can also set up mailing lists from various newsgroups across the web, or set up a mailing list for you and your class to share resources.

Interested in using Google Groups? Have a look at this playlist.
Interested in learning more?  Visit our YouTube channel, where we have uploaded some tutorials to get you started!

Still looking for more information?  Click here to contact the E-Learning Office.

Screen Capture

Screen Captures allow you to take images or video recordings of the content of your computer’s screen. No matter whether what operating system you use, you can take either a Screenshot (still image) or Screen Cast (video recordings) of your computer’s screen. Screen captures can be beneficial in a variety of contexts and offer great learning opportunities when used effectively.

Some situations when screen captures are helpful include:

  • Technical support – show people the exact problem you’re having with a picture or video
  • Engagement – annotate your lecture/presentation allowing your audience to hear and see your passion
  • Concepts including moving images – you could show using your screen intricate mechanisms

Screen Capture can help you present your work in a different light and to a larger audience. Have a look at this playlist to learn more about Screen Captures.

Interested in learning more?  Visit our YouTube channel, where we have uploaded some tutorials to get you started!

Still looking for more information?  Click here to contact the E-Learning Office.