Designing Xerte tutorials as self paced learning objects

The following has come out of a conversation with Nitin around the design aspects of a Xerte, self paced learning activity.  The following is a story board approach to an introduction to a technology. The level is aimed at an introduction, ie., a person who has little previous knowledge, and is looking for a 10 minute overview. The resource should motivate them to contact the e-learning Team for a further discussion around how they might use the technology.

Some key generic points are;

  1. Use of images: These need to add value to the text, so choose them very carefully. They need to re-enforce the message you are trying to get across. Make sure the quality is acceptable on different screens / displays, and you have rights clearance to use them. You should acknowledge either on the picture or a separate page where the images came from
  2. Remember these are self paced / directed learning objects. So they must be engaging to the desired audience or they’ll not access them, or the impact will be less effective. Therefore, you might want to write a number of learning and teaching scenarios where the technology would be appropriate. A good template would be to use the capture context template used in “what can e-learning do for me” If a number of well defined, high vale added scenarios aren’t forecoming then you might need to re-think the use.
  3. Finally, these resources are part of a wide range of other self paced learning resources we produce, ie., case studies, how to guides and FAQs. It is very important to weave these resources in, and be explicit about exit points to more information.

The following is a templated approach for a passive learning activity;

Intro page

About the activity

The aims, and specific ILOs (ie., by the end of this resource you should know)

Expected time to complete the activity

About the resource

  • State it was created by the e-learning Team at the University of Bath, it is made available under a Creative Commons, Attribution and Share-Alike license.  It is available in the University of Bath’s OER Repository
  • Date and version stamp
  • Contact details

Scenario page

Write an authentic teaching and learing scenario, which is based on discipline needs, pedagogical needs, rooms, units at the University of Bath.

What is the technology page

A brief desctription of what is the technology. This is best refered to other sources, for instance, quotes and definitions. A image, video or audio (referred back in the text), is also very useful. However, remember usability and accessibility 🙂

How is it being used page

This must be linked to actual uses at the University of Bath (should have the greatest impact), and where possible also link to / from one of our case studies. A talking head (flip cam … vox pop) created from staff and students would be really useful.

How do I use it page

This page should include screencasts which demo it’s use. This will differentiate it from the  text based how to guide.

In terms of usability, remember to describe what is happening in the video, ie., link the text to video, to scaffold people on how to interpret the video.

In a perfect world there would be a link to/from the how to guide and reference to the FAQ database

Where do I go next page?

The intention of this page is to get people to connect with the e-learning Team. Therefore, it must contain;

  • e-learning
    • web:
    • email:
    • blog (if appropriate)

It should also include the same information at the start of the resource, ie,

About the resource

  • State it was created by the e-learning Team at the University of Bath, it is made available under a Creative Commons, Attribution and Share-Alike license.  It is available in the University of Bath’s OER Repository
  • Date and version stamp
  • Contact details

——————————————————–

Make it more of an active learning resource

The above describes an approach based on passive, read, watch and think learning style. The aim of our designs should be to design this as a more active learning expereince. This is much easier when you drill down into a certain aspect where you can get them to complete a task objectively.  So plenty of food for thought 🙂

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4 comments

    • andyoutandabout

      There should be a couple sorted in the next two weeks. One around the use of visualisers, the other around blending physical and virtual learning spaces. I’ll blog when we’ve uploaded some. They’ll not set the world on fire, but they should be effective 🙂

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