Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Links about WebCT's new CE version 6

Making WebCT 4 Questions Containing MathML

Steve Corwin, the author of this page, says,
If you know LaTeX, it's not hard to put MathML in WebCT questions and answers reasonably quickly. (It's just hard to find out what works!) I've posted a page with all I know about it, and the tools you need to do it. Thanks to all whose posts helped me out with this.

Foto Search Image Library

The site offers over 700 thousand royalty free images in its extensive online archive, including photography, clipart, illustrations, footage, and maps. World-class photography and art free of charge. It is the digital, online equivalent of a conventional art museum. Browsing through the library is free, and there are no access charges, registration requirements, or usage limits.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

dhtmlxToolbar 1.0 - FREEware from Softpedia

Build a user friendly interface for a web application. dhtmlxToolbar is an advanced JavaScript navigation component that enables [you] to create an attractive vertical or horizontal DHTML toolbar within minutes. It's flexible, powerful, lightweight and easy to use. ...This Javascript toolbar supports several buttons types (image, image with text, select box). [No] browser compatibility problems. dhtmlxToolbar works perfectly in all main Web-browsers (IE, Mozilla, FireFox, MacOS X Safari, Opera). Having great feature set, wide variety of options, flexibility, cross-browser compatibility, powerful JavaScript API allows this Javascript component to create superior DHTML toolbars.

Facilitator's Guide to Reflection & Portfolio Development

The process of thinking about learning - the process of reflection - can be a powerful process for building self-awareness and self-confidence. Reflection increases self-knowledge, better preparing people to make deliberate, well informed choices for their futures. Furthermore, if what has been learned matches the requirements for a job or an educational program, and if it is adequately documented, it may be possible to have this learning formally recognized.

This guide is intended to be used by facilitators to support learners' personal and/or professional development through a process of reflection. The activities for reflection were developed for use in a group setting and can be adapted as required. They can be embedded into any learning environment to enhance the process of self-discovery through reflection.

Digital Portfolios: An Enduring Promise for Enhancing Assessment

An article from TechLearning.com.
Despite predictions that digital portfolios were just another trend in the search to enrich the assessment of student achievement, they continue to offer powerful possibilities for improving teaching and learning. Portfolios have survived for two substantial reasons. First...

Electronic Portfolio FAQs

Helen C. Barrett, Ph.D is an internationally-known expert on Electronic Portfolio Development for learners of all ages.
I frequently receive e-mails asking different questions about electronic portfolios. I realize that many of the answers are buried on my website. So this page contains links to specific pages or websites where these answers can be found.
See also Dr. Barrett's blog: E-Portfolios for Learning.
I have created this blog to discuss my ideas on electronic portfolios to support lifelong learning. I hope to share some of my concerns about the current direction of electronic portfolios in High Education and K-12 schools.
Hear Dr. Barrett in a recorded webcast: Portfolios in High Schools - to "e" or not to "e". BC Campus.ca describes this recorded webcast:
Dr. Helen Barrett, keynote speaker for the BCEd Online Conference in April, gives a brief overview of the literature on the electronic portfolio development process and highlights several strategies that enable reflection: blogging and digital storytelling.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Five Instructional Design Principles Worth Revisiting

This article revisits these principles:

  • Learning is not performance
  • The medium is not the method
  • Match external and internal conditions
  • Authentic practice makes perfect
  • One size does not fit all

By keeping these principles in mind, regardless of the context or final product, designers can be more confident that their designs are based on sound theory and research, and will maximize learning and performance.

Modular CSS

I'd never thought of this concept before, and it seems to be a good approach to simply life in the CSS lane.
This isn't a new idea but looking at people's code it doesn't seem to be a particularly widely used practice: modular CSS. That's a poncy name for the very simple idea of grouping related styles into separate stylesheets. The same set of tasks turn up on project after project and a little careful thought can save hours of foundation work, allowing you to get on with the serious business of turning a flat design into a web page far more quickly. The broad groups that I use are: typography, forms, layout, navigation and colour.

Content with Style

Brand new and just launched, we'd like to show web developers ways to use and reuse their code. Find your way to our articles, event calendar and hand-picked selection of links from other interesting places.

Introduction to elearning

An audio-visual presentation that has some good information, whether you're experienced with eLearning or brand new to it. My link is to the blog entry at eLearn Space where you'll get the direct link to open the presentation.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Skills for Access: Creating Accessible Multimedia for e-learning

This web site provides you with a comprehensive resource on issues relating to multimedia, e-learning and accessibility. Whether you're new to e-learning, want to know more about specific accessibility issues, or are an expert multimedia developer, we believe you'll find information relevant to your needs.

Building interactivity into e-learning

Interactive learning adapts to our situation; it allows us to actively process and apply concepts; it allows us to access an expert to help sort the wheat from the chaff. And, research from the National Training Laboratory bears this out. ...Unfortunately, the e-learning industry today has a problem. Specifically, Most e-learning replicates the worst practices of education electronically.

Changing Course Management Systems

An article in Educause:
Converting a Blackboard course to Desire2Learn taught us some of the hazards and benefits of changing course management systems.

5 Ways to Enhance Your Learning

As adult learners and teachers, we can ride the crest of the current revolution in brain research. We can learn easier, faster, better, and more enjoyably! The new scientific understanding of our most vital organ can help us improve everything about our learning -- from choosing our best times and places to learn, to setting grander goals for how much we can grow. Based on the work of the world’s leading brain researchers over the past twenty years, here are the top five ways to enhance your learning.

The Role of Metaphor in Interaction Design

...properly used, metaphor can be a powerful tool for designers, in both the process of designing and within the products themselves. Metaphor can help redefine design problems and help solve them. It can be used as a research tool, to understand new subject areas, or as means to generate new ideas about familiar subjects. It can help sell a product, both to internal stakeholders and teammates as well as to consumers. Metaphors can provide cues to users how to understand products: to orient and personify. In short, interaction designers can use metaphor to change behavior.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Online Degrees - Search for an Institution

This site has listings of online degree institutions by Career, by School, and by Recommended Sites.
A free resource to assist in your online education search, this web site features a list of online schools and e-learning resources. Search by career and request additional information. There is no cost or obligation.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Can video games stimulate academic learning?

This article reports on a study done in Chile.
The simple act of playing a video game can require learning a great deal of information. We have discussed studies showing impressive perceptual gains after just a short time playing a game. Children are highly motivated to play video games (in fact, at times, it’s difficult to get them to do anything else). Yet, perhaps because of the perceived negative impact, there has been surprisingly little research on how to use games for teaching. One exception to this was [this] study.

The eGranary Digital Library

Provides millions of digital educational resources to institutions lacking adequate Internet access. Through a process of garnering permissions, copying Web sites, and delivering them to intranet Web servers INSIDE our partner institutions in developing countries, we deliver millions of multimedia documents that can be instantly accessed by patrons over their local area networks at no cost.

WebCT's new CE6 Orientation Center

Includes demos, a quick-start page for course setup, and full descriptions of key features. They say CE6's release is targeted for June 2005 -- just a month away!

Some Principles of Effective E-Learning

by Stephen Downes.
No doubt there are other aspects of effective e-learning. Pedagogical theorists will talk about scaffolding, talk about learning objectives and outcomes, talk about practice and examination, and more. In various contexts these are all important and will play a significant role in determining the success of failure of a given learning enterprise. None of these, though, are as central to the design of effective learning as the three criteria listed.
His 3 principles are:

  • Interaction

  • Usability

  • Relevance

Before you select a LMS: Define an E-Learning Strategy

The author's idea is that when you want to begin offering courses online, you don't start by selecting a LMS (Learning Management System). You start by defining your e-learning strategy.
Providing learning online involves more than simply authoring courses and attaching them to an LMS. The major processes you will have to design and deploy are...