ITS 103: Course Materials for Distance Education
After this workshop participants will be able to:
1) Identify usable file types for web course delivery.
2) Identify varying conversion options for common file types.
3) Distinguish which file types might be most pedigogically suitable in delivery of online education.
4) Identify the nuances of certain file types in relation to use within Blackboard Learn 9.
5) Describe revision options for converted file types.
6) Locate online instructional resources relevant to specific course areas.
1) Gather Existing Information
As part of the pre-production phase of instructional development, you should have created either a concept map or a concept outline of your course materials. This general information coupled with your syllabus should guide you into the specific areas where you need to focus for gathering and developing course materials. More specifically, course materials should consist of course content, assignments, learning activities, assessments and other elements that you'll use as you teach the information. You may have this information in a variety of formats but gathering it all together will allow you to more easily work with it and later develop it into your course. You might have PowerPoint presentations (PPT or PPTX files) that you plan to use in your class. Frequently, some of the instructor resources provided with the textbook are in this format.
2) Search for Additional Information
Freely available instructional materials are abundant on the Internet if you know where to look. Choosing just what you need from among such a vast supply can be challenging, but the first step is awareness of what you have available to you. Did the publisher of your textbook provide any instructional resources on a CD, DVD, or web site? If so, these materials would be directly related to your course content and probably would be very closely tied with your learning objectives. This is a great first place to look.
There are also services that require a subscription for access:
National Repository of Online Courses or NROC - see #4 of the IT 100 information
The Teacher Center - http://www.theteachercenter.org
Rubric for Online Instruction - http://www.csuchico.edu/eoi/the_rubric.shtml
Education Testing Services - http://www.ets.org
MERLOT - http://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htm
iTunes University - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/itunes-u/id490217893?mt=8
Youtube - http://www.youtube.com
3) Prepare Materials for Delivery
Once you've identified and gathered your materials you'll need to begin consolidating them into the sequence and format that you need for delivery.
How do I put my PPT files into my Blackboard Learn class? (see #7 of the Blackboard Learn FAQ)
Is there an easier way to create tests/surveys for ANGEL? (see #5 of the Blackboard Learn FAQ)
What file format(s) should I use for word-processed documents? (RTF, HTM, TXT, PDF - see #6 of the IT 100 information)
How do I do a screen capture and then use it with my instruction? (Mac OS X | Windows)
How do I ZIP or UNZIP a file and what does this mean (Windows)?
How do I convert video from VHS to DVD?
How do I post video clips, audio files, or animations online?
4) Understanding Goals for Quality Instruction
So far, discussions and preparations have focused almost entirely on the "front-end" activities of course development. To avoid surprises later and to provide a clear destination for where we would like our development efforts to lead us requires some understanding of criteria often used for evaluating online courses. Roger Griffith and I developed a checklist (Criteria for Evaluating Online Courses) that might prove helpful.