8 minute windows

Posted on June 1st, 2009 in Resource Dev Team by Kirsty

Asked to bring along something to share to engage, amuse, enthuse, this is what we came up with and presented in an 8 minute window each.


Sloodle – integration of Moodle into the background of Moodle – ‘simulation linked object oriented dynamic learning environment’ http://www.sloodle.org/moodle/ Jos is just starting to explore will let us know what she discovers.

Draw Anywhere – online drawing tool, build components together, output as pdf, flowcharting examples http://www.drawanywhere.com/ Jos’ example http://www.drawanywhere.com/live/78fa29802c841.aspx

Poll Everywhere  – as highlighted by Roger, publish results from Twitter, SMS etc into Powerpoint presentation.

Wolfram Alpha -not a search engine, but rather finds knowledge immediately.


Experimenting with Slide – embedding a Slide presentation into the banner area of WebCT as a simple embedded banner - gives the impression of a Flash banner that is achievable by a moderate skill level – looks like it would be harder to do than it was. Overcomes the ‘flat look’ of a typical WebCT course.


Showed us through the back end of the new Taroona Community Site – looks like a great content management system – straight forward and with enough controls to make it individual. http://taroona.tas.au/


Portable Apps


Podbean http://www.podbean.com
Wanted a site for storing video and being able to access it elsewhere. Using webcam to record video, edit/ convert on computer and then upload flv file to site. Backend looks like it runs on WPMU.


5-6 Es Poster being thought about with Bruce and Damian. Thinking about how useful it would be for teachers – some people get diverted by jamming lots of content in, 6 Es would be a good guide for people in early discussions about resource planning. A poster to catch people’s eye as a talking point to help people focus their effort. Referral to website and Professional Learning Team for further assistance.

Extending eXe

Posted on March 10th, 2009 in Learning Resources,Resource Dev Team by Kirsty

eXe (http://exelearning.org/) is a great elearning development tool. It brings to the fore the development of the learning and assessment process, putting the look and feel and technical aspects such as navigation to the side. Templates (called iDevices) suggest pedagogical approaches to developers. By removing the challenge of a totally blank slate, and instead presenting building blocks to the developer (in our organisation this is the teacher 99% of the time) we’ve seen much more interesting and interactive learning materials be developed.


There are some sticking points. As the team which supports eXe amongst other tools for the organisation we have had to learn the workarounds and limitations of the application. We’ve learnt where to push eXe past it’s limits, and where to leave well alone. Some workarounds we only show those people comfortable with html coding.

So, rather than looking for another/ an additional tool, I spent some time thinking about what we could feasibly do to make eXe ‘better’.

Ideas thus far:
- Get new styles rolled out. This is in hand. There are 2 more to come. We commissioned these last year.
- Perhaps develop/ decide on a new default template that is more modern (eg 3d buttons, gradients for header bar, ‘would look at home on an iphone’ :-) look and feel)
- investigate/ develop iDevices that are more VET oriented. See below for one.
- do some documentation about which style in which stylesheet controls the look of a page section (there are 3 that, combined, control the look and feel of an exported exe resource). This should make it easier to make custom styles. We’ve talked about this for a while and never got around to doing it.
- see if we can get an ARED/Captivate embedding iDevice programmed. (We use ARED quite a bit in house as a simple interactivity builder and we like the activities embedded in the page rather than just linking to them but it isn’t a quick & easy process)
- see if we could have a YouTube embedder made to simplify the process.

Initial concept for a new iDevice.

Skills Demonstration iDevice concept

Now I’m off to catch a Python programmer!

Found Objects

Posted on February 23rd, 2009 in Learning Resources,Resource Dev Team by Kirsty

Artists sometimes work with ‘found media’ to create their artworks, items either found by chance or design (hunted out).

Me, I have ‘found files’. Came across these questions prepared in a handout for a long forgotten workshop.A Used to start thinking and discussion around learning design by scoping out the landscape.

Purpose: To get a picture of the Learning Design currently in place and how it relates to the external environment and any planned/needed changes

Describe your industry – what is important to them – evidence (skills demand/ changes, regulation, history, future, what does a new entrant need? What does an experienced person need? Large – small business dominance?)

Describe your students (educational background, motivations for being at TAFE, working/not working, age, tech capability, career dev or career change, selection process)

What are the desired outcomes from the course? Global and specific.

How do you check to make sure you’ve achieved those outcomes?

What are the freedoms and constraints that you have? (on what basis have you established this?)

What is the general learning approach to the course now? Approaches used for practical and underpinning knowledge?

How are people assessed?

What resources do you use to support learning? How do they fit together? Any tools or equipment you use specifically to support learning (in addition to industry specific equipment)?

Thinking of learning resources like actors in a play

Posted on February 18th, 2009 in Learning Resources,Resource Dev Team by Kirsty

here’s the first piece of video blogging that has actually made it through editing and been released to the wild …

Download link What role will your learning resource play? wmv file only at the moment, sorry!

Pippa, Our imaginary friend

Posted on January 23rd, 2009 in Resource Dev Team by Kirsty

Not being content with 4 new Resource Development Advisors in the Elearning Development & Implementation team, Pippa was created this week, and named by Wendy.

Bringing four new staff members into a team (or what was left of it) is an interesting task and over the break I was musing about how best to explain the nature of the role on a day-to-day basis. Let’s see, I could have:

  • passed out a copy of the Statement of Duties
  • written a list of common tasks
  • talked about workflow
  • concocted a story about her week, or
  • asked one of the existing RDAs to describe a typical week

When doing my planning I did write some notes down and got the content I wanted to convey about both what Pippa did, and also how she did it. OK information but not very exciting in that form. It all got a bit ‘listy’ and I felt it might come across as an overwhelming to-do list to some of the new staff.

And then I had a brainwave!

I quickly found a DIY diary page generator (thanks to http://www.diyplanner.com/node/6210 ) and mocked up a handwritten week of diary entries.

Pippa's Week

Pippa - Click for full week view (pdf)

I believe this was a good way of showing this information in a very human way. It enabled discussion about working hours, dedicating time to your own professional development, the way that ‘drop-ins’ can use chunks of time very easily and more.

So often we go to a computer to generate ‘tidy’ looking info but sometimes there is real value to be gained by using imagery that is very much human-generated.

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