Calling all e-learning folks who work in higher education

Feb 28, 2012

I was reviewing Dave Anderson’s Word of Mouth Blog yesterday, and noticed Nita Venter’s post on E-learning in Healthcare.  It occurred to me (as it has many times in the past), that it would be great if there were similar discussions for folks who work in higher education.

While I have always benefitted from the general discussions in the forums, there are some issues that I’d love to discuss with others in academia, such as how other institutions are addressing universal design with the Articulate suite of tools and how to address issues regarding instructors who are great SMEs, but not so great when it comes to course design.

I’m hoping that there are others out there in higher education that are interested, and look forward to some great discussions.  Let me know what you think and maybe suggest some topics to get us started!

133 Replies
Mike Enders

Hi Donna,

Great idea!  I know there are many Articulate users in higher ed and a monthly discussion around various topics of interest would (I think) be really useful.  I could see benefit from discussing everything from 508 compliance to novel uses of Articulate tools.

If you're interested, I'd be willing to co-coordinate a monthly thread with you (we can chat offline to discuss more) similar to what Nita and Doug are doing with the Healthcare discussion.  I'm thinking we could really cover some interesting ground!

As for all you higher ed Articulate users, any thoughts on some great topics of discussion?  Challenges you're facing, needs for inspiration, general themes such as those Donna has mentioned, cool ways that you're using Articulate, etc.?   

Adebare Showemmo

Great Initiative for those of us working around making instructional delivery processes in Higher Education better. This will benefits higher education teachers who used articulate and other rapid e-learning tools. I will be willing to get involve in this initiative. Donna you can send me a private message. Looking forward to hear from you! 

Karen Hambly

Hi Donna

I am  in higher education in the UK and also in healthcare. Last year I set up our first online module for one of our MSc programmes using Articulate and we are looking at developing further Articulate input into our programmes. I would be very keen join a discuss forum as you suggest and would like to be involved in this initiative. 

The online module that I set up and ran last year was an option module so that students had a choice of my module or other traditional face to face modules. On review of the evaluations for the module it was generally well received. However, it was very clear that the responses were quite bimodal. Some students loved the flexibility of being able to study and work through the content in their own time at their own pace whilst others really didn't like the online model and requested more face to face lectures in their feedback. So, my discussion suggestion would be what is the best way to communicate the module to students to try to only have those students who are suited to this type of delivery signing up for the option? Is this a problem that others have faced and if so what ways have you found to get around this? Another discussion topic could be regarding how you equate an online module with contact hours. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards.

Karen Hambly

Centre for Sports Studies

University of Kent


Adebare Showemmo

Karen Hambly has raised two issues in her post:

1. What is the best way to communicate the module to students to try to only have those students who are suited to this type of delivery signing up for the option?

2.How you equate an online module with contact hours.

My suggestion regarding the first issue is communicating to students to sign in for module online will involve campaign and awareness and possibly workshop on the benefits of online courses. The facilitators should be able to provide cogent reasons on the benefits of e-learning courses. Besides making the online module interactive can arose the interest of learning so before referring students to sign on for online courses, the facilitators should have create an interactive and engaging online module to stimulate students' interest.

On the second issue, how to equate an online module with contact hours, The use of Learning Management System is very crucial to this because it tracks what each student do online and the online module should be design to involve series of quizzes and test that can generate feedback from the students if the LMS is not in used. For instance, in a 30 minutes online module course, it suggest it should be breaking down into 6parts of 4-6minutes each with quiz or any activities that will require students response.

Hope my contribution is useful, looking forward to hear from u guys

Showemimo Adebare

Cheif E-Learning Expert

2E Educational Services

Donna Carter

Hi Karen

Welcome to our discussions on higher education.  One of the great things about online learning is the flexibility that it offers as it pertains to ways in which to engage the learner.  For example, for those students who enjoy lectures, how about taping the lectures and presenting an edited version in the elearning module?  Another issue that you may encounter with students is the inability to print and highlight key points.  This issue is easily remedied by providing an attachment with the key points or using Articulate’s option to print to Word.

Although I’m a firm believer that e-learning isn’t for everyone, I’m almost certain that there is a way to mediate almost any challenge that a student may have with the e-learning format. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you regarding the contact hours, but maybe someone else can help.  I Look forward to hearing more from you as you continue to develop your program.  Good luck!

Donna Carter

Hi Karen

Regarding your question on contact hours, I asked one of our instructors here who teaches in our health care programs.  Here's her response, hope it helps.

Donna, that will depend greatly on the profession.  For CEU’s in MD, RN, PA and others it is 1 for 1 hour.  In technical professions like Radiology it may be .5 for 1 hour or 1.5 per hour of seat time.  Each profession and even each society has different definitions.  You can go to the societies to get discussions on the topic: example AMA for MDs, Long Term Care Nursing Association etc…

Brian Houle

I've been reviewing job postings for instructional designers lately, and I noticed that a number of them are looking for familiarity with the Quality Matters program, which my Google Fu tells me in a peer review process/program for online courses.  Does anyone work with this or have any experience/insight they can share?  Is this or is it becoming a must-have for instructional development work in the higher ed world?

Marti Stemm

I am a corporate trainer and use Articulate in my full time job,  I also am an adjucte faculty member in Business and Management for our  30,000 plus student community college.  I teach both on-line and in class. 

I use Articulate to create "mini" lectures.  I upload them to Blackboard, and then show a link in a tab titled "Lectures"  I  have articulate modules for,  instructions for final projects, communications, how to use PowerPoint for presentations, and other special topics that I want to emphase in the class.  Sometimes I have video in the module, but I DO NOT just take PowerPoint slides and narrate them with transitions.  I use a more creative and sometimes "entertaining" tactic in creating these items.    I want them to be a special addition to the course not just another thing to read or hear. 

I even do a little acting in the communication module where my students get to see me crying.  It gets a laugh. 

I find that this has been as well received as when I create an MP3 responses to a paper or a topic that I attach to the grade for students.  They seem to appreciate the "personal" touch that doesn't come across as easily in written word only.

Elizabeth Miles

Hi Brian,

I work for a Quality Matters member institution and support faculty who teach online.  Quality Matters recently updated their rubric, which is comprised of 41 standards, and made it publicly available here.  Obviously, members enjoy other benefits but the rubric provides a great foundation for organizing your online courses and making sure they are instructionally sound.  Even if joining isn't an option, QM is gaining popularity and investing time in becoming familiar with the rubric can only benefit you professionally.

Steve Harmon

Hello I am a program and course developer, and our Energy Training Center director  for a technical college in central Kansas.  We are a very lean organization and use Articulate to rapidly develop courses, prestentations and learning objects for online and on-site courses.  I look forward to participating with this forum.

Steve Harmon

Kansas Energy Training Center (and instrucitonal designer, and Articulate user....)

Flint Hill sTechnical College

Michael Fimian

Hi all...

Count me in....  I'm a retired prof and  just started an ID position at Becker College in Worcester, MA.  Use a variety of tools;  Sound Forge, Raptivity, Presenter and Engage, and Storyline (beta).  Leaning more towards Storyline due to it's flxibility and power....


Frederick Matzen

I am the chief multimedia developer at CSU-Global, a completely online college for people who started college but could not finish and now want to complete their education. 

I use Engage and Quizmaker mostly at the moment. I have been working with Blackboard to get our SCORM module working properly and now in testing to make sure it suits our needs. I haven't used Presenter much yet. Our course modules (lectures) were built in HTML before i started here and I have continued that, stretching the limits of what we can get away with inside the Blackboard shell by using Javascript and Flash. I'm moving things to HTML5 soon after finish building a new template that is fully backward compatible to IE8. I have a small piece of Javascript in the head of all our courses that alerts those with older browsers that they should update, where to go to do so and why it would benefit them. This has made a huge change in the amount of IE7 users we had, who now have updated to IE9. So now almost 70% of our students are using HTML5 enabled browsers. And since it's far more iFriendly than FLASH, it seemed like the right thing to do. Rumor has it that Articulate Studio12 will be HTML5 capable too. To the future!

Donna Carter

Hi Frederick and welcome to our discussion group!  We also use Blackboard, and are currently upgrading to version 9.1.  I've never been able to get Quizmaker to work with BB, and if you have been, I would love to to hear if you or anyone else has experienced the same problem, and most importantly, solutions.   I'm sure that the problem is with the settings that I'm using for SCORM, etc, but have never been able to come up with the right combination.

Donna Carter

Tara Magdalinski said:

I'm new to Articulate but am excited by the possibility of creating review packages for a series of modules in our programme. I look forward to sharing ideas about incorporating Articulate effectively into tertiary education.

Welcome Tara...we look forward to your participation in the group.  It looks like we have several individuals that use Articulate in an academic setting, so we should be able to share a wealth of information.

Frederick Matzen

Blackboard 9.1 has an entirely new, and MUCH better SCORM module. The old one was... hmmm... .

Once you have upgraded make sure they have the proper SCORM module in place. It took several e-mails to support to find out when we upgraded to 9.1 from 8 that we did not have the proper building block in place. But they worked very hard on it and got it setup properly.

One of other thing to check is to verify that the Quizmaker output is SCORM compliant. There is a free service here: It requires that sign up for a FREE account. Then you can upload your quiz and verify it's compliance in a prefect environment. I did that with a Wondershare QuizCreator file I had and found it not submitting test completed attribute so could never get it to work. So far Quizmaker has not had that issue.

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