Calling all e-learning folks who work in higher education

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
Frederick Matzen

Also a BETA tester for Storyline. Have had limited time to play with it though.

someone else mentioned software they use so I will say that besides Articulate, Javascript, Jquery and Flash, I also use Adobe everything including Premiere and After Effects, Sound forge, Cubase, Daz Studio, Poser, Cinema 4D, Camtasia and some other little things that I can't remember. I am looking at Adobe Edge which is a beta HTML5 editor and a bunch of other javascript libraries.

Donna Carter

Great point Frederick.  In addition to Articulate, we use Lectora,Softchalk, and Captivate.  I also use Camtasia, some of the tools in the Adobe suite (not Edge).  We have an entire team here that does our Flash, 3-D animations, and creates our videos or narration if we need it, so I don't have the opportunity to use those tools very often.  I am in the process of creating some content using Curatr, which should integrate nicely with Articulate.

How about everyone else?

Donna Carter

Marti Stemm said:

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.


Marti

It sounds like you have a lot of fun with the tool, and are using it in interesting ways.  I believe that the Articulate forums have shown that you're not limited to just adding narration to existing slides.  With Articulate, I really believe that you are only limited by your own imagination and ID skills.

Frederick Matzen

I am interested in hearing from anyone who uses 'games' in Higher Ed. and how you use/create them and what the response is to them. I almost hate using the term GAME because it implies a more childish pursuit. But we are wanting to pursue this and wondered what others were doing in this genre.

Donna Carter

Personally, I don't care for them, and don't believe that I've ever voluntarily used them in a class.  They were a hot item a few years ago on our campus, but I can honestly say that I don't remember the last time that a faculty member asked for one.  We are really trying to steer faculty to interactions that simulate real-world application.

Frederick Matzen

That's probably a better description of what I mean anyway. I am not looking to create Angry Birds for a History course. But more interactivity that requires input from the student, more so than typing in an answer to a question.

Not every course can be adapted to such thinking but types such as accounting, math, business where decision making and problems that need to be solved are possibilities.

Sammy Hwang

Hello Michael,

Could you share your experience on Raptivity?

My boss asked me to try the software, and it does not work on my Captivate 5.5.

Raptivity is based on ActionScript 2.0. That is why I guess.

But I think it will work in Articulate 09 because both are Action Script 2.0 based.

Their customer support is not as good as Articulate team. That is for sure.

Donna Carter

Ok, got it.  Well, I guess it would depend on the course and learning objectives, but if you have some specifics that you'd like to share, I'm certain that you'll get lots of ideas/feedback from the group.  I'm going to mention Curatr again, only because there is a gamification element to the software.

Marti  Stemm

Scenarios  built in Quiz Maker are a great tool for most any class They can be fancy or plain. 

I actually have some video "situations" created that students can watch and then pick the best "behavior" for a manager in a certain situation.  You can get fellow teachers to provide the acting, but you will want to get releases.  You can also create the Scenarios using graphic art instead.   There have been some great examples of this process in Articulate blogs. 

Robin Weber

I am excited that you are starting a higher education discussion! I am a technology coordinator in one college and an adjunct instructor at another. I am having trouble getting faculty in the one college to break away from boring online learning and cannot get approval to use Articulate or any other diversified technology inside of Blackboard in the other. It has been very frustrating for me as I have seen and practiced creating all the cool ideas that I find on eLearning Heroes. The folks that I work with seem stuck on boring PPTs, uninteresting videos and formats that have remained static for several years. I would love to be able to use what I have learned to make our offerings more interactive and exciting, but whatever I create never gets used. I cannot advance in my ID skills by using all the great programs that are out there because my colleges won't buy into the technology. From what I have read here, it seems that other colleges are using rapid authoring tools. Is anyone else have the same problems that I am ? Any advice that is out there would be most appreciated! 

On another note, I have done some reading about the Quality Matters program. I know that the University of Northern Colorado uses this program and they seem to be doing a fantastic job in their instructional design and curriculum design. 

Donna Carter

Welcome Robin!

I understand your frustration, and the best advice that I can give you, is to start at the top.  At our University, every online course is required to contain a multimedia/interactive element that supplements and or helps the student apply the information covered in a given week.

This was a decision made by the University president and Deans, so my recommendation would be to work on obtaining buy in at that level as well.. Perhaps write a document that addresses the current state, your recommendations for change (supported by research) advantages to your university, and plans for implementation.

Hopefully this helps, and good luck.

p.s.

Maybe include links in your document to ways in which other Universities are using multimedia to enhance their classes.  Mike Enders has a great example from last years Guru competition, and I have tons of examples if you need them.

Michelle Leon

Hi Donna,

My name's Michelle and I work at Pima Medical Institute in Tucson, AZ. (We also have campuses in TX, CA, WA, and NV.) My colleagues here and I have also been talking about how small the e-learning community in higher education is, especially in regards to health care. I've been working with Articulate since 2007 and am always learning so much.

I was interested in going to this conference: http://www.aace.org/conf/elearn/

If anyone knows of any other helpful conferences for e-learning in higher education or the health care field, please let me know!

Michelle

mleon@pmi.edu

Donna Carter

Welcome Michelle!

I had not heard about this conference, but would love to hear about it when you return. It sounds like it will be great.  I will be presenting at the Learning Solutions conference in a few weeks, and am really looking forward to it.

We develop a lot of multimedia on our team for the health care programs that we have on our campus, and I believe that I saw some others in this forum who work in health care as well.  Make sure to let us know if you want to discuss ideas.

Michelle Leon

Thanks, Donna! I'm going to try and submit a proposal for a Best Practices Session.

Feel free to email me if you want to chat and bounce ideas off of me: mleon@pmi.edu

Here's something I just created this week that I'm super duper proud of. It was originally a LONG boring table.

Nine Phyla within Kingdom Animalia

Marti  Stemm

Michelle,  Your "table" looks great, but it was a little slow to process.  I am not sure if it is because I am looking at it mid day on Friday and the "net" is slow or if it is Articulate processing the components slowly.  There was a blog that addressed making things process faster that really helped me,  I was putting a lot of seperate things on each slide,  you might check this out. 

I am a "mavrick" instructor, and sometimes you are fighting fear of change from other instructors,  If you can make the differences appear easy for them, you may get buyin sooner.  Good luck.   And again, good job.

Mike Enders

Robin Weber said:

I am excited that you are starting a higher education discussion! I am a technology coordinator in one college and an adjunct instructor at another. I am having trouble getting faculty in the one college to break away from boring online learning and cannot get approval to use Articulate or any other diversified technology inside of Blackboard in the other. It has been very frustrating for me as I have seen and practiced creating all the cool ideas that I find on eLearning Heroes. The folks that I work with seem stuck on boring PPTs, uninteresting videos and formats that have remained static for several years.


Robin,

I fear this is pretty endemic to most institutions.  There are so many variables in play with faculty (inertia, distrust of administrative motives for wanting online courses, belief that face to face courses are the only way, genuine fatigue with changing technologies, etc.) that it can be difficult to gain traction.

For the past few years, I've been granted release time from a portion of my course load to run a "boot camp" for my fellow faculty where I teach them the tools and theories to create better online courses.  What I've found is that those who sign up (we even offer stipends for participation) tend to be the newer and younger faculty.  This is where I'd suggest you start.  Because they then become the evangelizers for the "new" way of doing things.  And then once the student body starts experiencing the "new" way, they (the students) start pressing the rest of the faculty to follow suit.  I can't tell you how many times I've had older faculty come up to me and curse me (in a good hearted manner!) for introducing this "new fangled stuff."  But many of them do come along for the ride as well.  Especially once they see how easy it can be, and how they can also apply it to their personal lives.

Donna Carter

Marti I was able to click right right through Michelle's piece without any problems at all, which is saying something, because my computer is always slow.  Do you have that link that you could share?  What I have been having problems with is how long it takes to publish my work in Articulate.  Does anyone have any tips regarding that? 

Donna Carter

Excellent idea Mike...make sure to let us know how things progress Robin.

Mike Enders said:

Robin Weber said:

I am excited that you are starting a higher education discussion! I am a technology coordinator in one college and an adjunct instructor at another. I am having trouble getting faculty in the one college to break away from boring online learning and cannot get approval to use Articulate or any other diversified technology inside of Blackboard in the other. It has been very frustrating for me as I have seen and practiced creating all the cool ideas that I find on eLearning Heroes. The folks that I work with seem stuck on boring PPTs, uninteresting videos and formats that have remained static for several years.


Robin,

I fear this is pretty endemic to most institutions.  There are so many variables in play with faculty (inertia, distrust of administrative motives for wanting online courses, belief that face to face courses are the only way, genuine fatigue with changing technologies, etc.) that it can be difficult to gain traction.

For the past few years, I've been granted release time from a portion of my course load to run a "boot camp" for my fellow faculty where I teach them the tools and theories to create better online courses.  What I've found is that those who sign up (we even offer stipends for participation) tend to be the newer and younger faculty.  This is where I'd suggest you start.  Because they then become the evangelizers for the "new" way of doing things.  And then once the student body starts experiencing the "new" way, they (the students) start pressing the rest of the faculty to follow suit.  I can't tell you how many times I've had older faculty come up to me and curse me (in a good hearted manner!) for introducing this "new fangled stuff."  But many of them do come along for the ride as well.  Especially once they see how easy it can be, and how they can also apply it to their personal lives.

Robin Weber

Mike, 

That is good advice. I have tried giving/showing the younger faculty some of my ideas, generally they like the ideas but still do not incorporate them into their courses. I have had workshops to teach them new things, offer my services to help them with new technology or creating new lessons/PPTs, etc. None of it has worked so far. Your comments are encouraging though!