Friday, July 30, 2004

Creating Accessible JavaScript
If you are using Javascipt (if you don't know what Javascipt is, then just ignore this one) in creating webpages, this tutorial covers tips for ensuring that the Javascript you create does not reduce the accessibility of your website. This is important if you want to ensure that all your webpages are accessible by everyone.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

701 e-Learning Tips Free Digital Book
The MASIE Center has put together a massive collection of tips on e-learning. However, be warned that the file is 13M big and takes some time to download. (Also, don't select the ZIP file - it is virtually the same size as the PDF file). The tips have come from managers and teachers who are implementing e-learning and is organised into chapters to help locate information. It looks like a useful file to have but will take a while to read.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Three Reasons to Publish an E-Newsletter AND a Blog
I agree with this article and it is something I am trying to do by publishing on a weblog and also maintaining an e-mail newsletter of what I post to the weblog.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Down with Boring E-Learning!
This article is an interview with Michael Allen, the person who has been around the multimedia industry for 30 years and founded Authorware. He provides some important reminders for any of us involved in designing e-learning. The importance of creating interesting learning experiences which focus on improving performance is stressed and not just looking as e-learning as performance on a post test.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Card Sorting: How many users to test
This article describes a technique for determining the information structure for an Intranet or website. It recommends an approach of putting details of all the information you want to include on cards and then ask people to sort them into groups. The article goes on to examine the question of the number of people required to ensure validity in this approach. It recommends undertaking the exercise with 15 people. This looks like good advice.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Moodle at DCU
This article describes the current status of a project to instal Moodle as the Learning Management System at Dublin City University. The project involves moving from WebCT to Moodle. Whilst they have yet to undertake full scale implementation, the initial results are that some staff prefer Moodle to WebCT.

Reading Online Text: A Comparison of Four White Space Layouts
This article reports on some research done with 20 college students on readibility of websites. It compared the readibility of different versions of a site. It concluded that the site with margins was read slower but had greater comprehension than a site without margins. Given the increased tendency for reading on screen, this is interesting although I expect not rocket science.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Google Deskbar

Do you want to search on Google without opening a browser window? This
small piece of software, after you instal it, sits on the deskbar at
the bottom of your screen and allows you to search on Google. The
window automatically disappears when you move onto another application.


Friday, July 16, 2004

NET*Working 2004
Registrations are now open for the NET*Working 2004, an online conference with local state and territory events from November 8-19, 2004. The theme of the event is 'Inclusion and Inspiration'.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Lessons Learned from Students’ use of an Online Learning Environment
"This article highlights the lessons learned from recent research into the use made of an online learning environment by workplace-based students. The findings show a lot of interesting things, such as the tendency to study the materials linearly although there are a lot of hypertext available, for instance. A lot of useful recommendations have been extracted from the students’ opinions and attitudes to ameliorate future online courses." The article describes the student response to a Masters level program but has some useful comments to make which could be applicable in the Vocational Education and Training sector.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Rapid E-Learning: Groundbreaking New Research
Just when you thought it was safe to talk about e-learning, along comes another term - "rapid e-learning". This article argues that the normal processes that organisations use to develop e-learning (content experts, instructional designers, testers etc) do not work when there are short timeframes to implement e-learning modules. When timelines are short, the article argues that organisations are developing new processes to ensure that content is developed rapidly. It will be interesting to see if this approach takes on.. just as it has in software development where rapid development is the norm these days.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Electronic Frontier Foundation Publishes Patent Hit List
This article describes an issue with companies claiming patents over key aspects of the Internet. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is conducting a campaign to ensure that the US Patents Office does not approve these Patents. If they don't succeed, it could have serious implications for the future use of the Internet for e-learning.

Using Macromedia Flash MX 2004 as an E-Learning Authoring Environment
This article describes the advantages of using Flash when creating e-learning content. It describes some of the templates available with the Macromedia Flash software.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The Digital Convergence: Extending the Portfolio Model
This article from Educause provides an overview of electronic Portfolios. It disucsses 3 types of electronic portfolios:
1. The showcase ePortfolio: organization occurs after the work has been created.
2. The structured ePortfolio: a predefined organization exists for work that is yet to be created.
3. The learning ePortfolio: organization of the work evolves as the work is created.
Whilst not strictly meeting all the requirements for an e-portfolio, I see my website and weblog as a from of lifelong ePortfolio. I just need to become better at loading all the presentations I do to my website.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

This article has some very practical tips on how teachers can survive in the online environment, with suggestions on how students can take more responsibility for their learning. It hinges on three principles:
1. let students do most of the work
2. interactivity is the heart and sole of effective asynchronous learning
3. strive for social presence
There are loads of examples of each principle being applied.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

E-Learning For Short Attention Spans
This article discusses the challanges of building e-learning resources for the just in time training now expected in the workplace.

Decoding Value
This is a nice article detailing how people at different levels in organizations view Return On Investtment (ROI) or any metric for that matter: "If your target organization that you want to communicate value to is a megacorporation, you may never communicate directly with the CEO or CFO, but the management layers you work with often do. You need to be able to communicate directly to your immediate audience. You also need to help the audience communicate value with the next level and up." It also discusses how management priorities vary depending on the strength of the economy.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Students Perceptions of Distance Learning, Online Learning and the Traditional Classroom
This paper reports on a study of student perceptions in business studies courses towards distance and online learning. Whilst the presentation of figures was confusing, the paper does show that students believe there are significant benefits to online and distance learning.

Interactive Body
A very good resource produced by the BBC on the human body. It was the winner of a 2004 Webby award in the Education category.

Victorian Flexible Learning Case Studies
These case studies have been developed by a number of Victorian vocational education providers for Flexible Learning Week which will be held in Victoria from August 16 to 27. As one example, I liked the tips offered in the GippsTAFE case study.

Interoperability Demonstration Event – Australia (IDEA) on August 16-19
This event will be held in Melbourne to demonstrate interoperability. A key part of the event is the E-learning Interoperability Seminar which will be held on 17 August. The E-learning Interoperability Seminar will feature the very latest in national and international thinking on the use and adoption of international standards to support online teaching and learning.

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