… continuing from our previous blog entry Ready, steady… KOOC (Part 1)
3. Brand consistency
We wanted all KOOC elements to be easily identifiable and so templates were created for the purpose of developing a consistent brand that would visually encompass all elements: KEATS (Moodle) interface, Videos, Multimedia objects, Google hangouts, additional textual resources…
We needed to produce 27 + 7 videos respectively for each course. Although initially, we did tests to film outside and on different locations (with the kind help of John Woodcock, one of the content providers), it was soon made clear that due to the tight schedule that some academics were under, we would need to sacrifice our more creative desires (that would have added uncertainty) for simplicity and consistency. We filmed around 20 videos in 2 days! with Dr A Snape.
5. Multimedia Learning Objects (MLOs)
Camtasia was the software used to produce multimedia objects because of academics familiarity with it and also because of the relatively small learning curve needed to learn how to use it for those that were new to it.
We provided one to one training to those that were unfamiliar with the software.
Content providers produced their own objects, edited, top and tailed by the developer’s team.
While Data analysis’ MLOs were built around the use of SigmaPlot, Scientific Writing ones introduced students to the use of Referencing software and the meaning of TurnitIn similarity reports.
Dr Andreas Konstantinidis (supported by Vanessa Skiadelli) was allocated the task of ‘dubbing’ the whole of around 50 of these objects produced by Dr L Moon, that had a some what distracting and un-editable background noise (at least in the amount of time available). More on this soon on an upcoming blog by Dr Andreas Konstantinidis.
6. Working with KEATS (King’s Moodle)
We decided earlier on that it made sense to build the courses and to work with the University supported system, Moodle (KEATS). Although using a different bespoke platform would have allowed us more creative and perhaps functional freedom; we decided that with a bit of work and ‘thinking outside the box’, we would be able to create an usable, accessible, uncluttered and attractive interface. Some HTML 5 and CSS3 later, we did.
7. Professionally built, editable within KEATS (King’s Moodle)
But importantly we wanted to facilitate content providers the possibility for them to edit their own materials once the courses were created. That was the reason behind translating our bespoke pages into familiar KEATS tools, easily editable within the system.
8. On your desktop, laptop, on the go: Adaptive design
The way that we have designed the HTML5 and CSS code in order to work with our current version and Moodle theme, allows for the interfaces to adapt to whichever size screen they happen to be displayed within.
9. Avoiding Moodle’s ‘scroll of death’: Neat
Early on a decision was made that in order to keep our interfaces clutter free, all the extra resources would remain out of sight when not in use.
Although all the textual extra materials were uploaded to KEATS, they were not visible from the interface. This meant creating large reference documents with the addresses to all these additional resources. This information would be use to neatly link them from within the content.
This created a considerable amount of work behind the scenes, but in the name of usability, it made it worth it.
10. Utilising KEATS functionality: Assessments and Forums
We have created two types of Forums: a course forum, for generic discussions and weekly forums, so that students can discuss week specific matters.
Content providers were provided with information about the different types of questions available within KEATS (Moodle), time limitation and conditional release. And also about the importance of meaningful feedback. More on this soon on an upcoming blog by Dr Andreas Konstantinidis.
11. KEATS and much more
Other than Moodle and its functionalities, we have worked with other systems to make the courses as engaging and interactive as possible. As well as using Vimeo to host our videos and MLOs (Multimedia learning objects), we chose to use Google Hangouts for synchronous communication. And the not so user friendly University supported Microsoft OneDrive to share all our files and templates among the larger team. More on this soon on an upcoming blog by Vanessa Skiadelli.
And this, in something a bit longer than a nutshell, has been our KOOC related work for the last months.
If you have any questions, please get in touch.
Senior E-Learning Content Developer
Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning