VLEs: Are they dead or not?

In our first week of our Trends in E-Learning module, we’ve been looking at the VLE is dead debate. The seed for discussion was Martin Weller’s blog post (now over two years old) which makes the valid point that there are several independent third party (free) applications out there that address most if not all of the needs a VLE does, and do it a lot better because each individual application is that company’s core business. I’ve been thinking about my own relationship with VLEs as a practising lecturer, and a student, and as someone who has, if I may…

Maths for Chemistry Resources

Published 11th themed resource (along with a few sub resources from these not given below) on my site Maths for Chemistry today. Five more on basic chemistry calculations on the way! It’s amazing how much I’ve learned about Articulate in doing these, and interesting to track my own development ability (slowly improving 🙂 ) 11. Titration calculations 10. Basic Statistical Analysis 9. Paired t-test 8. One-sample t-test 7. Mass-mole calculations 6. Completing an F-test 5. Student’s t-test 4. Functions and Calibration Plots 3. Raoult’s Law 2. Logs in chemistry 1. Simultaneous Equations in Chemistry

Button in Articulate

Having watched @elearning‘s Screenr demonstrations on using icons and following on the same theme from before on my toggle switch demo, I was interested in seeing how to use animation in PowerPoint to mimic a button depress. This demonstration shows how a shape over the button on each slide which rapidly disappears (Exit animation) gives the impression of a button press. It needs tweaking but it *could* look good! Demo 1 shows an example Demo 2 shows the effect of different fade rates – seems the faster the better!

Periodic Table of Videos

This is a really wonderful resource from the University of Nottingham. There is a video for each element showing its reactivity (or not), with demonstrations and insight into the underlying chemistry. The real star of the show is the wonderful Prof Martyn Poliakoff, below. He offers in his unique way, insight into each of the elements, and now into a host of other issues about chemistry. His easy style makes the videos addictive viewing. There is a twitter stream and a Facebook page too. I’ve embedded one of my favourite videos below, and the others can be viewed on the…

Interacting Online – problems arising out of discussion boards

I wanted to post some thoughts on the use of discussion boards in VLEs – both from the perspective as a learner and as a tutor. My impetus is that if online learning is to be truly beneficial in place of in-class learning, interactivity is the core driver. Discussion boards are fantastic in this regard, but I have come across some problems in recent usage. Discussion boards architecture Discussion boards are a useful locus for interaction between peers and between tutor and learners. In my role as tutor, I feel I have used them well in terms of providing students…

Chemistry: A Volatile History

Congratulations to all concerned in the production of the recent BBC series “Chemistry: A Volatile History”.  This series reminds me of Bill Bryson’s book, “A Short History of Nearly Everything“, in the way that the lives of the scientists involved in the chemical discoveries are discussed to give a rich context for their discoveries and innovation. I plan to return to this subject but for the moment I have linked below the three episodes, which are available on YouTube to all of us non-UK based-non-BBC-iPlayer people. Episode 1: Discovering the Elements Episode 2: The Order of the Elements Episode 3:…

Toggle Switch in Articulate

I love toggle switches. And I love Articulate. so this is a demo combining these two loves, which shows a “clicking” of a toggle switch to change page. There are lots of potential applications. the font in the demo is My Old Remington, a really beautiful typewriter font. Click on the image to play with the toggle switches – they are addictive!

Adding Articulate Presentation to WordPress.org

Since coming across Articulate a few months ago, I’ve made quite a few presentations and loaded them onto our VLE. But a new project on developing open access resources meant that I needed to host the videos myself. This entry explains how I took my Articulate presentation and loaded it up onto a site I set up. In particular (it took me two days to do what should have been a 5 minute job!), I highlight the pitfalls I came across and how I got around them. The good news is that once you have everything set up, it should…

Some Literature on Podcasting in Education

This post summarises a mini-review on recent literature on podcasting and learning in the higher education context. Along with the journal article title, a brief annotation is provided. I have previously written about Gilly Salmon’s wonderful book Podcasting for Learning in Universities” which has lots of examples on implementation of podcasting in practice. The purpose of this article is to probe a little deeper and look at the primary research on podcasting. It seems to be an area of research about to explode, and it will be interesting to watch how 2010 develops. The main findings across the series of…