H5P (HTML5 Package) is a free online tool that allows you to create and upload, download, and share HTML5 interactive content using H5P.org or by installing a H5P plugin on Drupal, Moodle, or WordPress.

5 Steps to use H5P.org
 Upload Download Share logo

  1. Go to https://h5p.org
  2. Click on “Create free account” [located in top right corner] and create a free H5P user account.
  3. Login to your H5P account with your username and password.
  4. Navigate to the “Examples & downloads” page and choose one of the H5P Content Types.
    • Use the “clone content” feature to create a new piece of H5P content from one of the examples.
    • Give the cloned content a title and adapt the cloned content to suit your needs.
    • Choose from the list of H5P options to embed and download the newly created content.
    • If there are no copyrights, uncheck the box next to the copyright button.
  5. Save the H5P content to your h5p.org account.

Once saved to your H5P account, you can embed the H5P content on a website, add it to a Canvas course Page or Module, or you can download a packaged h5p file and upload it to a Drupal, Moodle, or WordPress platform with an installed H5P plugin.

What Can You Make with H5P?

31+ HTML5 Interactive Content Types:
Games, Multimedia, Quizzes, etc.
See H5P Examples & Downloads

world wide web iconH5P.org

The instructional designers at Ecampus held a Research & Development Day recently to explore the topic of user experience (UX) design as it applies to Ecampus courses. As part of that day, fellow instructional designer, Dorothy Loftin and I explored how Canvas functions when used on Mobile Devices. Below are some findings from our testing.

Generally, we found that iPads work great as long as a student accesses the course through a browser. It was using the Canvas App (necessary on a smart phone) that presented changes and challenges in functionality. The good news is that many of these can be addressed with a few additions in course design. These additions should not significantly alter the experience for students who are using desktop and laptop computers. Today, I will present one of those strategies.

The most significant impact we experienced in using the Canvas App is navigation, how a student gets to content, activities and assessments. It can take quite a few clicks or taps to get to a specific page in Canvas using the mobile app, or to get from one page to another, and the navigation can vary depending on the device used. This may negatively impact the student user experience, distract, and generally increase cognitive load.

Navigation Strategy

One strategy to improve navigation is to provide alternate links for students to jump to commonly needed items in your course. Turns out, this can also benefit students who are on desktops or laptops.

The Home Page that I often use is immediately available for users on all devices. I have added links and buttons so students can jump directly to important sections of the course from here. This turns the Home Page into more of a landing page with quick links.

Page View in Desktop Browser Page View on iPhone
Desktop browser screen grab iPhone Screen Grab

The buttons take a student to the Module Page for a particular week. Module Pages, on the App, present students with links to all content and activities for that week. I limited the buttons to 3-across to make clicking them on a phone easier. As you probably notice, the App translates buttons into links. So, simply providing a list of text links would also work on multiple devices.

This Strategy to improve navigation can be used on any page where you want a student to be able to move quickly to new material, reducing frustration and cognitive load by making the navigational journey more immediate.

How to do it yourself resources:

By Christopher Lindberg

If you are considering developing an online course with Ecampus, you may be curious how you will translate your lectures to the online format. There are several effective online lecture presentation formats available to faculty. They differ in the type of video recording required and the kind of post-production work required after the initial recording.

Image listing 4 formats for online lecture presentation: Video, narrated lecture, light board, and interactive video.
Online Lecture Formats: Qualities & Complexity

Each of the presentation formats can be effective, however the more complex types can offer additional advantages for your students. Why should you consider producing the most challenging of the five online lecture formats? To answer that question, we need to understand what exactly an interactive video lesson is. Let’s start by first looking at a sample interactive video lesson used in a fall 2017 course titled The Biology of Horticulture (HORT 301). You can watch a four minute excerpt of the twenty-minute interactive video lesson by selecting the image below:

Still image from video of Dr. Ryan Contreras teaching using an interactive video lesson in the Biology of Horticulture (HORT 301).
Dr. Ryan Contreras teaching using an interactive video lesson in the Biology of Horticulture course. Select image to watch the four minute video.

As is seen in this excerpt the interactive video lesson has as its foundation a video recording of a Lightboard presentation. Layered over that recording are interactive elements that control video playback—sometimes pausing, other times auto-advancing to specific clips—or to progress through the lesson, trigger a student’s input of feedback, and, most importantly, increase the amount of student engagement in the lesson. In the case of HORT 301 the interactive element prompts the solving of a temperature indices formula. The base video could have been used by itself. However, it is the melding of the Lightboard presentation with the interactive feature that makes the interactive video lesson a highly engaging presentation for the online environment.

The model below proposes how the elements of personal and mediated communication immediacy are brought together to make an interactive video lesson a compelling experience.

Model showing proposing how mediated communication and personal communication of an interactive video complement each other in an interactive video lesson.

In this project instructional design, in conjunction with visual design, video staging, and interaction design, was focused on solving the issue of how to teach a self-paced formula-drive lesson in the online environment. The result is an interactive video lesson that presents as a unified visual space that fosters an actual “see through” psychological perspective. Although clearly a media production, this approach to online lesson presentation implies an unmediated learning experience.

It is enhanced by the camera literally seeing through the Lightboard glass to the instructor conducting the lesson fostering a sense instructor presence. This type of interactive lesson design is desirable because it presents classroom-like learning in a student-controlled online environment. The result is an interactive video lesson that is new in design format but familiar experientially.

Is Interactive Video For You?
A decision to adopt this approach to lesson design will likely be successful if you have a lesson that is formula driven. Certainly math subjects and many science subjects might benefit from this approach. Is it also applicable to humanities courses? Can you imagine teaching language, music, or poetry with an interactive video lesson? If you can, contact Ecampus. We would be glad to help you adopt this approach to lesson design for use in your online course.

What is QM?

You may know that OSU is a subscribing member of Quality Matters (QM), a nationally-recognized program focused on online learning course design. Its mission is to measure and guarantee the quality of an online course. QM uses research findings to recommend best practices in online course design.

As an instructional designer (ID), I use and apply the QM rubric and quality assurance principles when working with faculty to design Ecampus courses. About a year ago, I took the first QM workshop, called Applying the QM Rubric or APPQMR.

By the way, this excellent training is offered through Ecampus each quarter. If you haven’t yet participated, take advantage of it. For more information, contact Karen Watte.

Not Just for Beginners

I had nearly nine years experience as an ID at another PAC 12 land-grant university, so I considered myself quite knowledgeable. Frankly, I didn’t expect many significant insights from this entry-level training. Boy, was I wrong!

A few months ago, in September, I presented at the annual QM conference in Fort Worth, Texas. I presented what they call a “Quality Talk,” which is a five-minute structured slide show, where each screen automatically advances every 15 seconds, so precise timing was essential. The title is “An Ode to QA: Teaching an ‘Old’ ID New Tricks.” Meant to be lighthearted and lyrical, I hoped the audience would not mind my non-traditional presentation using a rhyming poem.

The content is my reflection of how QM principles improve online learning. The poem bases each stanza on the letters from the phrase, QA Collaboration Works.

Enjoy the Show

Before you watch, these points about QM are important to know:

• QM principles are called “general standards” and each has a number, such as 2.1 or 4.0.
• Each general standard includes detailed notes and examples called “annotations.”
• The primary principle behind QM is that course content and activities must align with the learning objectives.
• Instructors who want their course certified by QM go through a rigorous peer-review process.

I refer to these and other ideas in the poem, so if you’re not familiar with QM you might not recognize all the connections.

And now, for your viewing and listening pleasure, here’s “An Ode to QA” (cue the drum roll).

Susan Fein, Ecampus Instructional Designer

Getting to know your students

Each term brings upon us an entirely new group of students. Getting to know your students in an online class takes work. An introduction discussion board is used and students are asked to tell us who they are, where they came from, why they are taking this class, and to maybe upload a picture.

Why not take it further? You can bring in critical thinking skills and have the students learn about one another in a different fashion. A class here at Ecampus that has chosen to do just that. ANTH 332: Archeological Inference. came up with a creative way to not only introduce the students to one another but to bring in skills that will be used later in the class.

The exercise goes as follows:

  • Part 1 – gather at least 10 personal possessions that reflects activities, interests, or personal biography. Students are reminded that even the most mundane objects are perfect because it’s those everyday things that archeologists often find. Describe the items in detail and give a context as to where the items are kept. For example, a backpack or a purse with these items in it, and where in it, would work well.
  • Part 2 – students examine the descriptions that others have given and try to come to a reasonable conclusion about their activities and interests, where they might be from, what age they might be, etc. to post as a response.
  • Part 3 – the original poster then gets a chance to “correct” the record and provide additional details if they so desire.

This activity is well received by students, and with an average of 3 significant posts per student in this discussion activity and is deemed a success.

Many thanks to Jeremias Pink and Brenda Kellar for their inspiring discussion activity!

Colorful pie chart illustrates student's mastery of various math topics.
The dashboard in McGraw-Hill’s ALEKS courseware shows a math student’s progress on a learning path.

The just-released 2017 Horizon Report from the New Media Consortium identifies adaptive learning technologies as one of the most important developments in technology for higher education. The report notes that adaptive learning technologies “can adapt to a student in real time, providing both instructors and students with actionable data. The goal is to accurately and logically move students through a learning path, empowering active learning, targeting at-risk student populations, and assessing factors affecting completion and student success.”

To raise campus awareness of adaptive learning technologies and their potentials, last spring OSU held an Adaptive and Personalized Learning (APL) Open House featuring 12 adaptive software providers and hosted an Adaptive Learning Systems Workshop with Arizona State University adaptive learning expert Dale Johnson. OSU is now in the first year of a multiyear grant from the Assoc. of Public and Land-Grant Universities to accelerate the adoption of adaptive learning technology.

Are you interested in finding out more about the possibilities for adaptive learning in your online and hybrid teaching? Suggested resources:

What sorts of potential do you see for adaptive learning technologies in your teaching?

So you’ve located your open materials, Now what?

Providing attributions for open educational resources (OERs) is not only required for Creative Commons (CC) licensed materials, but citing sources for collected works is a good practice to follow in general. Documenting the material that you are using by including the author’s name and the name of the license, as well as where you found it can be especially helpful…

  • When embedded content is malfunctioning or fails to appear. You can refer and go to the URL of the content item.
  • When learning what permissions are granted for the content. You can refer to the license name, which informs you what you can do with the material as well what is permissible.
  • When determining what changes have been made for any derivate work. You can go to the URL of the original work that is provided to determine the changes that have been made.
  • When researching the author, organization or project of the content. If you would like to know more about the author of the project or the organization or project in which the work is created, used or derived, you can conduct a search using the author’s name and the organization and project title or go to any provided URLs in the attribution.

Is there a tool to help me generate attributions for open materials?

Open Washington Attribution Builder is a tool that you can use, which automatically generates attributions for any open materials that you’ve located. Just go to the site and complete the online form. After filling out the provided fields, an attribution is generated complete with active links and a html code for you to cut and paste into your project.

Screenshot example of an attribution generated with Open Washington Attribution Builder [CC BY 4.0.] Managed by WA SBCTC.

Open Washington Attribution Builder Screenshot

Try it out!

Go to Open Washington Attribution Builder and try it out for yourself. It’s that easy!

Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

When was the last time you really sat down and looked at the ‘bones’ of your course?

Course outcomes form the backbone of a course – telling us what students should be able to do by the end of the term. All content, assignments, assessments and other activities should support the course outcomes.  We call this concept alignment. According to the Quality Matters rubric, a national benchmark for online course design, alignment is defined as “the critical course elements working together to ensure that students achieve the desired learning outcomes.” Reviewing the alignment, or lack of, within your course can help you identify areas for future improvement.

A course-planning chart is a tool that you can use to begin examining the alignment of the elements in your course. It can help you identify orphan content or activities that do not support a corresponding learning outcome – or if there are learning outcomes that lack associated activities.  It is also useful in determining if there is a good mix of activities to engage students and whether the course meets workload requirements for a class.

Sketching out how all of the elements of your course align with each other is a good first step in identifying where you can strengthen your course.

Resources:

Ecampus course planning chart
Learning Outcomes: Tools for You
Quality Matters

Want to add an engaging “wow!!” factor to your teaching, on-campus or online? Try using augmented reality (AR). It’s simple, easy, and there is a wide range of educational apps for iOS and Android devices, many for free. Best of all, AR taps into the eager desire many young people express to use technology in innovative ways, including as part of their learning experience.

Per a recent survey from Adobe Education, 93 percent of Gen Z students said that technology in the classroom was essential for their career preparedness, as reported in a 2016 EdTech article. The survey found that “Gen Z students see technology and creativity as important and intersecting aspects of their identities.”

jan17blog_surveygraphic

2017blog_pokemongo

Remember the headlines for Pokemon GO? Maybe you, too, got hooked. If so, you were one of about 21 million users who were playing every day! This is the compelling aspect of AR–it’s fun, engaging, innovative and for some, nearly addictive. The astonishingly realistic and detailed displays of many AR apps, such as those for physiology, add an exciting and engaging dimension to learning. And with AR instantly available in the palm of your student’s hand, there’s no reason not to explore this creative and exciting technology.

(Image by Paintimpact pokemon go)

But AR isn’t just for fun or entertainment. It got serious and life-saving applications as well. AR, and related technologies like virtual reality (VR), are being used in medicine with extraordinary outcomes. In 2015, a baby in Florida was born with only half a heart. Surgeons used a cell phone, 3D imaging software, and a $20 Google Cardboard VR viewer to “peer into the baby’s heart.” The surgeon, Dr. Redmond Burke, said, “I could see the whole heart. I could see the chest wall. I could see all the things I was worried about in creating an operation,” as recounted in How Virtual Reality Could Change the Way Students Experience Education.

Though many AR apps are geared towards a K-12 audience, there are still plenty of ways to effectively include AR in the college classroom. Nearly every discipline has AR apps, including anatomy and physiology, physics, geography, American history, language translation, astronomy, science, geometry, chemistry, marketing and advertising, mechanics and engineering, interior design, architecture, and more! Check out the 32 Augmented Reality Apps for the Classroom from edshelf, or simply do your own internet search for “augmented reality education” and explore.

You might be wondering how to employ AR technology in the online classroom. For apps that make AR targets available online (many do), just provide the URL and have students download and print. Some apps use the natural world as a target; for example, Star Chart uses GPS to calculate the current location of every star, planet, and moon visible from Earth – day or night – and will tell the viewer what they are looking at.

The possibilities are endless! Give it a try yourself. I am willing to bet that you will exclaim, “Wow, that’s so cool!”

Online courses are open 24/7. This is more convenient for students, but it also means they don’t really know how/when to get in touch with you, the instructor. Online courses benefit greatly when the instructor creates a communication plan and communicates it with their students, especially in weeks one and two of the term.

 


Here’s a sample communication plan:

“Please post questions about the course in the Q&A discussion forum so that the entire class can benefit from our back-and-forth. Please reserve email for questions of a personal nature.

I will reply to email and questions posted in the Q&A discussion forum within 24 hours, usually sooner.  I strive to return all graded work, with my feedback, within 5 days of the assignment being submitted. Please do look for my detailed feedback and use it.

If I need to deviate from this schedule, I will [send an email] and let you know. I will usually not be available on Sundays. Most assignments are due on Monday evenings.

Students should [check Oregon State University email, log in to the course] at least three times per week.”


For the last couple of paragraphs – you might prefer to post an announcement, or adjust the course home page. In your communication plan, you may want to address your recommendations for students in setting their own notification patterns in Canvas to suit how you plan to communicate, as well as expectations that students check their Oregon State University email accounts.

Your communication plan may be different, but it should address communication channels (discussion board, email, phone, Skype), your estimated response times for questions, your estimated time to complete grading, and any days when you expect to be unavailable. This might be a certain day of the week, or perhaps a few specific dates during a given term while you give a conference, etc.