Integrating WebCT with vodcasting and podcasting
Jean-Claude Bradley: I'll be talking today about integrating WebCT with audio/video Podcasting and other tools. Let's get started here.
You all see a lot of WebCT stuff in my talk, I hope that's ok - ok for the WebCT people. This is really a talk about you know, the evolution of the role that WebCT has played in my courses over time. If you take a look at a couple years ago when I was introduced to online learning, this is pretty much the image that I had. We have a WebCT centric model, where we have the three components of learning: We have assessment, content and interaction.
With WebCT you can do quizzes, do tests, surveys, things like that. Content, you can upload files, in terms of multi-media; I'll be spending most of my time today talking about lecture recording, I'll get to that in a minute. And of course, you can have text for content.
The third component here is interaction: WebCT allows you to use email within the system, to make sure everything stays within the system. You can use chat, you can use discussion boards, allowing all reports to be handled over in one place; that's very useful is you want only your students to access the information.
But what's happened with my teaching, or at least over the past couple of years, is that I have become very interested in "Open Courseware", in making my courses available to anyone who is curious about them. I'm a teacher in Chemistry, so most of what you're going to see has to do with that.
The way this changes my relationship with WebCT is like this: WebCT ends up in this box for assessments. I obviously have to know that these are my students that are logging in, taking the tests. I want to make sure that the student can't see other student's tests, so WebCT is still a really good tool for that. It's also integrated with Vanner, so I don't have to worry about populating any course management system, it's all there.
But, when it comes to contents, WebCT is kind of hard to open. So I've been adopting more of a Wiki-centric open course for a model, where the students start at the Wiki, and WebCT is a part of that larger picture.
We're going to talk about a number of things, specifically lecture recording and a little at the end about games.
What this looks like is, this is a Wiki, basically a way to build a Web site very quickly without knowing any HTML, and is available freely to anyone who logs in. You don't need a paper and account, you don't need to have your own server.
This particular Wiki is call Wikispaces, and anyone can go to wikispaces.com and create their Wiki.
So, instead of telling my students wait until you get activated in WebCT, I tell them to chem242.Wikispaces.com, and WebCT is option number five here, this is where some of the lectures are - and I'll get to that in a minute" but most importantly, also the quizzes, the tests and the final exam.
My syllabus, FAQ, blog, the problem set, all of these other things are actually off of the Wiki. And a really important reason for that is that this information gets indexed by Google very efficiently. So, if I want people to find my course material, that's one of the reasons I'll use a public blog and a public Wiki. And if we have time I can look at these in more detail, if anyone has more questions.
To put this in context as we're building all of our class content and delivering it to our students: Does a Podcast make a sound if it lives behind a firewall? And that's actually a good question today, because of the things that are happening. In other words, the Podcast, which is just an audio recording of your class content, who is that for? Is that for the students that are registered for your class this term? Is it for students who took your class before to review material? Is it for new students that you might want to entice to join your class? Or is it for people in Africa who simple don't have access to an Organic Chemistry teacher?
So, does it make a sound?
I guess it depends on how many people bother to log in, and based on the amount of interest that I see, I think it is worth through the effort of putting yourself out there, if you have the desire to do that. It really comes down to,pragmatic kind of thinking: Right now, we're in a situation where all of the tools, pretty much all of the tools that I'm going to mention, are 100% free, 100% hosted. They're really easy to use, so anyone in the world can really set up and put up a class. And because there are several billion people on the earth, anyone, because anyone can do it, sooner or later someone will do it in the class that you're teaching.
So my philosophy is to be the first, then not be first, and have someone have Organic Chemistry. For example, just this term Berkley is now making their Organic Chemistry classes and webcasts public. That wasn't the case before. Before that the only class I was aware of was my Organic Chemistry. So we're going to see more and more of that happen and in a few years anyone will be able to access extremely high quality "Open Courseware" on any topic imaginable.
We have to think about how that's going to change the role of Universities. Universities are still there to give accreditation, to verify the material, but I don't think they're going to have a closed market on it anymore. So, just to go into the Open Courseware for a little bit. What makes it difficult? Why is it that not everyone is doing it? Everyone that wants to do it isn't doing it? Well, First, there's a time risk, faculty, for insistence: It's going to take up their time. With the tools I will show, I will hopefully prove to you that it's really not a big investment in time and effort that we need to put into it.
Then, there's the risk of failure: What if you change your mind in the middle, if you don't want to do it anymore, or you know, something goes wrong?
Well, there's a way to do it so that that's not an issue at all. There are several intellectual property issues, and if it is that you don't want someone to use your intellectual property, that actually is very simple, don't put your course online. But there's a more difficult problem: You want to make your course available, but you're going to have some material in there that might belong to someone else.
So, producing content that is publisher free is actually one of the difficult things to do, and I've spent a lot of time doing that with some of my classes. One of my classes is completely publisher free, which means anyone can take the entire thing from beginning to end and not have to buy a book, basically. That's another rant I can go on about the mistakes that the publishers are making, but right now they're not very receptive to you making their material public.
The other issue is institutional recognition: What does it get you, to put your courses available to everybody? Well right now, not much, and so you shouldn't do it for that reason. You should do it for a whole bunch of other reasons, but right now you're going to get any gold stars for doing that. Yes?
Woman 1: Is there a place where we can... Find Open Courseware?
Jean-Claude Bradley: The question is, "is there a place to find Open Courseware." Yes, there are many places; in fact that brings me to my second point. There are some top ID'd sources like MIT Open Courseware, that's probably the most famous, where they've taken MIT courses and put them as online as possible.
The difficulty there is that it's uneven. Some courses have the whole video and everything and other courses you may just have class notes, so to say that there are courses online, you really have to look into it, open it up and see. There is the World Lecture Hall: If you're interested I list those in my blog, I can give you a list of them.
But the other alternative, which I think is actually going to become more important as time goes on, is the bottom-up approach. Which is, Google as your search engine.
Students or potential students are finding my courses by googling certain concepts in Chemistry or certain chemicals so that's where I think things are headed, but definitely I think there are some top-down approaches. But my goal today is basically to teach you about the second one.
I'm going to be using some tags in my talk here, where I'm going to be specifying a platform that we're going to use. Be it WebCT, blogs or games. And I'm going to be talking about those three components: Content, assessment and interaction. So, this is kind of a 3D space where you can represent where you are, in terms of you know kind of what kind of modality you're using, and to me, learning is really about channels inside of this three dimensional space. And certain channels are better than others for teaching different kinds of information. So if you see those, that's what it refers to, it refers to this model.
The other thing is that I need to do early on is to explain to you what screencasting, Podcasting and vodcasting are. Because if you're not familiar with this terms it might get a little confusing.
Basically stream casting is delivery of audio and screen capturing recordings via download or streaming media. Right now this talk is being recorded by a screen capture, I'm using a program called Camtasia, that I will show you some more of a little bit later, but you see these mouse movements, the reason I'm not using laser pointer is that I want people who are not in the room right now to get the same experience that you're getting. So that's what I'm doing, I'm capturing the screen.
This is not, you would not call this a Podcast, unless it were delivered via a subscription process. So screencast, I could send you and email with a link. You'd click on it and see the screencast, that's fine. You can use that term in a sentence.
Podcasting has a very specific definition: It's the automatic distribution of audio files, most likely audio files, but that can be, you can do some video some PEF, to computers or portable audio devices through a subscription system. People have been putting MP3 files on their Web sites for many years but that's not Podcasting, because it requires people to keep coming back to the Web site, because it requires people to come back to the Web site and keep downloading every new file.
What makes Podcasting, actually Podcasting, is that there is one single subscription process: You go to a place, you click on a button and from that point on, every time there's a lecture you will automatically get it downloaded on your computer, and if you are connected to an iPod, whether it be a video iPod or a audio iPod, it will synchronize it, so that's the difference.
It sounds like a small difference, but actually it's pretty huge. Humans aren't very good at remembering to do things over and over again, but if they click on one button and all they have to do is pick up their iPod, that's the difference between listening to something and not listening to it. So it's actually a big deal. And Vodcasting is analogous to Podcasting in that it's the automatic distribution of video files, so if you have a stream link that would not be considered a vodcast by most people, because it has to be portable, especially in the video iPod. There are a couple of formats, the ones that you've seen here are the.M4V format, that was created using iTunes. And that's something I can get into more detail with you later.
So, I've talked about recording lectures and why that's a good idea if you want to get involved with your courses online, and there are lots of approaches to putting your course online. You could spend a whole summer preparing a multi-media presentation, having all kinds of widgets on it, but the other thing you can do is not do any preparation what-so-ever, and install a program on your tablet PC or your laptop, click "Start"... You might have noticed at the beginning that I clicked F9, that is record in Camtasia, when I'm finished I'll click f10, I'll save that file as an AVI. That's all you have to do to record a screencast.
Now, in order to put in on the iPod you have to do a few more things, but in terms of the teacher doing the actual recording, that's pretty much all there is to it. This is a spot where I show how it's safe to do it that way, because you know, there's not a lot of learning. The learning curve is very shallow.
If you're all right using a chalkboard, all you have to do is get used to using a tablet PC. This is a tablet PC here, I can use a pen and I can write on it, so for Organic Chemistry, drawing chemicals is really difficult to do with a mouse so you know you really do need one. I'm the U.N. Coordinator for the Department of Arts and Sciences, and we purchased a couple of tablet PCs that faculty can sign out when they're teaching. This is a system that we have in place.
The whole process, you know I already went through this, start, teach, stop. And then you're going to end up with an.AVI file, which is just a Windows media file. And you have to convert it to something that's useable to most people. And I like to use Flash, you can convert it to Flash, put it up on a server, and it will be streaming, so if your lecture is an hour long the people don't have to wait until the whole thing is downloaded before they see it. It will start to play right away. You can also use Real Media, if you talk to John Morris here, they've got their own systems set up to do the conversion... So you have a lot of options available. The key thing is to get that.AVI recorded, and then you can do whatever you want.
There's a lot of things you can do: One of the things is you can modularize it. You can take your hour long lecture, divide it up into little five or ten minute pieces and name them separately. That's something that some faculty think is a useful thing to do. I tried to do that once, but it's actually a lot of trouble to do, and based on the student feedback I didn't continue it because they didn't think it was that valuable, that it was worth the effort. But you could certainly do that. And you can use Camtasia to chop it up. The other thing you can do, of course, is to create a Podcast. In order to do that, you can convert the.AVI files into.MP3, and there's a little program that I can give you to do that. To convert it to a vodcast, you have to do two things. At least one of the ways to do it is to convert the AVI to a QuickTime file and again you can use Camtasia to do that - and then you convert the QuickTime to an m4v file, using iTunes. I won't have time to show you that, but it's fairly simple to do, and I can show any of you if you're interested.
Let me give you some samples of what you can do if your course is Wiki-centric. So, I'm using blogs, I'm using Wikis. Again, if you're not familiar with blogs, blogs are just another way to put up a Web site without knowing anything about HTML. You can set it up in less than a minute, you can just type in what you want to type and it will show up just like this. And so, I've recorded these lectures, and I give my students access to the PDF, so when I draw the molecules they have that.
If they don't want to use the Podcast, if they don't want to subscribe to the feed, I let them download the individual files. And then there's also the streaming screencast, which if we have time, I can show you. But it looks basically exactly like this is looking right now, with the audio. So one thing you'll see here is that there are many ways to do the same thing. That's actually really important and students really appreciate that. Not everyone has the same access to the same technology, they don't all have - they're not in the same situations, they don't all have video iPods. So you can't just make students do it that way. So you'll see a number of different ways of doing the same thing.
Now, in order to subscribe to the blog, I give them a button, and clicking that button takes them to a site called Bloglines. How many of you here use Bloglines?
Okay. Basically Bloglines is what's called an RSS aggregator. This is not to talk about RSS, so I don't want to get into that technical aspect of it, but suffice it to say that it is a way to subscribe to a feed. When the students click on this button, it takes them to the Bloglines, it forces them to create an account, if they already have an account, if they already have an account it'll just subscribe them. And from that point forward, the classes will appear on a little toolbar on the left of Bloglines.
And whenever there's a bold link that means that there's a new class that's been posted. So that way you could have hundreds of feeds here and only be alerted when there are new feeds. So, you don't have to keep checking your chemistry class, you just ignore it until you go into Bloglines and see "Oh it's bold", then you click on it and that's how it shows up. It shows me the title post and it links directly to files. So again, this is not Podcasting, this is something for anybody... You don't need iTunes, you don't need anything like that. You just need a normal browser will do.
To create the Podcast, I just had a talk with some people before about how to do this. I have recorded a workshop, and eighteen minute workshop that takes you from knowing absolutely nothing to having a fully working Podcast that you can actually count the number of subscribers and all of that. So if you're interested in that I'll give you a link, and it's really not that difficult to do.
And this is just one of the screen shots of what's involved, right? So if you want to have your site be iTunes compatible, there's two ways to do it: The first way is to figure out how to set all the tags to iTunes. The second way is to click this little button, in FeedBurner, and it will figure out what to do, so that you don't have to know.
This is using the site FeedBurner, it's very handy for doing Podcasts and vodcasts.
So, I talked to you about Bloglines, right? Well, this is how you can connect to iTunes. You can also have a button that when the students click on it will open up" I think if you don't have iTunes it'll make you download it, I'm not sure about that. But I know if you do have iTunes, it will definitely open it up for you, and you know, this will come up, and all they have to do is click on the subscribe button.
Again, assume your students know absolutely nothing about technology, because at least a few will not. Even if you do have a few students who do know a lot, it doesn't matter, because you're trying to reach the entire population. If you give them a single click subscription, like this, they all can do it. And this is what it looks like, so these are the lectures and these little books here are actually PDF files: You can Podcast not only audio, but you can also Podcast the actual PDF, so when they click on that it will just start up Acrobat and view it.
And what's interesting about this, you know there good and bad when you get involved with iTunes. The good thing is, this is pretty slick, right? And your students are probably familiar with it. But it doesn't play nice with Microsoft, so you can't do PowerPoint. You can't Podcast PowerPoint, whereas if you use another Podcast aggregator, you can. Like iPod, you can Podcast PowerPoint. Just keep that in mind, if you do decide to use iTunes.
Again, the same thing here, it just shows that you can use PDFs and MP3s. And something that I've started to do this term, and again, I actually try to put off doing these things, but every time I've done something it's because a student has asked me. I was not going to do a vodcast but a student just had a new video iPod, she really wanted to use it, so I figured, all right I'll do it for her, and it turned out it was worth it.
I actually didn't think the screen was big enough. That's why I pass this around, because I really couldn't believe the quality, you can see everything on there, except for maybe twelve point print on a Web site. You can't do that, but you can do PowerPoint, it would be absolutely fine, any molecules you draw, any pictures are absolutely fine.
The other thing we were talking about the copyright issue, this is one of the problems with the class I taught last term, I still had not purged it of the publisher material. So I had to put it behind password protection, and the nice thing about iTunes is that it tolerates that very well. In our college we have one server that's password protected, and another one that's not. If you simply drop your files into the password protected area, when iTunes tries to download it this will pop up and you have to type the username and the password, in order to have the download. So that's pretty cool, you don't have to do anything other than just drop your file into another folder.
You can see the vodcast, the thing that you were looking at on the video iPod; you can also see it on the screen, you can make it as big as you want, directly inside of iTunes. The quality is not quite as good as the Flash screen casts that you're going to see, but if you weigh the size of these files, they're unbelievable small. An hour of these M4V files is about 50MBs. Which is unbelievable, if you're familiar with video, that's actually really nice. You can vodcast your hour-long lectures, and not worry that your students are going to be downloading a GB. There are people out there who are making you download a GB, and they don't have to. Because, on the video iPod you will not see the difference. I think you're getting the maximum benefit. So, you need to weigh that, all right? This, how clear is it? Pretty clear, if it irritates you, again you have an alternative.
One of the issues that always comes up with this is attendance. If you guys are familiar with the discussions that with Podcasting and vodcasting education is "what happens to attendance?", I guess I'm one the few who admits that it goes down, and admits to being happy about it.
This is a plot of the first time that I did a Podcast, it wasn't even with the video iPod, this was just the MP3, and the streaming. So this guy, here, is the attendance, and this one over here is the subscribers on the RSS feed. When you set up your Podcast, if you use FeedBurner for free, you get a way of counting how many people are subscribed to your Podcast.
So what I can do is I can simply plot over time, from the beginning of the class over the course, and some interesting things pop up from here. The first thing that you notice within a couple of days, is that whoever is going to subscribe does it very quickly and then it levels out. So, in other words, you have a population of students that are sort of tech savvy, or at least tech curious, if they do it, or if they don't do it, they're going to learn a little, since they're not coming to class anymore, they're getting the material still by manually downloading the files. But they're not doing it through the Podcasting, which is a subscription.
Now you'll notice here that attendance goes down to about ten to twenty percent on the last day. And it turns out if you look at the population that came to the classes versus the ones that didn't come to the classes, their averages are insignificantly different. So they perform the same. So as soon as I saw that, I stopped giving lectures, because it's obviously not a good use of my time, to simply repeat myself term and after term, if the recording duplicates exactly what I used to do in terms of performance.
What I've been doing since then is assigning the recorded lectures and doing workshops that students may or may not attend. So students come in, and there are a number of things we can do. There are games that they can play to learn more chemistry. There are, there is, we can sit down with molecular models, we can build things. So actually I'm spending a lot more time one-on-one with students than I would ever be able to do before. Because I'm completely satisfied that everything is covered in my vodcasts.
Now, I talked to you about open courseware in the beginning of this, and this is where it gets really interesting.
This year, my Organic Chemistry, CHEM241 class. This is, I guess, April 2005, which is the first time that I started to do the Podcasting, and you can see that I had a few subscribers. I think it was like twenty students came in. So the months went by, and I taught the class a second time. But this time I added about one hundred and fifty students, and I gave them easier ways to subscribe. Like I gave them that single click button, subscribe.
And now you see this increasing significantly. And then what I did was I put it on iTunes. And this increase here, I didn't even teach the class in that time. Right now I have about 524 subscribers - this was taken today, actually. I haven't taught the class since, I guess, December. So, there's definitely interest out there in your courses, if you chose to make it available. Most of the people that are looking at it are not going to be your students.
And this is just the people that are subscribed; this does not include the people that are finding your site by Googling, which is a whole other set of people. So this is pretty neat, and again, all free. Many of you can do this immediately.
So who's using the blog? Again this is as of today, so on this blog, this is my CHEM242. I get an average of eighty visitors per day, and if you look, you've got how they're searching for chemicals, chemistry concepts, anything that discussed in the class, and you can see that they come from all over the world. The concentration is, as you'd expect, in Europe and the Eastern states, but it really is people from all over the world that are interested in this information.
There are all kinds of ways that you can use blogs. I just showed you one of the ways, which is to actually link your recordings from your blog. And you can also describe what you did that day in the blog. But you can also use it as an FAQ. So this is nice, if you have a new FAQ, like if I had FAQ number nineteen. Because I expect my students to be subscribed to Bloglines, guess what? When they go to Bloglines they will see that there's a new FAQ. Or if I change an FAQ, that will also show up as a new post. That is very useful, because normally if a student comes in and sees that something got added, but to know that something got changed is difficult to do without RSS.
So another way to use the blogs is to have the students actually do assignments.: I don't want to force my students to do anything they don't want to do, I want them to do it because they want to do it, so I never really assign a lot of points for this. There's two percent maximum extra credit for all of the assignments that they can do.
I know that way I am getting the students who are really interested in doing it. Here, I have a bunch of students who created blogs about reaction that we looked at in class that they were curious about. The last one that was done in my class was about the glow sticks, the chemistry behind that. It's all about stuff that they are curious about. And I will grade it by going into the blogs, making a comment, and explaining what's wrong with it. When other people visit the blog and read something wrong about the glow sticks, they will have my comment where I am correcting the student. That's why it's so important to keep everything out in the open.
The other thing that you can do with blogs is you can sometimes have students interacting with each other spontaneously. Here's a post: This is a comment inside of a blog, one student explaining to the class a trick to upload a picture. Turns out we don't have to do this anymore, because there's a better way to do it, but at the time it was kind of tricky to upload a picture. This student actually put in code to help the other students to do that. So that's another things that's there, if you want it there.
And the way we get around the whole privacy issue is you tell students "This is public, if you don't want your name used, don't use it, just tell me what you pseudonym is and that's fine." You can always delete the posts at the end, so there's no forcing of the students to be in any position that ever causes them any trouble.
In terms of how WebCT connects with that, it has also changed in the past couple of terms. I've used WebCT extensively with quizzes; I have banks of questions that students can practice, and the test is really from the same questions pool, it's all automatically graded.
What I used to do was after the test is look at the questions they got right and wrong and discuss it. But it turns out that they always make the same mistakes, term after term, even if you tell them what mistakes they're going to make. So, it turns out I can use the recorded review sessions, and that's actually quite satisfactory for students that are taking the course for the first time. The difference though this time, is that instead of dealing with the whole class with all of the questions, is that only the students who want to come to the workshop come. And they can show me "Look, I did this on the test, how com it's not right?" I don't give them the right answer, I tell them that the question is wrong, but I don't give them the right answer. They have to come in, or they can email me, since some students are really out of the state. But if they're in town, then definitely, they should come to the workshops. And then there's an automatic make-up.
So there's a bunch of things that you can tell with WebCT that is kind of interesting. Because the tests are monitored by camera, basically it's the security cameras. So I can give the student a five or six day window, they can walk in, sit down on any of the computers and log in to WebCT and take the test.
And it happened actually, this weekend, that I had a report that a student thought that another student was cheating; I pulled down the video, saw that the student was using a cell phone and was able to follow up by looking at WebCT. He gave me his story about what he was doing, it wasn't a very smart thing, but he wasn't cheating, he was just talking to his sister. And I can tell that because I can see that he had answered almost all of the questions on his test, made the phone call and then the remaining questions. I could see him talking on the phone and compare that with what they were doing. So that's a way that you can have as a deterrent, at the very minimum, but that's one way of handling security with the tests.
The reason that I am talking about this model is that it is something that anyone can do. If you follow the instructions that I give you, you will be able to completely replicate what I've done, and an example here for example, Michelle Francelle Brenmar, gave a talk there, thought it was interesting, and this is her talk on quantum chemistry. She uses Camtasia, she does the blog the same way, uses FeedBurner. So it's a model that you can replicate from the bottom-up, you don't have to wait for a gatekeeper to decide that this is the way that we're going to go. So that's one of the advantages of doing it this way.
The last little part that I want to discuss here is the use of games. Because we have more time, right? Because the lectures are all assigned, you have more time to do games. I actually have time to do one game per week. The game that I do?
How many of you are familiar with Unreal Tournament? It's a First Person Shooter game, except the way that we use it is without the weapons. You can play with weapons; I haven't in this class yet. I basically do it as a race, and if I have time at the end I'll show you what that looks like. But basically the students are running around in a maze and they have doors, and if the doors correct they run through it and make it to the next part of the maze. And they have to go through twenty of these rooms. The first student to make it to the end of the rooms gets a prize.
The prizes I gave out where video iPod or chemistry book or a molecular model set or a consolation prize. And a student couldn't win the same prize twice, so I actually had one student keep playing week after week until he won all four prizes. And the thing I like about the game is that even after the student wins, the other students are still playing, usually, because they're still learning the material. I think when I show it to you you'll actually understand that.
This is something that I've discussed with a few other people earlier today. It's a very modular design, it's very simple. It's something that if you're interested in adapting your content to, talk to me. And it's all Open Source, it's all public, so we can definitely take a look at that. This is an old version of it, the one that I'll show you doesn't exactly look like this. I put the the cat at the end. So, I wanted to leave this picture here. This the one with the weapons, you could play the game with the commercial version, but the one I'll show you is free, and actually doesn't have the weapons. Everything in the game is on the Edufrag Wiki, so edufrag.wikispaces.org, if you're interested.
And another game we can play, if we have time, this is The Wheel of Orgo. Which is a game where I draw starting material, I draw a final product. You go around the rooms, students take turns drawing single chemical reactions of the reactions that they've learned, and they get a point for a correct reaction; the student who completes the synthesis gets three points.
So again it's another way, where as the Edufrag game is very good for rapid drilling fundamental concepts, this is a very integrated, this is a very high level kind of game. So you can use both.
This is an example that I like to use. This is Southback College, Fall 2005. Over the summer, this guy actually was in WikiSpaces. Right you see this here? Wikispaces.org. Now, I use RSS, one of the things you can do with RSS is you can actually have a search term that whenever somebody posts something that has that search term, you'll be notified. Actually MSN.com is the only general search engine that has that that I know of. MSN out googled Google, they actually went one above!
If you do a search at MSN, scroll to the bottom, click on the RSS feed, you can subscribe to that feed. So if you type your name, for example, any time someone mentions you, you go to your bloglings it will show up. So, I was doing Unreal Tournament, I had Unreal Tournament as one of my search terms, and I found that this guy was putting together a course using Unreal Tournament and doing it for a game development course.
What happened is, because of low enrolment he cancelled the class. But, what was interesting about it is that because he built the class as a public Wiki, I benefited. I found some absolutely crucial information that I didn't know before, and I was able to move on with my class. If this had been a traditional class, what would have happened is, this guy would have developing this, on his computer, separate from the world, class gets cancelled, everything goes in the garbage. Because this is on a Wiki, and is available, people can still benefit. There's a different form of closure that we're experiencing as educators now., which is very different, I think, than from what we've learned. So bottom line here is, basically, there's lots of different ways to do the same thing, if you're interested in Podcasting or vodcasting, we can definitely do that.
Let me just show you a little bit with what this game looks like.
So, this is [audio skip] only, so if you have a Mac you're out of luck. And the free version, again, does not have any weapons, and you can't do anything commercial on it.
What happens in the class, students all bring their laptops, they sit around in a row, they download the map that I just released, just prior to the class, and they go down to the study room, load the map...
This is a map that one of my students created. That's the thing; you can merge any content with any map. So you walk through this thing: Here's a study room, on the walls you can post any kind of content. Right, so this is the content that will be tested. There's the pit, they jump into the pit and they're in the first room.
So they look around, and these are the doors, the Unreal Tournament doors, and three of these will be incorrect and one of them will be correct. So, for example, if you walk through the door, it takes you back to the beginning. In order to make it to the end, there's a cat room at the very end, you have to go through twenty correct answers. And that's how we run races, basically. So again, if this is something that you're interested, it's actually very easy to adapt your content to this. Those doors are just made using Paint, which is the free program that comes with windows. It's really very simple. So are there any questions?
Woman 2: [inaudible question]
Jean-Claude Bradley: Yes, I have these links. This didn't come up very well, did it? Actually if you just Google my name, I think you'll get those sites. Yeah, so if you Google my name, Jean-Claude Bradley, you will see the Podcast.
This is actually where the workshop is. You can see it here, how to create a Podcast, so this'll give me a chance to show the screen cast. I have turned off the Volume, because there's an issue with my computer, if the mic is on at the same time I'll get a terrible sound.
So, this basically is without the sound. All right, so I basically take you through the whole process of creating all this stuff. It's called a Flashing cast. Ok. And the main blog is this one, Drexel CoAs E-Leaning. So, for example here, I blog everything that I do, in terms of E-Learning. My last post is on the post-mortem of my last class, so these are my findings after running the class. As I was describing to you today, you can see what I've found. Feel free to comment, because I'm always open to input. Anything else? Yeah?
Woman 3: [inaudible question]
Jean-Claude Bradley: Yeah, the question is about overwhelming students.
So what happens if I have a new student? Let me actually show you, what will happen is that they will first get a link. Chem242.Wikispaces.
The very first thing I do is that I tell them how they're going to get a grade. That's they're primary concern, right?
Basically, there's a lot of stuff here, you don't have to use it all, but if you don't do well in the class, and you haven't used it, don't blame me. I don't want to get any hard luck stories at the end, right? I do anyway, but you know, try not to do it...
Basically, you step through this, and I use the workshops for that in the first couple of weeks. So, what I'll do is that the students will come in, they'll bring their laptops and I will actually show them how to subscribe. So for example, the vodcast, how do you subscribe to that? You basically start by giving them the drag of that into iTunes, to subscribe to the vodcast, if that's not obvious enough, you come to the workshop, but if you don't show up, I have no pity. Basically, it's your responsibility to tell me what you don't know. But yeah, it can be overwhelming and believe it or not every single link is necessary. I mean, I don't like putting in extra stuff, but I need a syllabus, I need a FAQ, need a blog, need a problem set. So I try to reduce it, but there are that many elements in the class.
Anything else? Ok.