One of the key features which makes the use of videos from Box of Broadcasts (BoB) more inclusive is to use subtitles. Most programmes on BoB have subtitles available and switching these on whenever you use videos or clips within class can mean understanding what is being said and heard easy for everyone. Simply click on the S icon once the recording has started to play.
This can be particularly important for international students and those who are hearing impaired. It is also a good idea to highlight this feature for students so they are aware how to turn these on when they might be viewing videos outside of face-to-face sessions. Adding a small image of how this can be done next to the video clip in Course Resources might assist with this.
Accessing a transcript for a programme on Box of Broadcasts
Transcripts of most programmes are also available which can be useful for students to access in order to be able to read what has been said in their own time rather than trying to keep up with the video on screen. Where a transcript is available this can be viewed by clicking the Show Transcript button.
It also allows you to search the programme for key words which will be highlighted within the transcript and at the same time the video will move to this point in the video. Further uses of the word can then be cycled to using the forward and back arrows. This enables quick navigation to key points which students may want to view again.
Students are usually unaware of these features and it is worth highlighting these when you first use BoB whether in class or online.
Recently, I demonstrated an evolving e-learning interface in use at UoD. So I thought a little more should be said about the step by step process.
Step 1 of this new interface started when Plato was redesigned as an HTML product, rather than Flash.
Step 2 occurred when I was given the opportunity to host products on a web server that runs scripts. This capability had been requested about 4 or 5 years ago, and the opportunity finally cropped up due to serendipity rather than effective strategic planning. They do say that patience is a wonderful attribute to have.
Step 3 is a project to develop a product to deliver training on Equality and Diversity, so it was not surprising that the requirements included an interface that supports accessibility criteria. The same functionality also allows support for mobile devices.
So throughout 2013 you can expect to see some e-learning products with the following features and benefits:
A clean user interface
Simple navigation buttons
Contents list (side bar)
Section contents list / map
Support for mobile devices
Hide the contents side bar (for small screens)
Take notes (per page)
Multiple choice question and answer
Proof of participation certificate, using above with a minimum threshold score.
I hope you find the new interfaces useful, and I welcome your feedback.
PS: There is also a Step 4 currently in progress. This and some other cutting edge R&D activities are posted at Adam Bostock on Google+ if you want to keep up to date.