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Re-using teaching materials. Matija Lokar, Matija.Lokar@fmf.uni - CADGME’09, Linz, July 12 th , 2009. Few quotes. “ New technologies should be used in the most appropriate way to provide a quality learning experience for students. “

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Re using teaching materials

Re-using teaching materials

Matija Lokar,


Linz, July 12th, 2009

Few quotes

Few quotes

  • “New technologies should be used in the most appropriate way to provide a quality learning experience for students. “

  • UniversityofTechnology, Sydney, Institute for Interactive Media and Learning, Teaching Matters: A handbook for UTS academic staff

  • “Not thetool, buttheuseofthetoolis or is not pedagogical”

  • Vlasta Kokol-Voljč

Re using teaching materials

“The most effective kind of learning experience is determined not by the technology available, but by considering what is most appropriate for the students, the subject and the learning objectives and then selecting the most appropriate technology to use, be it a book, an online discussion, a multimedia simulation, or a workplace experience.”

(UTS, Teaching Matters)

Organising and using resources for teaching process

Organising and using resources for teaching process

  • Making combinations of different materials

  • Choosing a workbook, choosing tasks, choosing pages on the Internet, choosing ...

  • Always taking into account the class we are teaching, the day, the pedagogical situation …

Usage of teaching resources

Usage of teaching resources

  • Have you ever used a certain workbook, textbook … exactly in the way it was written … from the first letter to the last one …

  • Have you ever considered how great it would be if you could have a slightly different textbook with a different sequence of examples, with a certain part “omitted”, some parts added from another source …

  • Thus technology nowadays most often used in preparing teaching materials

Technology used

Technology used



Re using teaching materials

Or …

  • Retyping

  • Giving instructions to students on the order in which they should use a textbook and believing:

    • Studentswill not spend most of the time thinking about the paragraph you suggested they skip

    • Students will not object if they should first read the last paragraph on page 73, then look at the picture on page 70, then return back to page 73 andread the first paragraph …



  • Authors of resources consider a hypothetical pedagogical situation with hypothetical students

  • The actual teaching process is always at least slightly different

    • and never the same

  • A good teacher [as Handbook from S2 says] …

    • uses resources in the most appropriate way

    • So s/he is “forced” to adapt the resources

What about modern e materials

What about “modern” e-materials

  • Could teachers use them more effectively?

  • Unfortunately not! (most of the time)

  • Lots of teaching e-materials are prepared in the same way as an “ordinary” textbook

    • “Monolythical”

    • Hard to change

  • Complete portals, web pages with embedded flash animations, usage of frames, applets without the source …

Self learning desing

“Self-learning” desing

  • Majority of resources

  • The author “prescribes” the way to use the resource

    • Suitable (we can argue sometimes this too) for “self learning”

  • But in majority of usage:

    • Teacher is also present

Teacher comes first

Teacher “comes first”

  • Introducing the teacher into the author-student relation.

  • In my opinion, the teacher "comes first", i.e. s/he should have control over the content s/he uses to teach the student

Put teachers back into the game

Put teachers “back into the game”

  • E-resurces should be flexible

  • Allow the teacher to adapt them, combine in his/her own way ...

  • Resource authors should prepare:

    • Basic “building blocks”

    • Pre-constructed models

    • Instructions


Re using teaching materials



Re using resources

Re-using resources

  • Teacher should gain control over the resource

  • Author should merely be an initiator of the resource in various forms

    • Basic “building blocks”

    • Pre-constructed models (but with the possibility of adapting them)

    • Instructions how to adapt, reuse, change the models

  • Teacher has the possibility to:

    • Adapt

    • Change

    • (Re)combine

Resource authors

Resource authors

  • Of course they should prepare the complete resource

    • What to tell,

    • How to tell,

    • In what order,

  • Something teacher can start with

    • Thus avoiding “we do not have time” problem

Resource authors1

Resource authors

  • Teacher is the one who upgrades the idea, adapts it to a certain pedagogical situation, his/her beliefs, …

  • Author creates the resources for an ideal situation, teacher teaches in “real world”

  • Resources teacher knows to be adaptable are more accepted and used

    • Even that are mostly not adapted

    • Hwang, D., EDUNET: The Core of Korea's Knowledge Bank, 2nd Strategic meeting EdReNe, Lisbon, June 2008

Tools flexibility settings

Tools flexibility - settings

  • Tools used in teaching should be also (more) flexible

  • Most of the tools offer the possibility to change the settings

    • But only within certain document

    • Or within certain instalation of a tool

  • Importing/exporting settings

    • Very rarely offered

    • Teachers often need quite different sets of setting in various pedagogical situation

    • Cumbersome to change them each time

Tools flexibility user interface

Tools flexibility – user interface

  • User interface (or various user interfaces) of a tool used in teaching provided by author

    • Should be just implementaion of an idea, proposition

    • User (teacher) should decide what/when

  • Adaptable user interface

    • With possibility to quickly switch between them

    • To store the settings

    • To apply stored UI

Basic blocks

Basic blocks

  • Should be adaptable too

  • Should be “tool independent”

    • Teacher should have the possibility to change the tool used

  • Should be in standard formats

    • Not be “locked in”

    • Change of tools

  • Should be in different formats

    • Pdf, doc, htm, xml …

Choice of formats

Choice of formats

  • The technology behind the resource should not present an obstacle but offer new possibilities of use.

  • Different situations – different formats needed

    • Content is the same

    • Question (quiz)

      • paper based (DOC, PDF …)

      • Web (HTML, JavaScript …)

      • LMS (Moodle XML, QTI …)

  • Standardization

    • “CAS dictonary”

    • INTERGEO project

  • Possible use in the future

    • Adaptation to new formats/standards

Choice of tools

Choice of tools

  • one-size-fits-all syndrome

  • to stay within the same environment, the same program

  • amazing tricks can be seen, features exploited in unusual ways… done in Derive, GeoGebra, Mathematica... or tricky instructions are provided

  • to stick with the same tool at any cost

Choice of tools1

Choice of tools

  • Part of the teaching process is also to teach students how to choose the most appropriate tools for the task

    • and “Netgeneration“ has no (or significantly less) problems with multitasking

  • We should use different tools

  • Tool should “cooperate”

Active math project

Active Math Project

  • A pilot project on authoring the resources in the way described

  • Part of NAUK (ALB) project

    • NApredne Učne Kocke (Advanced Learning Blocks)

    • Mathematics, physics, computer science, logic


  • Active math


Active math

Active Math

  • E-learning content for secondary schools

  • Different types

  • Can be used either in its original form as well as changed, combined, rearranged, exported and transferred to a web page, into a LMS or on a CD.

Am various basic blocks

AM – various basic blocks

Am basic blocks different formats

AM: Basic blocks – different formats

Am combination of building blocks

AM - Combination of building blocks

The life cycle of a resource

The “life cycle” of a resource

Frans Van Assche, Riina Vuorikari, (2006). A Framework for Quality of LearningResources. In U. Ehlers & J.M. Pawlowski (eds.), European Handbook forQuality and Standardization in E-Learning

To summarize

To summarize

E materials preparation guidelines

E-materials Preparation Guidelines

  • Teaching resources: lots of primary building blocks that can easily be adapted to a particular teacher’s needs.Anyone can thus construct their own learning pathand have the possibility to combine their own resources with resources obtained elsewhere.

  • Building blocks: small, adaptable, transferrableand as independent of particular programming tools as possible.Building blocks should be easily obtained in different formats such astext files, html with different styles, original xml format, SCORM 1.2, MoodleXML ... This makes it easier for the users to embed the blocks into their own Internet pages, use them in online classrooms, provide CD copies of them, adapt them,etc.

  • The power of metadata.Allbuilding blocks should be equipped with descriptions that outline their content even before they are entered. Metedata provides quality searching and the user can thus obtain exactly the resource s/he is looking for.

E materials preparation guidelines1

E-materials Preparation Guidelines

  • The teacher must be in controlEvery teacher is unique and has a unique teaching style that changes depending on the students the teacher is teaching at a given moment. Therefore the resources should not be limiting and prescribe the use. The author should provide a learning path, but that path should be easily deconstructed, changed, adapted. And should a teacher believe that Paddy, not John, should be the name of the main character in the resource, that adaptation is to be as easily achieved as possible.

  • A pre-constructed resource should only present one of several patterns possible Of course it is only rational, that the authors offer a resource as a preconstructed format (or several formats). This provides example(s) of using the basic building blocks. However, the complete resource should be available in a technically easily adaptable way.

Bare necessities

Bare necessities

  • A repository of well described (metadata equipped) building blocks:

    • In different formats (where rational)

    • Useful in different situations.

    • Not too extensive

    • Should only cover a paritcular way of dealing with a certain subject.

  • Examples of teaching units constructed with the building blocks provided.

    • Provide a base for the teacher,

    • Can be adapted to a particular teacher’s needs

  • Instructions how to use the building blocks, combine them, change them, and adapt the units provided.

  • Tools that enable preparation, adaptation, …

  • Adaptable tools

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