Creating Engaging Online Materials / http://www.extension.washington.edu/ol/
Workshop Goals This workshop offers guidelines and tips for repurposing your content for effective electronic presentation, including • enlivening your online writing as you convert lectures to online material; • converting text to graphics that convey clear, useful information; and • creating an interactive learning environment where you and your students can engage in discussions and share documents.
Workshop Objectives When you complete this workshop, you will be able to • convert printed material and narratives into attractive and effective online text consistent with Web conventions; • judge when it is appropriate to convert textual facts to graphics; • create graphics that convey useful information accessible to a wide range of abilities; and • create, facilitate, and monitor online discussions to help foster a sense of community among learners.
Formatting Text: Why? • “Writing for the Web is very different from writing for print: • 79% of users scan the page instead of reading word-for-word • Reading from computer screens is 25% slower than from paper • Web content should have 50% of the word count of its paper equivalent”Jakob Nielsen, “Writing for the Web”
Formatting Text Journalistic Style • rewrite in “top-down” form • use active voice • address learners as “you” • edit for shorter sentences and paragraphs • limit scrolling
Formatting Text Chunking • divide material into pieces by subject • split up long paragraphs and sections • add heads and subheads • think about printing • avoid fragmentation and redundancy
Your Turn Take five minutes to organize the material in the unedited text document into topical chunks.
Formatting Text Visual Style • consistent representation of key textual elements as visual cues to meaning • establish a “style sheet” • choose type style and size for body copy, heads, and special terms • select layout color or pattern: keep it simple • add icons and graphics as needed
Formatting Text Focus and Review • add a summary after significant chunks • highlight key terms • craft study or review questions • devise activities to apply knowledge
Formatting Text Linking • supplement information in the narrative • expand access to material resources and people • add learner activity, interaction, and sharing • focus on credible, established institutions that are major resources • avoid overuse
Using Graphics: Objectives By the end of this unit, you will be able to • decide when graphics are appropriate in your online materials, and justify your choices; • distinguish between "information" and "noise" in a graphic; • describe some ways to make graphics accessible to persons with visual disabilities; • explain why "alt tags" are necessary, and write useful ones; and • find existing graphics and use them ethically.
What Can Graphics Do? Graphics can • illustrate the flow of a process or cause-and-effect; • display or compare statistics, trends, or other related facts; • reveal information not readily obvious or evident; • illustrate a concept or convey an emotion; and • provide an alternative way to convey information for more visually-oriented learners.
Your Turn Discussion Question: What are some other uses for graphics?
Your Turn Discussion Questions: Is this graphic easy to read? Is it attractive? Does every element in it provide useful information? What information does it provide?
Facilitating Discussion: Objectives By the end of this unit, you will be able to • choose an appropriate discussion tool for your learners and purposes; • craft meaningful discussion assignments; • set standards for performance and participation; and • facilitate and monitor online discussions to help foster a sense of community among learners.
Facilitating Discussion Discussion Tools • e-mail: Pine, WebPine, UMail • forums or discussion boards: GoPost • blogs: WordPress • chat or instant messaging: Windows • audioconferencing: C & C Teleconferencing • collaboration: Peer Review, Portfolio, Share Space,GoPost attachments
Facilitating Discussion Discussion FAQs • What makes a compelling forum question? • How do I encourage interaction and response? • What is my role in an online discussion? • Should I require participation? • How do I evaluate participation?
Facilitating Discussion Meaningful Assignments • connect the assignment clearly to the material and your educational purpose • relate to learners’ experiences • focus on application and reflection rather than declarative knowledge • ask questions or pose problems that have multiple answers, strategies, or approaches
A Bad Example Don’t try this at home…“Some critics feel the United States is less prepared against a terrorist attack than we were in 2000. Discuss.” What’s wrong with this prompt? Your Turn
Your Turn Using the guidelines for meaningful assignments, take five minutes to draft a discussion prompt related to the material in the Influenza lesson.
Facilitating Discussion Standards • cover both rules for learner interaction and expectations for deliverables • write clear, succinct, and complete descriptions and instructions • include models and examples • create and provide evaluation rubrics
Facilitating Discussion Facilitation Guidelines • decide your role and communicate it-set learner expectations early • respond promptly • facilitation vs. moderation • vary your response: none, individual, or group • consider peer facilitation, small groups • respond to problems privately
Catalyst User Experience Project Help us design for your needs Initial and quarterly surveys Invitations to focus groups & interviews 2-3 hours/year Hear from us Semi-annual newsletter 1-3 quarterly emails
Evaluation http://catalyst.washington.edu/workshops/ engage.html
Contact Information • Joe Dial firstname.lastname@example.org • Jan Kinney email@example.com