COURSE: ETEC 565 (Elective Course), Learning Technologies: Selection, Design and Application, Course Description
TYPE OF ASSIGNMENT: Individual
For this assignment, we were to develop an on-line course using either moodle or BlackBoard Vista. I chose to use moodle to develop a unit that I had previously taught face-to-face in my grade one classroom; L’espace! At the time, I was anticipating having a SMART Board installed in my classroom, so I designed my course to be as interactive as possible to allow it to be used individually by my students either during Literacy Centers or at home. As mentioned in my reflection on my Learning Technologies Selection: Design and Application Weblog, Bates and Poole’s (2003) SECTIONS model guided my design choices. This project also helped me to better understand the LMS we use in my school board, Desire to Learn (D2L) as many of the mechanics were the same. Overall, my experience completing this assignment and learning about the affordances of LMS technology was fantastic. By critically thinking about each element to include, sound pedagogical decisions were made. I was able to create a course that proved to be useful in my teaching practice, not only to me, but to my students as well.
VIEW: L’espace! (Click “Login as a guest”)
At the completion of ETEC 565, I created a mirror site with most of the elements of my moodle course: “Petits Astronautes” for my grade one French Immersion class. I used it to present the content of the unit on the SMART Board in our classroom and to have students work through different interactivities using the SMART Board.
- 1.1 Offer ways of customizing the display of information
- 1.2 Offer alternatives for auditory information
- 1.3 Offer alternatives for visual information
- 2.1 Clarify vocabulary and symbols
- 4.2 Optimize access to tools and assistive technologies
- 7.1 Optimize individual choice and autonomy
It was important to me to be able to differentiate the activities in my course site. One of the activities that I am most proud of is the Literacy Centers that are included in each module. Within these activities, I was able to add audio files to assist students with the reading components of the activity. When a student clicks on the ear pictured on each Literacy Center page, a new window opens up and they will hear my voice recording reading out the text. After the recording has been listened to, the students must close the window to return to the course. One of my voice recordings is also in my quiz (question #1). Students can click the link to hear the question being read out loud before giving their answer. I created all of the sound files using Audacity, a free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. I saved the files (.mp3) to my hard drive and then uploaded them to the “files” folder of my LMS course site.
Within multiple means of representation, teachers must present information so that they can be sure that every student can turn the information into useable knowledge. In other words, teachers must ensure that students can perceive the information. Recently, I came across Vocaroo, a free service that allows you to create voice recordings without software. Once you have made your voice recording, you are provided with the embed code to embed the flash player in your website, blog, or LMS. Above, you will find an example of this tool. I used Vocaroo to record my voice reading the paragraph above the player. For students who are limited in their reading ability, teachers could record portions of text so that their students would still be able to perceive the information. Vocaroo could be used as an alternative to Audacity.
Bates A. W. & Poole, G. (2003). A Framework for Selecting and Using Technology. In A.W. Bates & G. Poole, Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education (pp. 75-108). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.