interaction

Storyline vs. Captivate Part 2

SL2vsCAP8

Today is a continuation of last week’s comparison. For a full comparison, check out this post.

Feature Captivate 8 Storyline 2 Notes
Editing Images You can do basic image edits within Captivate and it also integrates well with Photoshop since they are both Adobe products. Captivate also includes an image library that allows you to easily reuse images and save edited versions within a project. Storyline also allows minor editing such as cropping, flipping, adding outlines, adjusting brightness/contrast, etc. Captivate is the clear winner for managing & editing images within a project.
Smart Shapes Includes a variety of built in smart shapes such as lines, a polygon tool, speech and thought bubbles, block arrows, and banners. The look of the shapes is fully customizable. Storyline offers a somewhat larger selection of built in objects including more polygon options, starbursts, a “No” symbol, and a large variety of callout styles.
Mouse Effects Captivate allows you to insert and edit a mouse pointer. You can simulate clicking on something on the screen, decide where the mouse will enter from, and add in a few other features like slowing the mouse before it clicks. With a right click on the mouse, you can also align a pointer with where it left off on a previous slide. SL does almost everything Captivate does on this. In addition, it has a HUGE number of options for the pointer and automatically aligns the pointer on consecutive slides so that there is a smooth transition.  The only feature that Captivate does better is the option to change the click effect, which is a visual indication that the mouse has clicked. This is a great feature for software demos.
Image Buttons Captivate has some specialty “image button” styles. These are images of highly stylized buttons. While they have several text options for each style, you are limited to those options and can’t change the text. The neat thing about buttons in SL is that the program comes with a slew of built in icons that can be used on any button in addition to, or without, words. There are just a few built in styles but all buttons are fully customizable and you can use format painter to copy and paste a custom style. Both programs allow you to use any image as a button, but the inclusion of built in icons makes SL a little more useful.
Widgets &
Interactions
Captivate includes a host of built in widgets that are basically canned interactions. While several of these are more fun than instructionally sound (Jeopardy, word search, etc.) there are some useful options here. In particular, a widget that allows learners to take (and print) notes. There are also several pre-built click and reveal interactions (accordion, tabs, timeline, etc.) and widgets for inserting YouTube video and web objects. Storyline includes many, if not all, of the same options as Captivate. Some of these are presented as quiz questions (radio buttons, drag & drop). Some are presented as templates (tabs, timeline). Some are downloadable from their website as templates (games). Some are just presented as regular features (glossary, video, & web objects). The only widget/interaction that I think Captivate does better is the notes taking feature. There are some workarounds in SL, but none are great. Many of these can be built out from scratch, but using the built in options allows for a quicker build.

Bond, Coupon Bond

A few weeks ago, the ELH Challenge of the week was to create a math game. I was very excited about this one but life got in the way. I also knew I’d be working on this little gem.

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The Task

For those that don’t know, I recently started a position working at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. All day long I get to work with faculty on how to design their courses with the learners in mind. And occasionally I get to make something fun with Storyline!

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One of the classes I am working on is an introductory finance course. The instructor has a coupon bond that she usually uses in class to show students what bonds look like and explain how to value a bond. She wanted to create an online piece that students could complete at home that accomplished this same goal.

The Design

2015-04-22_11-32-20I think it’s pretty obvious that a module on bonds needed to have a James Bond theme. There are lots of great easter eggs and design elements for the Bond fans out there. This is still being worked on but is now at a solid beta version. It’s not a game per se, but I think it’s fun!

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Note that this is geared towards students
minoring in business and this module occurs a few weeks into the class. It assumes some pre-existing knowledge on the part of the student like how to use a financial calculator. If you need help with the answers, you can find them at the bottom of this post.

Click the image below to check it out. Leave a comment to let me know what you think!

(Remember, you can find a cheat sheet below.)

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Please contact me if you need answers for progressing through the demo.

Questioning Your Learning Design

If you follow my blog, you know that the past few weeks I have been participating in a MOOC on blended learning design. This week wraps up the course with a focus on quality assurance.

icon-354007_1280Here is the thing about QA in blended learning: there’s no real set standard. That said, I think the most important standards are the same for all courses whether online, blended, or face-to-face. The implementation may be different but the student experience should be the same. Below are some questions you can use for self-evaluation of your course. The first four sets can be used for any class. The last set is geared towards classes with an online component.

Interaction

  • Do students have opportunities to interact with and reflect on the content?
  • Do students have opportunities to interact with their peers?
  • Do students have opportunities to interact with the instructor?

Active learning

  • Are students an active part of the learning process?
  • Are students required to do something other than listen/read in order to learn?
  • Do students need to use higher order thinking skills (application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation)?

Assessments

  • Are there opportunities for both formal and informal assessments?
  • Are assessments given regularly throughout the course?
  • Do students receive feedback after each assessment?

Feedback

  • Does feedback to students provide specifics on what was done well or poorly?
  • Is there a reasonable and stated timeframe within which students should receive feedback after an assignment?
  • Is feedback given regularly throughout the course?
  • Are students required to give feedback to each other through activities like discussion and peer grading?

Implementation

  • Is the course highly organized with a clear set of assignments each week, listed due dates, and thorough instructions?
  • Is there a plan for regular and deliberate communication with students outside of the face-to-face sessions?
  • How are the online and face-to-face sessions integrated so the course feels cohesive?
  • Are all materials accessible and 508 compliant?

This might seem like a lot, but remember that there are huge benefits to online and hybrid learning experiences. Students really appreciate the flexibility and support that these courses offer, often at a reduced cost compared to face-to-face options.

BlendKit offers some great resources for blended learning QA that can help you at any stage of the process, including:

If you need extra support designing or implementing your course, talk to an instructional designer (like me!) or check out some of the many resources offered on the subject including:

And most of all, don’t forget to have fun!

Questions? Comments? Leave them below!


This is my final post about blended learning as I work my way through this MOOC.

For more, check out my previous posts on blended learning and my series on flipped learning:

Fostering Interaction

This past week in the blended learning MOOC I’m participating in, we discussed interactions in a blended learning classroom. There are a few key points that I think are important for anyone creating any class, whether blended, online, or completely face to face.

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Types of interactions

There are several types of interactions that students can have in a classroom. They are:

  • Student to content (e.g. reading, homework, reflection)
  • Student to instructor (e.g. lecture, Q&A, feedback from assignments)
  • Student to student (e.g. group work, discussion, peer reviews)

All three types of interaction are important and all should be incorporated in any classroom.

The role of the teacher

A teacher is now rarely thought of as someone up in front of the classroom spewing knowledge and expecting you to take it all in. Active learning, engagement, flipping, and other educational trends have changed that image. There are lots of opinions on what exactly is the role of an instructor.

These include:

Atelier
The teacher is still seen as the expert, critiquing and drawing attention to good and innovative work. Students are learning from the expert and each other. This model works well for art, writing, or other topics where students can gain insight from each other’s work.

Network administrator
In this model the primary role of the teacher is to help students form connections. Students have a large role in driving their own learning. The teacher is there to build the skills they need to make connections, make sure they are on track, and fill in any gaps.

Concierge
Often seen in K-12 classrooms, in this model the instructor provides soft guidance through the use of lecture and external resources while at times allowing the learners more room for exploration.

Curator
The teacher is seen as an expert learner, curating resources and creating a space for exploration. Learners are able to explore freely, but are given materials, concepts, and other resources as a roadmap for learning.

Note that in all of the models students are interacting with content, the instructor, and each other. Students are at least partially responsible for exploring, creating, or otherwise driving their own learning. The role of the instructor, while slightly different in each, is focused on guiding and evaluating learning.

class-302116_1280Fostering engagement and interaction

Both synchronous and asynchronous activities can be used for student expression and engagement. Below are some methods for fostering engagement and interaction in any course.

Method

Uses

Benefits

Asynchronous discussion Any course can make use of asynchronous discussion. Even in technical fields, students may discuss the best methods for solving problems or grade each other’s work. Students have more time to explore an idea and prepare what they want to say. This can lead to deeper discussion and is a huge benefit to students who need extra time due to language, ability, or other factor.
Synchronous discussion Synchronous discussion can happen in a classroom or online via webinars and chat rooms. In very large courses, smaller groups may be used. Each group can then report out one or two key points. This can provide a sense of community and can be easier for an instructor to moderate.
Student
leadership
roles
An instructor may assign roles to students, rotate facilitation of discussion boards, ask students to report back on offline activities, or make each student responsible for researching and sharing information on a particular topic. This allows more student to student interaction, giving students an opportunity to learn from and critique each other. It also encourages students to dive deeper into the material.
Individual
reflection
activities
Students may blog, podcast, create videos, tweet, create an ePortfolio, present to the class, or complete a project. This gives students a chance to reflect and express their thoughts. Students may describe a process, express opinions, or create work based on concepts and theories presented in class. Student to student interactions can be increased by providing a space for peer feedback.
Group work Students may work together on a wiki, a research project, a class presentation, or case studies. This builds community and allows students to learn from each other.

If you need some guidance on how to plan interactions, this list of questions can help.

Check out the previous post on blended learning basics to get started.

If you’re interested in learning more, I would encourage you to sign up for this MOOC.

Next time: Blended Assessments

Questions? Comments? Leave them below!