Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Academic Rigor and Online Instruction

The author of this article (Wyatt, 2005), Gary Wyatt, is from an MIAA conference school … that means they are our rivals. Anyway, this recently published article takes a look at university student attitudes about online learning. This statement is taken directly from the abstract …

The majority of students reported that online instruction provided a quality academic experience and that online instruction is more academically demanding than traditional classroom instruction.

This and the Ridley & Husband (1998) study, should validate what we Instructional Designers of Online Learning have always believed, that we provide well crafted and academically challenging learning experiences using the best instructional technology available.

Ridley, D.R., & Husband, J.E. (1998). Online Education: A Study of Academic Rigor and Integrity. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 25(3), 184–188

Wyatt, G. (2005). Satisfaction, Academic Rigor and Interaction: Perceptions of Online Instruction. Education, 125(3), 460–468


Monday, May 30, 2005

Using Templates for Building Courses

Have you ever found yourself wanting to cite a study that supported your intention of using a template system for construction or even maintenance of an online course? Well, while doing some research today, I spotted this journal article and thought that I would share it via the blog.


Lazarinis, F. (2004). A Template Based System for Automatic Construction of Online Courseware for Secondary Educational Institutes. Educational Technology & Society, 7(3), 112-113

[ click here to download ]

Designer Support for Online Learning

OK, here is a recent article which I thought you might be interested in reading.


Designer support is critical for facilitating collaboration and knowledge construction in an online learning environment. Designer support in this paper refers to the mechanisms that a designer builds in a technology-mediated environment to facilitate online learning. This paper focuses on two aspects of designer support: 1) creating a shared context, and 2) facilitating online communication and knowledge construction. Examples of these two aspects of support are presented along a continuum ranging from technology that simply allows collaboration to collaborative technology that makes collaboration more accessible to users. Examples of strategies for creating a shared context include the use of metaphorical designs to graphically represent the virtual environment for intuitive navigation and role transplantation, the use of informational support for decision-making, and the use of multiple information channels and tools to support coordinated collaboration in task-based projects. In order to facilitate online communication and knowledge construction, on the other hand, designers can employ communication scaffolds to structure online communication and artifacts as shared representations that provide contexts for online discussions. Finally, the potential application of similar mechanisms to online course management systems is discussed.

Gao, H., Baylor, A. L., & Shen, E. (2005). Designer Support for Online Collaboration and Knowledge Construction. Educational Technology & Society, 8(1), 69-79.

[ click here to download ]

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Google NOW has Newsgroups?

Finally, a newsgroup with accompanying search engine! Maybe this will be easier to join than blogger. I just started a newsgroup for “podutainment - educational podcasting” and have invited all of the IDOLers (is it me, or does this sound like IDOLater – defined as someone with IDOL envy?) to be a part of this new newsgroup.

I should mention that since BLOGS are become increasingly indexed by search engines it would be a great idea for you to post your ideas! I thought that encouragement was pretty sublte.

Anyways, see the first posting in the Podutainment newsgroup


Friday, May 20, 2005

Open Source Course Management System

This is kool! You can create a private course area at WordCircle and allow only those individuals inside that you give your "course key" to. You can a) create a course overview, b) add course materials, c) post news items, d) add items to a course calendar, e) create projects for participants, and f) set up discussion topics.

The best part is it works pretty fast, using PHP. Also, you can download the complete program source and run it locally, or let them host your courses ... either way, I think you will like the bang for the buck! Did I mention the price?

cost - free
site -


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Helpful IDOL References

I like being able to share with my faculty, references for the effectiveness of online learning (eLearning), so here are three citations that I think you will find helpful.

Bolliger, D.U., Josephson, R., Eastmond, D.V. (2005).The Virtual Student: A Profile and Guide to Working with Online Learners. Quarterly Review of Distance Education. 6(1), 73–76

Yanes, M.J. (2004). Distance Education in Traditional Classes. Quarterly Review of Distance Education. 5(4), 265–276

Baron, J. & Crooks, S.M. (2005) Academic Integrity in Web Based Distance Education. Tech Trends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning. 49(2), 40–45


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

eTeaching Day

In reading an article from the Boston College Chronicle (Gawlik, 2005) about today being eTeaching day for Boston College and Northeastern University, I decided to post a note to y'all.

As Instructional Designers (for Online Learning) wouldn't it be awesome if we could all collaborate together to provide an agenda of topics and white papers that be used at our (and others) institutions to promote not just eLearning but eTeaching.

Since Instructional Design Services (Truman State University) are housed at the Center for Teaching and Learning, this is an idea that will be integrated into our program this next academic year.

If there is anyone, like Janet, who is close enough to attend our activities ... I sure want you to feel welcome. Is there anyone out there willing to take this project on?

Gawlik, Steven. (2005, May 12). University to Host ‘eTeaching Day’ May 19. The Boston College Chronicle. 13(17)


Monday, May 16, 2005

Flipz IV Flash

You are gonna just love this. Finally, a resource for creating animated characters, in Flash, that is free!

If a picture is worth a million words, then this little SWF is worth a trillion. It takes less than five minutes (time varies depending on the length of your recording) to actually create a complete flash video ready for publishing.

I also strongly suggest that you provide a text script to accompany your video for improved lip sync accuracy.

cost - free site - http://www.flipz.tv


Sunday, May 15, 2005

SWiSHpresenter (beta)

It must seem like I have nothing to do with time but search for “kool toolz” but that just isn’t so … well, maybe it is …

While looking for Flash utilities to speed up the development time of my SWF, I came across the beta (means it still has bugs) version of SWiSH Presenter. It works as a plug-in for Microsoft PowerPoint. You can create a SWF movie, with narration and save with slide transitions. Nice!

The drawback is that this is a beta version, and although FREE, it will eventually expire. My suggestion, use it while its available.

cost - beta
site - http://www.swishzone.com


Blog (RSS) -to- MP3

OK, now this is kool … if you liked Golda’s demonstration of TextAloud you will certainly love this. From the same makers NextUp, this little utility called News Aloud provides you with a solution to create MP3 files from news items posted in RSS/XML feeds … this means blogs.

When you add AT&T Natural Voices to the mix, you get a pretty good quality simulated recording. When talking to clients about the educational use of RSS remember to suggest that they provide a recorded version of the news for listeners who may have accessibility concerns. While technically considered podcasting, it would lack the more personal and realistic effect of hearing the author recording their own message. Still a good utility.

Of course this could also be solved if everyone podcast, but some people don’t like their voice … this is a more acceptable solution.

cost - free to try/$19.95
site - http://www.nextup.com/NewsAloud/index.html


[ click here ] to hear NewsAloud
[ click here ] to hear my podcast of this story

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Course Posting HTML

I have been asked to post the HTML which I use to create my course postings. By using a table (500 pixels wide) you will be able to keep your content restricted to the area that a user can scan one line at a time. Make sure that you check the box that refers to HTML being included in your posting. For contrast, the code is blue and the final text is in red.

<table width="500">
<font face="arial" size="2">
<b>u#d## - Title <i>or</i> name of person responding to</b>,<br>
Enter in your message here.
Lastname, Firstname. (2005). The title of some article. <i>Journal
Name.</i> 5(1), #-#
<i>Your Name</i>

Here is what it looks like, with one exception your text will be black …
u#d## - Title or name of person responding to,
Enter in your message here.

Lastname, Firstname. (2005). The title of some article.
5(1), #-#

Your Name


Friday, May 13, 2005


This is an awesome tool (aka, kool tool) for online collaboration. While I still drool over Macromedia Contribute for its easy to master administrative/user interface, I have recently begun using InstaColl … this stands for Instant Collaboration.

Here is why it is HOT! First, the program is FREE … you just can’t beat the price. Second, it allows users to create document/screen sharing sharing sessions by invitation and password protection. Third, the document is edited by one person at a time, with different colors assigned to each participant - so that you know exactly who changed what.

If this program only worked with Microsoft Word, it would be kool enough, but it works with Excel, PowerPoint, and your desktop and any application that you have open. As soon as changes are made and PUBLISHED, everyone that is logged in to the session sees the exact same document. Especially impressive is the annotative tool for marking up the screen - drawing attention to specific items/areas.

The only limitation that I see for this FREE version is that you can only collaborate with one person at a time. However, you can record (video) portions of the interaction for offline viewing.

cost - free
site - http://www.instacoll.com
tutorial - http://www.instacoll.com/support_tutorial.htm


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

ISD and SCORM 2004

"I am finding precious little information on designing courses to make use of the sequencing features of SCORM 2004," says a reader.

The reader understands the concept of taking a shareable content object (SCO) to the page, paragraph or even word level, "but has anyone designed courses to actually do so?"

Here is a response:

The Learning Systems Architecture Lab (LSAL) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn., offers several free resources, as well as a fee-based workshop:

The "SCORM Best Practices Guide for Content Developers" was created by an instructional designer and a programmer "to help instructional designers understand SCORM, and particularly simple sequencing -- the big change in SCORM 2004," says Nina Pasini Deibler ( npasini@andrew.cmu.edu ). The free guide includes template content-structure diagrams for sequencing, with both plain-English explanations of sequencing rules and the SCORM functions that are to be coded in XML.

LSAL designed and developed a free set of "Fruits and Vegetables" content that demonstrates how SCORM 2004 content can be reused and the types of sequencing strategies that can be accomplished in SCORM 2004. "Instructional designers can take the prepackaged SCORM 2004 content, see how it works in action, and then try new sequencing strategies using this content as a prototype," says Pasini Deibler. To request a free copy, send an e-mail to the above address.

Jennifer Brooks, a programmer with the ADL Co-Lab in Alexandria, Va., modified a version of the Reload Editor content-packaging tool to enable instructional designers and programmers to sequence SCORM 2004 content. The version also includes the pre-programmed LSAL sequencing templates contained in the LSAL "SCORM Best Practices Guide for Content Developers." The free open-source tool is available at the above URL.

LAL offers a workshop entitled "Implementing SCORM: A Comprehensive Analysis and Plan for Making Your Content SCORM-Compliant." According to Pasini Deibler, the workshop walks you through a process for creating SCORM-compliant instructional designs and content and shows participants how to sequence and package content. The two-day workshop costs $1,400; the three-day version is $2,000. See the above URL for details.

Pasini Deibler is a senior instructional designer at LSAL.

Just announced: As part of Training Fall Conference in Long Beach, Calif., David Wirth, deputy director of the Academic ADL Co-Lab, will present a two-day hands-on mini-certificate (October 15-16) entitled "SCORM 101: How To Make Your E-learning SCORM-Conformant." For details, or to register, see the above URL in early June 2005, when the full Training Fall program is scheduled to be announced.

[ An information and idea service of VNU Business Media ]
[ Tuesday, May 10, 2005 ]
[ To subscribe:
http://www.vnulearning.com ]


Monday, May 09, 2005

Opensource for Windows?

OK, well when I found this site … you know I had to share it. Imagine a BIG collection of software applications for Windows users, that is OpenSource … meaning it is FREE. There is even, and I know Carlos will like this, a Windows emulator for Mac X (PearPC).

Check out this partial list of categories …

  • video capture/processing
  • web browsers
  • webcam
  • web editors
  • web grabbers

cost - FREE
site - osswin.sourceforge.net


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Who crafted the ADDIE Model?

Compelled to solve the mystery of the origins of the ADDIE model, Molenda (2003a) completed an exhaustive review of the literature and explained the origins and process. It is interesting to note that although Molenda (2003b) refers to ADDIE as a colloquialism or an acronym synonymous with instructional design, he does trace the model back to the early works of Briggs (1970) and Branson (1973), both affiliated with Florida State University.


It was then Barbara McCombs (1986), who presented the ADDIE model in graphic form, as we are more familiar with it today. All three authors (Briggs, 1970; Branson, 1973; and McCombs, 1986) have been affiliated with Florida State University. Therefore, it would seem appropriate to credit FSU as being instrumental for articulating the ISD model which became widely used by the Armed Forces and later by business and industry (Molenda, 2003b).


Branson, R. K. (1973). Analysis and assessment of the state of the art in instructional technology.Fort Monroe, VA: Army Training and Doctrine Command. (NTIS Document Reproduction Service No. AD A010 394; ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 088 436).

Briggs, L. J. (1970). Handbook of Procedures for the Design of Instruction.Pittsburgh, PA: American Institutes for Research.

McCombs, B. L. (1986). The Instructional Systems Development (ISD) Model: A Review of Those Factors Critical to its successful Implementation. Education Communication and Technology, 34(2), 67-81.

Molenda, M. (2003a). The ADDIE Model. In A. Kovalchick & K. Dawson (Eds.), Education and Technology: An Encyclopedia.Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio.

Molenda, M. (2003b). In Search of the Elusive ADDIE Model. Performance Improvement Journal, 42(5), 34-36.



Flash Jigsaw Producer

Have you ever seen this cool little program?

By selecting the image you want to use for your jigsaw, you simply select how many pieces (rows and columns), select "make" and WOW you have a flash movie that can be delivered to your learners.

In Minneapolis (05/04/05) we compared the 3 Phases of Design model to the ISD model. This puzzle is a result of our diagram. See if you can put it all together.

[ click here ]

cost - $99
site - yavsoft.com/fjproducer/


Saturday, May 07, 2005


I have received numerous requests from others asking about the easiest way to transfer their video tapes to a DVD. Well, you might have to purchase the equipment but trust me when I tell you that the investment is well worth it. I am referring to DVD+R(s). These are stand alone DVD recorders. They work just like a VCR, so you can hook them up to your cable/tv and record up to 6 hours on ONE DVD+RW. After you watch the video you can even erase the disc and then re-record.

How much does something like this cost? I got mine (ILO brand) from Wal-Mart for about $150, not bad. You can transfer video through either an RCA connection or digital (firewire) cable. You can even record directly to the DVD through a camera hooked up, but you will need to have a monitor to use the menu.

[ click here to see the model that I purchased ... ]

Questions? Add your comments here …


Friday, May 06, 2005

Just some thoughts : : David P.

This is our first podcast using audio blogger.

this is an audio post - click to play

Cohort Photo

I know that this is selfish of me to post, but I wanted to share the photo of my colleagues who made up my Track 1 cohort. The picture was taken during our sign-out session (05/05/05) … I think it is an omen!


This is the picture of my Track 1 cohort taken 05/05/05

Back to Work

OK, well today is Friday and I hope that everyone returned home safely. It is time to re-engage yourself into the activities of your Spring classes. I can’t believe how little work I actually accomplished while attending the colloquia. I think it was because I had other things on my mind.

Even though it is our responsibility to promote cross platform applications (right Carlos?), I just can’t pass up the opportunity to mention BlogJet. This powerful little utility makes managing multiple blogs a breeze. I have added the information to all my blogs and can easily switch back and forth.

What I really like best? It has a spelling checker.
cost - $39.95
site -


Wednesday, May 04, 2005


This is the first posting to the new BLOG created just for Instructional Designers for Online Learning. This site is reserved for IDOLers to share descriptions and links to their favorite development tools. This unique group of IDOLs work in just about every conceivable setting.

You will want to subscribe to our IDxchange (Instructional Design Exchange) RSS (newsfeed) to stay current with what these leaders are using to produce the highest quality possible materials.