Thursday, June 30, 2005

Microsoft Agent Characters

Hello everyone. For my first entry into the Idxchange blog I thought I would add some information on something that we have been playing with a lot lately here at Troy University. Microsoft Agent Characters… You know the characters that help out when you open office or any other Microsoft product. These guys can be quite helpful if you are into creating tutorials. There are numerous websites that offer characters for download so that you can do something different from the average character (Merlin – The wizard, Genie – a Genie). The program that I actually want to talk about is MASH (Microsoft Agent Scripting Helper). This program can be found at It is a great tool for creating the scripts that the Agents use to work. We have been adding agents to our tutorials that we build for a few months now. If you would like to see what one can do please go to and there is an agent on the first screen. If you have any questions feel free to email me or go to one of the forums at Bellcraft’s website.

Have a great day!
Michael Bell
Instructional Design Specialist
Troy University eCampus

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Can you believe it? Yesterday (6/27/2005), Google announced the Beta release of their new online video searching engine at The search engine looks at the close captioned text from television shows and videos uploaded by site users (must have an account to upload video), providing you with access to the actual clip. While this is new, it has remarkable promise for Instructional Designers. Sign up and make a contribution. When you create content, make sure that you include your full name. As scholar practitioners, make sure that your name can be found by search engines.


Friday, June 24, 2005

More photos from Minnesota ...

OK, Sheri was kind enough to send me two photos that she wanted posted. Although I was acting silly when the picture was taken, and everyone else looked totally professional … I am posting the photos here, with great trepidation.

Please, if there is anyone in this group who has a photo which doesn't make me look like a slobbering twit, please send it to me and I will be happy to post. I would like to post ANY photo of members of this group. My only request is that a photo be taken at a Capella Colloquia.


ID Competencies

It’s always a good idea to be reminded of the competencies that make us effective Instructional Designers.

1. Perform a needs assessment/analysis

  • Develop a needs assessment/analysis plan and instrument
  • Conduct a needs assessment/analysis and collect data
  • Identify discrepancies based on analysis of data collection
  • Recommend options that solve the discrepancies

2. Plan and monitor training projects

  • Develop a project management plan
  • Develop cost-benefit analysis
  • Develop budgets and schedules
  • Identify resource allocation requirements
  • Monitor activities and make appropriate adjustments to achieve project goals
  • Identify constraints that impact budget, schedule, resource requirements

3. Assess the relevant characteristics of the target audience

  • Select the target audience characteristics that are appropriate for assessment
  • Develop a target audience profile
  • Differentiate between the types of learners that will benefit from the instruction from those who will have difficulty comprehending the courseware

4. Assess the relevant characteristics of the setting

  • Identify relevant resources, constraints, and context of the development and delivery environments
  • Identify how the courseware will be used in the curriculum
  • Evaluate how the setting characteristics may impact proposed instructional approaches
  • State a rationale for the selection of the resources and constraints of the development and delivery environments chosen

5. Perform job, task, and/or content analysis

  • Analyze the characteristics of a job, task, or body of knowledge
  • Identify appropriate source documentation to support analysis
  • Identify tasks, subtasks, cognitive processes and their sequential and/or hierarchical relationships
  • Comprehend technical content in terms of the entire course content and individual lessons
  • Assess frequency, criticality, difficulty and complexity of knowledge and skills contained in curricula to accommodate target audience learning styles
  • Identify prerequisite knowledge and skills for tasks, subtasks, and knowledge

6. Write criterion-referenced, performance-based objectives

  • State an objective in performance terms that reflect the intent of instruction
  • Sequence the objectives to reflect the curriculum design
  • Describe the relationship between the objectives, technical content and performance measurement

7. Select instructional media

  • Identify instructional media options that address training needs
  • Describe characteristics of instructional media
  • Evaluate candidate training system hardware and software capabilities and limitations
  • Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine cost-effectiveness of instructional media options that support objectives within imposed constraints
  • Recommend instructional media that provides utility and probability across and within each unit of instruction

8. Recommend instructional strategies

  • Discuss learning theories, instructional design strategies, instructional psychology, and learning styles appropriate to the curricular objectives
  • Describe and provide a rationale for the selection of an instructional approach
  • Design instructional materials that are appropriate to the ability level of the learners

9. Develop performance measurement instruments

  • Develop performance measures: criterion-referenced achievement tests, questionnaires, interviews, simulation scenarios, observation checklists, performance checklists, product checklists
  • Identify variables to measure and construct assessment items appropriate to the associated objective
  • Judge the validity and reliability of instruction based on statistical results
  • State the rationale for using one type of assessment tool over another

10. Develop training program materials

  • Develop media materials that are linked to and within the hardware/software constraints, are consistent across and between lessons, and clearly communicate information
  • Develop flowcharts to identify learning events at the frame specific level using standardized symbology
  • Develop storyboards using a template appropriate to the needs of the project to
  • Enter data that clearly communicates what will be developed and presented to the user
  • Select and construct appropriate interactions and user control techniques
  • Write scripts that include: Introductions, body, transitions, and summary in conversational, active voice to match comprehension level of target audience
  • Consistent use of tense, grammar, terminology that is interesting and varied
  • Use a variety of authoring and/or software applications packages
  • Develop audiovisual display designs that include: screen layouts and human-machine interfaces
  • Develop course support materials and documentation
  • Perform debug procedures to identify inconsistencies and discrepancies
  • Understand video production/postproduction procedures
  • Understand the relationship between storyboard production and courseware production

11. Prepare end-users for implementation of courseware materials

  • Train instructors on how to present courseware to students
  • Provide guidance to users on hardware, software, and courseware

12. Evaluate instruction, program, and process

  • Develop a formative/summative evaluation plan and conduct the formative/summative evaluation
  • Generate specifications for revisions based on feedback collected during evaluation

13. Demonstrate an ability to grasp technical content

14. Communicate effectively by visual, oral, and written form
      with individuals, small group, and in front of large

15. Interact effectively with other people

  • Establish rapport with individuals and groups
  • Ask questions, explain information, listen
  • Deal with impediments to progress among members of a group (friction, resistance)

16. Demonstrate good work habits

  • Demonstrate organizational skills and time management abilities
  • Demonstrate flexibility and problem solving abilities

Retrieved on June 24, 2005 from


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Journal submission guidelines ...

You publish NOT because you submit NOT!
Now that doesn't seem to be too difficult, but I was recently searching for a list of journals publishing on the topic of Instructional Design and decided to publish the list with links to submission guidelines.
Journals are listed in the order that they have recently published articles in the area of instructional design, according to a search using EBSCO.


Monday, June 20, 2005

Practicing IDOL

Not that I claim to be informed about everything … that would be an impossible task … but, I am not sure how this article got by my radar. This article is a nice description of where ID is heading as a profession. Here is the abstract for your consideration.

Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) professionals practice their skills in a broad range of career environments and job roles. The resulting collection of competency lists and wide range of practice environments, coupled with the frequent changes that have always characterized the field, produce complexity that is difficult to communicate to IDT students. However, students need to understand these complex aspects of the field so that they can make informed decisions about their career goals and educational direction. This review of the current literature looks at the current issues impacting practice and preparation. It concludes that the path professional academic preparation programs choose will depend on their orientation to instructional design and performance improvement, and whether they see themselves as preparing students for specific career environments or are pursuing a generalist program

Larson, Miriam B. & Lockee, Barbara B. (2004). Instructional Design Practice: Career Environments, Job Roles, and a Climate of Change. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 17(1), 22-40


Sunday, June 19, 2005

Multilanguage CMS

Imagine being able to have access to a course management system where you can design components in any of the following languages ...
    Simple Chinese

Whether you have access to a commercial CMS like Blackboard or WebCT, it is always a good idea to get experience working with other sites.

cost - free
site -


Building Learning Objects ...

For those who are new to the idea of learning objects, this will help. Rice University has an online build-it/store-it/share-it repository called Connexions. The idea behind the project is to provide a space where individuals and groups can create and maintain ‘modules’ for others to use in their courses.

The reason that I am sharing this resource here is that after learning and using this resource I believe it represents where higher education (in particular) is heading with online instructional design. You can create a free account and immediately start building modules. Modules are the building blocks for courses. The idea is that “less is more.”

In order to be productive, you will need an XML editor. The site recommends the FREE version from Altova called Authentic. If anyone is interested in learning more or collaborating on building a few modules, create your free account and contact a colleague to coordinate your information sharing.

cost – free
site – Connexions


Cith this blog entry:
Penrose, David M. (2005, June 19). Building Learning Objects. Message posted to

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Resources for Instructional Designers

Bleed, R. (2005). Overcoming the Biggest Barrier to Student Success. Campus Technology. 18(10).

Mitrano, T. (2005). The Internet, the Pope, and the iPod. Campus Technology. 18(10).

Shimabukuro, J. (2005). Freedom and Empowerment: An Essay on the Next Step for Education and Technology. Innovate. 1(5)

Wijekumar, K. (2005). Creating Effective Web-Based Learning Environments: Relevant Research and Practice. Innovate. 1(5)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Disposable Camcorder?

When I started reading about this, I was skeptical. Trust me, this is for real. This story ran in the San Francisco Chronicle and is worth looking at. The nub is that a company called Pure Digital Technologies Inc. recently started selling a $30 camcorder that records upto 20 minutes of MPEG 4 video. If you work with video at all, you have to read this story!


Evangelista, Benny. (2005, June 13). Testing out disposable camcorder: S.F. firm makes it easy to e-mail clips made on tiny device. San Francisco Chronicle, E-1. Retrieved on June 14, 2005 from here

The "Alone Zone"?

I wish I had authored this blog posting but I didn’t. The credit for this one goes to Jason Fried. In this post he talks about how we find a little thing called “productivity” in our “alone zone.” Here is a teaser from his positng.

Getting in the zone takes time which is why interruption is your enemy. It’s like REM sleep – you don’t just go to REM sleep, you go to sleep first and you make you way towards REM. Any interruptions force you to start over. REM is where the real sleep magic happens. The alone time zone is where the real productivity happens.


Cite this blog entry:
Fried, Jason. (2005, June 14). Getting Real: The alone time zone. Messages posted to

What was that sound?

Have you ever wanted to insert a sound effect into your podcast, screencast or presentation? Well here is a link to a FREE library of almost 2,000 sounds that you can download directly as a .wav file.

cost - free
site - Absolute Sound Effects Archive


What were we thinking?

This story is pulled from the EDUPAGE electronic newsletter which is available online and email. This brief story talks about the demographics of Internet users in 1999.

A study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press indicates that the online audience is rapidly changing from an elite computer-savvy group comprised of young, well-educated and affluent males to a more mainstream American group, with middle-aged and middle-income people of both sexes coming to the Internet in increased numbers, as are people with less formal education. Although the 74 million Internet users in the U.S. are still younger, better-educated and more affluent than the population at large, 40% of Internet newcomers never attended college and 23% have household incomes below $30,000 a year. (AP 14 Jan 99)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Why should we be interested in Screencasting?

As IDOLers, I hope that you are considering the world of podcasting, but I especially hope that you are beginning to learn about the world of screencasting. Using programs like RoboDemo (now called Captivate), TurboDemo, or Camtasia, you will create actual narrated demonstrations for users to watch and listen.

Especially important is the idea of creating RLO (reusable learning objects). It is the idea of RLO and repositories like the one at that offers great promise for our community of practice.

Imagine that I develop a screencast with script and original program file. In my case, I actually embed the script into the Captivate document and zip my files so that any of my interested colleagues can add their narration. The good news is that an SME (subject matter expert) and ID (instructional designer) have already refined the presentation and content. The better news? Using orinatl Captivate files, anyone can customize it with their voice.

Screencasting, podcasting, vodcasting … what is next?


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Move OVER Merlot!

You have heard of Merlot, but have you heard about Connexions? Here is a snippet of text taken directly from their website …

Connexions is a rapidly growing collection of free scholarly materials and a powerful set of free software tools to help

  • authors publish and collaborate
  • instructors rapidly build and share custom courses
  • learners explore the links among concepts, courses, and disciplines.

Our Content Commons contains small "knowledge chunks" we call modules that connect into courses. Thanks to a Creative Commons open license, anyone can take our materials, adapt them to meet their needs, and contribute them back to the Commons. And everyone is invited to participate!

You just have to check this one out!!!


Saturday, June 11, 2005

iPods Reflect Interest in MP3 Players

It's all about portability. I remember, almost 5 years ago, getting my first portable MP3 CD Player for $80. I was amazed that I could put 11 hours of stereo audio on one CD-ROM. When tiny MP3 players came out (using flash cards), I just wasn't impressed. Today there are a variety of solutions for playing MP3 files. I can understand the disdain with hauling a collection of CDs around with you on a trip. In principle, I prefer a player that can store 20+GB (315 hours) of music or sound over a player that can only play one CD (11 hours) at a time. So what choices do you have?
  • CD Player - plays regular CDs
  • CD/MP3 Player - plays regular CDs and MP3 CDs
  • Mini CD/MP3 Player - same as CD/MP3 Player except on mini CDs
  • MP3 Player - small, with internal storage capacity 15mb - 60GB
  • MP3 w/Radio Tuner Player - same as MP3, including a radio
  • MP3/Video Player - recognises both MP3 and MPG files

I prefer the CD/MP3 Player. I have an inexpensive ($25) audio appliance that has unlimited storage capacity. The player will recognise both regular size and mini CDs. The disadvantage is the size. My portable player will not fit in my shirt pocket or hang from a chord around my neck.Also, I have to take my CDs with me. Other than some minor inconveniences and CDs laying around everywhere, it is inexpensive and versatile. Perhaps, one day soon we will be able to buy a portable Mini CD/MP3 player that recognises MP3 files on a Mini DVD-RW disc!


Friday, June 10, 2005


You don’t want to blog, but you would like to create an RSS (news) feed. The benefits of using RSS includes your being able to keep individuals posted of the latest information evolving from your work. Specifically, you push the information to them that you want them to know. Now, for educational purposes you are going to hear more about RSS and OPML. Where RSS is a single newsfeed, OPML is a library of feeds.

I found a great FREE program for creating your RSS feed and saving it as an .rss file. You can even use the program to upload the file to your website. The program is called RSSBuilder and is as good as any commercial software (in terms of functionality) that I have used.

cost – free
site –


Blogs in Education

Anyone out there looking on a good article related to the use of blogs in academia? Here is a teaser taken directly from Shola Adenekan’s article …

“Blogs are giving departments, staff and students the freedom and informality of tone impossible in scholarly journals or even the student newspaper. Blogging lecturers say the technology provides them with easy online web access to students and improves communication outside of the classroom.”

[ click here to read ]


Journal Resources

Well, since this field of study is new to me … I thought that I would compile a list of journals contained in the first 100 entries of an EBSCO Host search on the keywords “Instructional Design.” I simply wrote down the name of the journals that I thought I would scan periodically (no punn intended) for articles that I save and cite later.

My humble list (6/9/2005)

  •  Journal of the Learning Sciences
  • Educational Psychology
  • British Journal of Educational Technology
  • Educational Technology Research and Development (ETR&D)
  • Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Educational Media International
  • College Student Journal
  • Computer Science Education
  • Quarterly Review of Distance Education
  • International Journal of Instructional Media
  • THE Journal
  • Studies in the Education of Adults
  • Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, & Technology Education
  • Journal of Educational Psychology
  • Equity and Excellence in Education
  • Reading and Writing Quarterly
  • Journal of Computer Assisted Learning
  • Connecting Education and Careers
  • Mathematical Thinking and Learning
  • American Journal of Distance Education
  • T & D
  • Journal of Educational Media
  • Journal of Quality and Participation
  • Computers in the Schools
  • Journal of Interprofessional Care
  • Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy
  • School Effectiveness and School Improvement
  • Training
  • Knowledge Quest


IDOL for Play

I was wondering if anyone has tried this idea out.

In my experience in working with techno-phobic (as compared to techno-philic) faculty, it seems that many do not have the time or the resources to experiment with instructional technology. This has caused me to consider the role that “play” in desensitizing individuals and groups to trying something unfamiliar.

If play is the context where individuals can experiment without the threat of evaluation, then might the need for “technology play therapy” be indicated? What if IDOLers set up “play grounds” or “play rooms” for faculty so that they could experiment with techie toys without worrying about the cost or something getting broke. How many worried about the ball breaking if you threw it too hard? I believe that play is the proper context for learning the limits and the limitations of technology.

The idea of having something different each week could attract the same individuals or appeal to a new set of individuals each week. I will solicit hardware and software companies to contribute their product for us to play with! It sure sounds viable.

I am offering Power Lunch Thursdays where we talk about innovations, but I was thinking I would call this Recess Time. What do y’all think?


p.s., While I am not thinking about doing this for my Dissertation, I am interested in learning what factors contribute to faculty using innovative instructional technologies in their teaching.

cite this blog entry:
Penrose, David M. (2005, June 10). IDOL for Play. Message posted at

ID history site and online community

For those of you always like more resources on Instructional Design, there is a historical listing of information and key theorists at this url:
If you look closely as this website you can also find a listing of resources. Since I do some teaching in ID, I find this information helpful. It puts a frame of reference to the time periods of instructional design. For instance, I found out that Maslow developed his Hierarchy of Needs the year I was born! (Now you will all rush to see when that was for sure!)
Also, you can join the online community at that site as well:  and get connected with others involved in curriculum.
Wendy Stubbs
Career Counselor at The University of South Dakota
and adjunct faculty in Technology for Education and Training

Who are we?

OK, I just checked the list of addresses in our mailings. There are currently 24 IDOL students in our group. I would like to request that you post a short message on the blog that describes something recent about what you do with your time.

Be pithy or be verbose, it doesn’t matter. It would be nice, now that the Quarter is wrapping up, to learn more about the students that make up this eclectic bunch.


Finish my Ph.D.

Failure may not be an option, but consider this recent article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Remember that completing a Ph.D. is no small task. That is why it is imperative that we continue supporting each other both through the sharing of ideas AND with frequent messages of encouragement.

I know that there are a couple in our group that will be moving in to the Dissertation phase in the near future. I would enjoy reading about their struggles and successes. It might even help to get the honest (but tempered with kindness) feedback of peers.

Is it obvious that I consider myself a ‘social constructivist’ and a adherent of Vygotsky? I hope so!

[ click here to read the article in the Chronicle ]


Podcasting Virtual Tours

In one of my newsfeeds this morning, I learned about a recent posting by Robin Good discussing the process of posting virtual tour podcasts. The idea of talking tours from differing perspectives and in multiple languages not only makes sense, but supports my belief that living in a pluralistic society means that we can all learn from each other.

[ click here to read ]

Good, Robin. (2005, June 9). Audio Virtual Guides Open Up New Opportunities For Art And Nature Enthusiasts. Message posted to


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Self-Regulated Learning (SLR)

I realize that this is not an Instructional Design model, but who is familiar with the term “self-regulated learning?” It would seem to me that this learning theory is practice for online learning. Is there anyone in our group who is using this or would like to “blog” on the subject?

If your a newbie to SLR (like I am), then you might find these citations informative.

McManus, Thomas F. (1996).  Self-Regulated Learning in a Web Based Learning Environment. Retrieved on June 9, 2005 from

Whipp, Joan L. and Chiarelli, Stephannie. (2004). Self-Regulation in a Web-Based Course: A Case Study. ERT&D, 52(4), 5–22

Wegner, Scott B., Holloway, Ken C., and Garton, Edwin M. (1999). The effects of Internet-based instruction on student learning. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 3(2), 98–106


Communities at Furl

Greetings IDOLers:
For those that haven't looked into social bookmarking yet, give Furl a try!
(or de.lic.ious, but I'm having great hits with my Furl shared bookmark community)
Not only is it fast and easy for me to keep all my bookmarks in my Furl Web space (eliminating searching 3 machines and multliple browsers) but the recommendations based on who also bookmarked certain sites has lead me to treasures out there.

Furl site:

ELI take on social bookmarking:
PS to Carlos and David: thanks for carrying the IDOLers along (at the end of a semester!). You guys are great.
PPS to Carlos: I signed up for the Breeze trial. Now if only I could find time to read the free e-learning book ;)

Colleen Carmean
Capella PhD student in IDOL

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


I know it must seem that I have NO LIFE … but, I am constantly stumbling across these cool tools to try. While reading my daily dose of RSS (I subscribe to about 150 news feeds altogether), I read an interesting article about MoonEdit and thought I would share with my IDOL pals. We are pals, right?

You have heard me praising InstaColl … which I still recommend for 1:1 collaboration projects. However, InstaColl lacks the ummmmph of a program which can allow multiple users to be connected at the same time (like Jybe) BUT MoonEdit allows for multiple user editing and tracking. Specifically, everyone’s changes/contributions are given a different color.

Now, is that awesome or what? So, could it get any better than that? Did I mention it’s FREE and is available in Windows/Linux/FreeBSD(OS X) flavors. As you are thinking of wrapping up your courses and either preparing for the Summer Quarter or looking for a tool to help you as you start working on your Dissertation … Remember MoonEdit.

cost – free
site –


Ph.D. - Piled Higher and Deeper

Can we always use more humor in our lives. Especially those of us who are struggling to keep our head above water … hang in there Yoany. I know things are tough, but just remember “it’s always darkest before they turn on the lights!” (Cole Porter).

Actually I want to share the URL for a cool comic strip about being a Ph.D. student. If it weren’t for this one and Pearls Before Swine … I would probably be more dangerous than a disgruntled letter carrier (postal worker).

All kidding aside, don’t forget that these courses are hard for everyone and we could each use all the encouragement that we can get.

site URL –


The few, the proud ... bloggermania?

I recently asked a fellow learner on the list if they were enjoying the postings to the blog. She mentioned that it was difficult keeping up with all the postings. My response was that everyone else seems to be too busy to post. I just want to share the “cool stuff” that makes my job easier and more exciting!
If your institution is a member of Educause, you can create a personal account and setup a blog. The reason that I mention that here is that in addition to text posting, you can even upload attachments to their server. Do you know what that means? Yeppers, it means PODCASTING for free! I am all for that. Also, at the time of this posting, there were only 67 bloggers in total on their system. Now is your chance to be an early adopter. I have setup a blog … of course … at least for now I am doing some double posting. The best part is that they a) list your posting in the most recent posts section of their site as well as on the default blog home page and b) make your posting fully searchable. If any of you know fellow IDOLer Colleen Carmean (ID @ Arizona State University), you should go check out her blog (


cite this blog entry:
Penrose, David M. (2005, June 8). The few, the proud … bloggermania? Message posted to

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Podcasting TODAY

Today is a good day, because I became aware of a few solutions that simplify the process for podcaster wannabes. If you haven’t ever heard my presentation on educational podcasting then you will enjoy this.

There are four basic steps to creating a Podcast.

  • Write it
  • Record it
  • Publish it
  • Promote it

Write it:
It is a good idea to compose your podcast and use that as the manuscript for your presentation. I strongly suggest that you write in a conversational manner and not as you might a scholarly paper. The idea is that once recorded you can then post your transcript along with the link to your recording online for your audience to enjoy. If you don’t have a website to publish to, then create a free account at

Record it:
You have heard about
Audacity? This free program is more than adequate for recording your podcast. Remember that you want to save the file in MP3 format. To do this you will need the Lame-3.96.1 drivers to export your recording as an MP3. These free tools are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Corey Deitz, of, has written a great step-by-step tutorial explaining the process for recording and saving a podcast. I suggest that you download the tutorial Audacity 1.2 Tutorial which covers in detail how to use the program.

Publish it:
Up until today, when I found this awesome and kool utility, was I unsure how to encourage podcasters to publish their programs. Typically, you needed to find a site on the internet where you could store files and then link to those files in your podcast or RSS feed. When I discovered
CCpublisher all of that changed.

CreativeCommons is THE open source online copyright resource. CCpublisher is a utility that serves two purposes. First, it allows you to easily upload to Internet Archive, where your podcasts or vidcasts can be stored and indexed for free. Second, it creates a metadata file which includes the important information about your copyright based upon your specified permissions. Publishing your podcast now means it is hosted on the internet where anyone can access it and it has a copyright attached to the file.

Record it:
Long gone are the days of “post it and they will come.” There are just too many places for people to get lost on the Internet. The chances of finding your podcast are SLIM to NONE unless you promote it. By promoting, I mean, linking to your podcast (that is hosted with Internet Archive) and listing it on your blog. If you follow my advice and publish your transcript in a blog, then you will ONLY need to promote the URL to your blog.

In an earlier posting, I mentioned the format for citing a blog entry using the APA writing style. It would be a good idea to provide that citation at the end of your transcript, so that interested students or scholars will know how to correctly cite your podcast as a source.

Don’t forget that there are an increasing number of sites that will list your podcast in their directory. This is important since many of them publish additions/changes through RSS feeds to interested subscribers. This is FREE advertisement, so remember to thank them for listing you.

So, what are YOU waiting for?


cite this blog entry:
Penrose, David M. (2005, June 7). Podcasting TodayMessage posted to

Monday, June 06, 2005

To be or NOT Tobee?

OK, you have got to check this out!

The product is called ToBee and is a collection of tools and services that make it very easy to create, manage, and deliver extended rich media over the web.

So what does that mean?

It means you can combine video, audio, images, narration, script, etc. to present information through a powerful and efficient form of communication. Extended means you can ask question of the viewer or let them download files that you offer. You are actually watching a ToBee presentation or eSession right now.

So really you can use ToBee for just about any subject you can think of. For example:

- You can demonstrate the use of a product with
   video clips and snapshots.
- You can offer judging certification in a sport with
   examples, narration, and a certification exam.
- You can describe your corporate policies and
   procedures without your employees traveling.
- You can share your expertise with anyone in
   the world

There's no limit on the ways that ToBee extended rich media can be used.

ToBee's main focus is simplicity. There are other tools that provide pieces to the overall "create/manage/deliver" solution but they can be complicated and require a significant knowledge of media technology to connect them together.

ToBee solves that challenge by providing everything:

- composition software
- upload services
- web listing
- delivery to the user

Our goal is to let you spend 90% of your time creating content - which is what you are good at, and 10% of your time on technology - which is what we are good at.

So if you want to know more, watch our other info sessions on this site. If you select a specific group such as business, sports, etc. you will find more info sessions that talk about how ToBee is used in those areas. You will also see examples of how others have adopted ToBee for their needs.

  • US Synchronized Swimming Assoc. approves ToBee for delivery of national judges update training USSA has developed the first in a series of training eSessions to maintain judges certification throughout the United States.

    "We look to ToBee as a great resource for augmenting our certification programs at a much lower cost and much faster delivery", Carol Tackett, 2004 US Olympic Judge.
  • cost – free
    site –


    So you want to be a blogger?

    OK, here is a list of ten helpful hints to be an effective blogger – courtesy of Sharon Housley at FeedForAll.

    • Stay on topic
    • Stay informative
    • Old news is not news
    • Adhere to a schedule
    • Clarity and simplicity
    • Keyword-rich
    • Quantity matters
    • Frequency
    • Spell checking and proff-reading
    • RSS

    And, I would add … when a group blog, encourage others to post as well.

    For more information read the complete story at:


    Sunday, June 05, 2005

    So we only need English, right?

    Well, I came across this section of a book and thought that I would share the insightful hints (pp. 57–59) to speak International English … I know these will help ALL instructional designers.

    • Slow down!
    • Use basic vocabulary and keep it simple.
    • Listen actively.
    • Repeat, rephrase, and illustrate messages and instructions.
    • Avoid slang, jargon, and colloquial expressions.
    • Go easy on the acronyms.
    • Pre-test humor.
    • Expect delayed reactions.
    • Don’t assume congruence.
    • Use visual aids.

    The author aptly points out … “Most speakers of English as a first language do not know how to speak ESL! Those speaking ESL frequently complain that native English speakers are more difficult to understand that other ESL speakers. Native speakers use a larger vocabulary often laced with slang expressions, speak too fast, and assume others have caught and even agree to ideas that have missed entirely.” (Simons, Colin, Vazquez & Harris, 1993, p. 56)

    This, it seems, has serious implications for Instructional Designers!

    Simons, G. F., Colin, C. V., Vazquez, C., Harris, P. R. (1993). Transcultural Leadership: Empowering the Diverse Workforce. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company.


    Engaging Question

    The Spring Quarter is winding down, so I thought I would post a question for comment and consideration. Many IDOLers consider themselves to be "constructivists" but how many consider themselves to be "social constructivists"?

    In the tradition of Lev S. Vygotsky (1978), how important is culture and community (social context of learning) to what an individual can know? What role does "inner speech" play in online learning? If there is credibility to the work of Vygotsky, shouldn't we be making an effort to understand the influences upon culture and how those contribute to learning?

    I would suggest that culture is shaped by the influences of race, religion, gender, nation of origin, socioeconomic circumstances, intracultural interactions, and intercultural interactions. If this is true, then how can IDOLers ignore the role that these will play in the development of effective instruction?

    IDOLers working for the military may not think that this is important, but consider the problems of religious intolerance reported at the U.S. Air Force Academy (Mount, 2005). It sounds like there are serious cultural conflict problems that could be resolved by a swift social constructivist kick to the seat of their instructional approach. What do y'all think?

    Vygotsky, Lev. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental process. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Mount, Mike. (2005, May 5). Air Force probes religious bias charges at academy. Retrieved on June 5, 2005 from

    Consider the following resource, which was only recently published.
    Smith, Regina O. (2005).Working with difference in online collaborative groups. Adult Education Quarterly, 55(3), 182–199


    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    Citing Blog Postings

    In my search to accurately cite blog postings that might have scholarly value I discovered the following reference style.

    Lastname, Firstname MI. (YEAR, Month #). Title of the Blog entry. Message posted to http://URL

    This would make the citation for this entry …

    Penrose, David M. (2005, June 2). Citing Blog Postings. Message posted to

    Bronson, J. (2004). What is this? How do I cite it using APA? Retrieved on June 2, 2005 from


    Influence of Personality on Online Discussion

    Online collaborative learning has typically been studied within the context of learning communities. Little is known about the potential influence of students’ personalities on online communication, group interaction, and task engagement among members of a learning community. This study used a mixed-method, triangulation design, involving the collection and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, to investigate the effects of personality on communication type and pattern, message length, task engagement, and student attitude toward online learning. Seventy students were organized into four personality-profile groups based on their Five Factor Personality Test scores, for the discussion of assigned case studies. Discussion messages were analyzed using Logistical Regressions for communication type and pattern, ANOVAs for message length, and Z-tests for pairwise comparisons for task engagement. The results indicate that personality affects communication type, pattern and task engagement but not message length. Students’ attitudes toward online discussion were generally positive. The results provide guidelines for forming groups and designing activities for online collaborative learning.

    Chen, S. J., & Caropreso, E. J. (2004). Influence of Personality on Online Discussion. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 3(2)


    Let's talk MIDOL

    I am not talking about ibuprofen (Midol), I am talking about Multi-lingual Instructional Design for Online Learning. Did you know that three countries with the most Internet users are the United States, China, and Japan? Add that fact to the top ten list of common languages and you will realize that we are quickly becoming the ambassadors of diverse media.

    One reason that I like this bunch of scholars is that we are proactive! Not that proactive (Proactive Solution), I mean we take the initiative to change the world before being asked.

    It is time that we consider the importance, regardless of setting, of being the producers of multi-language instructional design. I strongly encourage everyone to learn a second and even third language. Language is the vehicle through which culture is transmitted. When a language dies, so does the culture that depended on the language for survival.

    site –


    Responding to a Discussion Question

    I was asked recently to explain how to respond to a discussion question in a scholarly manner. I prepared a simple step-by-step set of instructions. I am sharing them here, not because I think anyone needs them, but because it might come in handy in your instructional design projects.

    How to respond in writing ....

    1. You are given a question to answer.
    2. Find the literature which will help you understand and answer the question.
    3. Read the literature for the purpose of understanding.
    4. Set the literature aside!
    5. Think about the question and all that you have read.
    6. The purpose of YOU answering the question is to present YOUR perspective.
    7. Do not worry about initially citing your references or spelling.
    8. Write your answer, in YOUR words ... avoid using lengthy quotes by others.
    9. It is important that you edit your answer until you are happy with your response. It should convey your message succinctly.
    10. After writing your answer, go back through and find those comments that you realize were supported or taken from the authors in your literature review.
    11. Cite them appropriately according to APA 5th Edition.
    12. Check your response for both accuracy and correct grammar/spelling before submitting.
    13. If you feel uncertain about your response, ask someone you trust (who will be honest, but not cruel) to read and give you feedback.
    14. Make any necessary corrections.
    15. Submit your response.


    Wednesday, June 01, 2005

    myPOD Online

    OK, I have finally done it. I wanted to create a page that displayed a Flash MP3 Player that looked like the popular iPod and simply pulled the audio files from a directory. Every time the page loads, the list is refreshed. This is what should happen. [ click here to view myPOD ]

    Anyway, go check it out. The program that creates this custom MP3 Player is called Wimpy MP3 and is available for a mere $24.95. You can also create custom skins for your virtual player. I think I have found a program that Instructional Designers will not want to ignore.

    cost – $24.95
    site –


    Imagine being able to search the text of Instructional-Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory - by Charles Reigeluth. You know the book we are using in ED7620! Now you can at

    Imagine that you want to see what the book says about “ADDIE” and you will not get any results, but search for “ISD” and the google engine lists 24 references (pages-1,2,5,13,14,15, 27,29,173,174, 180,189,208,213,267,317,389,431,445,448,574,637,699,700). Now this is what every Ph.D. learner has been waiting for!


    Consider adding humor to instruction

    You have to check this out, published 5/31/2005 (yesterday) on The Athens News website, the article is called “Learning through laughter: Study supports use of humor in online courses.” I include the a paragraph by Elizabeth Weinstein as a teaser.

    The most important finding, he added, is that humor can take a situation such as online learning, which is often viewed as sterile and remote, and add a sense of personal flavor to the experience. He also has a word of advice to professors who might be afraid to experiment with the use of humor in their classrooms even if they don't consider themselves funny. Sometimes just the attempt at humor is enough.

    read the entire article! [ click here ]