Reduce Scrolling in Moodle with Section Links

Moodle course pages can become quite long, requiring students to scroll down a long page of content to find what they’re looking for. Dave Musicant and Stephen Mohring have solved this problem by creating section links at the top of their Moodle course and in every section that follows.

Sections in Moodle

These links allow students to click directly to the week or unit they are studying and avoid what Stephen refers to as the “giant scroll of death.” He says, “I use it because I like students to have ready access to the narrative flow of the whole class,  without having to scroll through it all the time. I find it more functional than the Table Of Contents block, since that stays pinned and doesn’t follow your scrolling – which is silly. It is far more digestible than those cute but non-linear (and for me very confusing) tiles.”

Dave Musicant adds, “I’m with Stephen: I really like it. I’ve tried playing around with all of the other Moodle views and the user just ends up doing so much clicking and waiting. This one is fast, efficient, and you can still see anything you want.”

Sections in Moodle

Section links do not need to be recreated each semester – they will import correctly to a new section, with the links pointing to the correct course each time, rather than linking back to the old, original course. According to Stephen, importing works correctly even if you switch Moodle formats from weeks to sections to topics.

Dave discovered this feature on the website of Christopher X J. Jensen. Directions, HTML code, and a few things to watch out for are available on the site.

Video Tools and Instructional Continuity

This short video offers insight into how Carleton faculty, staff, and students can use institution supported video tools to meet, teach, or attend classes and meetings remotely.

Here are some quick reminders:

Link to VPN Information: https://apps.carleton.edu/campus/its/services/accounts/offcampus/
Link to Zoom and Google Hangouts/Meet Training videos and documentation (on PEPS Event Page): https://apps.carleton.edu/campus/its/peps/events/
Link to Panopto Training Videos and Documentation: https://apps.carleton.edu/campus/its/services/learning/lecture-capture/

Each tool has a few other bells and whistles that you may want to explore to determine what the best option is for you, and Academic Technology staff are great resources for you.

So, keep yourself and others healthy by washing your hands, eating and sleeping well, covering your cough, and then staying home if you are under the weather. When that happens, don’t forget that there are relatively easy ways to meet, teach, and stay connected while you work remotely. Reach out to Dann Hurlbert or the other Academic Technologists if you have any video conferencing or lecture capture questions.

Here’s a link to Academic Technology Staff:  https://blogs.carleton.edu/academictechnology/collaboration/

The Science of Instruction: Text and the Heart

In this short video, one of three in a series on the textbook, ELearning and the Science of Instruction by Ruth Covlin Clark & Richard E. Mayer, Dann Hurlbert digs into how these important concepts should impact instructional video production.  The book is an in-depth, research-based look into best practices surrounding using audio and visuals in e-learning.  Elearning is only a part of its application, though.  These principles are also highly applicable for those creating instructional videos for flipped classrooms or other hybrid teaching styles.  In this third video, Dann relays how text placement can reduce cognitive load to increase learning capacity & effectiveness. To learn more about Dann and Carleton College’s Academic Technology department, visit https://www.carleton.edu/academic-technology/aboutus/

The Science of Instruction: Talk is Cheap (and Less Effective)

In this short video, number two of three in a series on the textbook ELearning and the Science of Instruction by Ruth Covlin Clark & Richard E. Mayer, Dann Hurlbert digs into how these important concepts should impact instructional video production.  The book is an in-depth, research-based look into best practices surrounding using audio and visuals in e-learning.  Elearning is only a part of its application, though.  These principles are also highly applicable for those creating instructional videos for flipped classrooms or other hybrid teaching styles.  In this second video, Dann reports that, while audio is easy to produce, it’s often less effective.  He also provides some insight on how you can easily supplement your audio to create more engaging and effective content. To learn more about Dann and Carleton College’s Academic Technology department, visit https://www.carleton.edu/academic-technology/aboutus/

The Science of Instruction: Making Video Work Well

In this short video, one of three in a series on the textbook ELearning and the Science of Instruction by Ruth Covlin Clark & Richard E. Mayer, Dann Hurlbert digs into how these important concepts should impact instructional video production.  The book is an in-depth, research-based look into best practices surrounding using audio and visuals in e-learning.  Elearning is only a part of its application, though.  These principles are also highly applicable for those creating instructional videos for flipped classrooms or other hybrid teaching styles.  In this first video, Dann relays how best to use the dual channels (audio and visuals) to make his or her instructional videos more engaging and more effective. To learn more about Dann and Carleton College’s Academic Technology department, visit https://www.carleton.edu/academic-technology/aboutus/

Video in the Age of Digital Learning: Insight from Jonas Köster’s 2018 book

cover of Jonas Köster's book Video in the Age of Digital LearningJonas Köster recently produced a beautiful and research-rich text entitled Video in the Age of Digital Learning. For those of us in education and developing instructional media, we already know what Köster lays out on the first page—“recent studies overwhelmingly predict the continual rise in the use of instructional video” (xv). Here’s why: “digital video is an extremely powerful method to tell stories, explain complex issues through engaging visuals, offer the learner the ability to work at their own pace, and . . . [it’s] the most efficient and effective method for bringing a teacher and learners together at an incredible scale” (xv).

This shift in teaching and learning requires more than just a camera and an eager instructor, however. For example, student attention span has shortened to only about 8 seconds and making a video engaging “requires a thorough examination of the medium to find the best ways to make it as useful as possible” (xvii). Without regurgitating the entire text, I’ll outline a few aspects of Köster’s book that stood out most.

Continue reading Video in the Age of Digital Learning: Insight from Jonas Köster’s 2018 book

Instructional Video with Professor Dave Explains

I recently came across some great instructor videos by a guy who goes by Professor Dave.  He’s actually a Carleton grad, and his videos (on lots of science-related topics) are well developed, attractive, and engaging.  Instructors who connect an assessment to these videos could easily have some great learning with Professor Dave!  Dave’s style also gives some cool ideas of how instructors can film and produce their own instructional videos!  –dann

https://youtu.be/pYVgB2lnztY via @YouTube

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Welcome to my YouTube channel! My goal is to provide the best resource for self-education in existence. I’ve already covered a lot of subjects,…

Tutee or Not Tutee: Who should be on camera in your Instructional Video?

Effective instructional videos can vary in style.  This short video, inspired by an Arizona State University study, reveals preferences and effectiveness in two different styles:

  1. Should you teach to the camera/viewer or
  2. Should you teach a student who is also on camera and film that interaction?

This video featuring Dann Hurlbert, Carleton College’s Media & Design Guru succinctly recaps a 2018 study from ASU’s Katelyn M Cooper, Lu Ding, Michelle Stephens, Michelene T. H. Chi, and Sara E Brownell.