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  1. 1. Fall eLearning Institute<br />Robert Gibson, Ed.D.<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />Workshop Outcomes<br />Participants will…<br />Understand basics of course color theory (10 min)<br />Understand application of visual enhancements (10 min)<br />Understand concepts of user navigation (15 min)<br />Understand legibility issues associated with course design (10 min)<br />Understand menu design and content hierarchy (15 min)<br />Understand principals of content scaffolding (10 min)<br />Understand when to use course tools and when to turn them off (15 min)<br />Understand course content options (10 min)<br />Understand techniques for managing user interaction (10 min)<br />Understand how to enhance the course with multimedia elements (15 min)<br />
  3. 3. Before and After<br />
  4. 4. Before and After<br />
  5. 5. Before and After<br />
  6. 6. Before and After<br />
  7. 7. Before and After<br />
  8. 8. Exemplary Courses<br />Award Winning Exemplary Courses<br />Freshman Composition<br />Nursing Health Assessment<br />Olelo Hawaii Ku WahiNoho<br />Gender and Society<br />Communication Production Technology<br />
  9. 9. Top Ten ThingsFaculty Should Know<br />All faculty need to use [Bb]; only a few instructors know how to use all features<br />Be organized: keep information current<br />Use the grade book; students know where they stand and it motivates them to do better<br />Use calendar for all class activities and post assignment due dates<br />Keep us informed: use “message of the day” or an “alert” that flags you when new information is posted<br />Post exam reviews & lecture outlines; use voice-over presentations; makes studying much easier<br />
  10. 10. Top Ten ThingsFaculty Should Know<br />Some articles in pdf format take too long to download; use alternative file format<br />Standardize where material is posted: every instructor does it differently and it is hard to find some material<br />Publish and un-publish modules as the class progresses; un-clutter the posted modules<br />Change the opening page routinely to add variety and post interesting web links to other related information<br />
  11. 11. Color Theory<br />Tip 1: Subtle colors are better than bright colors within the course, unless the bright colors are used for a specific purpose<br />Tip 2: Adhere to western color conventions <br />Red=risk or stop<br />Green=go or proceed; environmental<br />Blue=intellectual<br />Purple= regal<br />Yellow=caution or cheerful<br />Tip 3: Use good contrast between menu colors and text<br />Avoid complementary colors (R & G; O & B; Y & P)<br />Avoid colors of similar contrast<br />See: User Interface Design and Evaluation<br />Tip 4: Remember that many males are color blind<br />Tip 5: “Coordinate” banner and menu colors if possible<br />
  12. 12. Visual Enhancements<br />Enhance your course with a banner<br />Free course banner generators<br />Enhance your course with some free images<br />12 best places to find free images for your course<br />
  13. 13. Legibility<br />Tip 1: Dark text on a light background is easiest to read<br />Tip 2: Sans serif is easier to read than serif<br />Tip 3: 12 point text or larger - always<br />Tip 4: Never use more than 3 fonts or 3 typefaces<br />Tip 5: Use colored fonts sparingly. If fonts are color-coded for a reason, explain the codification schema and stay consistent<br />
  14. 14. Menu Navigation<br />Navigation options<br />Customizing your Blackboard Menu Creating a Discipline-Specific Blackboard Template<br />Buttons vs. Text menus. Which is better?<br />Blackboard’s hierarchical menu vs. simplified menu<br />What course options should be on your menu?<br />What order should menu items appear?<br />Consider multi-language options<br />
  15. 15. Content Hierarchy<br />Tip 1: Label folders and files using a consistent taxonomy<br />Tip 2: Employ content nesting strategies to organize information<br />Tip 3: Provide availability dates where appropriate<br />Tip 4: Rotate content, keeping newest material toward the top<br />Tip 5: Group similar materials and exercises together into single folders<br />Tip 6: Hide content until ready<br />
  16. 16. Scaffold Content<br />Scaffolding<br />Based on theoretical constructs developed by Vygotsky and his concept of zones of proximal development. Also called active engagement vs. passive consumption<br />Employing Vygotsky’s theory, content and activities should build on one another in meaningful patterns<br />Blackboard activities should be released to students selectively. Once mastery has been achieved in one unit, the instructor releases content that builds on the first set of content. Use adaptive release or selectively released content strategies<br />
  17. 17. Course Tools<br />Tip 1: Turn off non-used tools<br />Tip 2: Add the following content regardless of the format:<br />Faculty biographical sketch and complete contact information<br />Syllabus – including course objectives<br />Link to required textbooks or journal articles<br />Tip 3: Add small thumbnails of your texts<br />
  18. 18. Course Content<br />Uploading in native files is fine – IF all students have the requisite software<br />Make files available in two or more optional formats<br />