Exploring online blended and flexible delivery


quatrefoil_p8
Originally uploaded by st0nemas0nry

Needing to develop copyright-free accessible resources for my students, I created a process activity in images and stored each step in an online photo sharing database. I shared the images in a PowerPoint presentation (uploaded and converted to a Flash file), and then embedded it in an online social network.

Applications and platforms

Microsoft Word
CorelDraw 11
Flickr
Microsoft Office PowerPoint
Slideshare
Ning

Additionally, these resources will be used with the Learning Table tool developed by New England Computer Solutions

This is an exercise in manipulating image-based instructional resources, providing student access via classroom computer, Internet and mobile phone.

Description
The exercise is a geometrical drawing activity, one of a series of architectural decoration construction. Titled “Drawing a quatrefoil”, it is a step-by-step process that seeks to provide students with enough information to carry out a task independently in a classroom setting. The Learning Table is used in the classroom to easily locate the specific audio, image, PowerPoint or video file. Accessing the PowerPoint presentation via the Internet supports classroom instruction when the students return to work and require the knowledge in their workplace. Accessing the image files via mobile phone provides a timely reminder of the classroom learning experience.

Method
A Microsoft Word document set out the process, briefly describing the activity and then explaining it step-by-step. The MS Word document was saved to a new folder named after the drawing activity title.

In CorelDraw, the finished drawing was created and copied to several separate pages. Returning to the first page, sequential steps were removed so that each page represented a successive step in the drawing’s development. After checking that the steps in the MS Word document accurately described the steps in the CorelDraw pages, each page was then exported to the drawing folder as Bitmap images, naming each file by its page number i.e. “quatrefoil p1” etc. This naming convention assisted with later placement in the PowerPoint file as well as the Flickr.com taxonomy.

I found that for the drawings to be visible on my mobile phone screen, each line width had to be set to 4 points, much thicker than I would normally use.

Opening the SkillsTech Australia PowerPoint template, the Title was copied to the first slide, the Method to the second file, and then each Bitmap image was inserted to successive slides. Each image size was then reduced to 50% in size so that it would fit the viewing screen. The last image (the completed drawing) was then copied to the first slide and reduced to 25% of the original size so that it appeared as a large thumbnail beside the title.

After saving the PowerPoint presentation to the file folder, it was uploaded to Slideshare. While it was uploading, all of the image files were uploaded to a set in Flickr.com. A series of tags identified the individual files in the context of the project.

When the Slideshare site had received the Powerpoint slideshow and automatically converted it to Flash format, the “embed” html code was copied and added to a widget in the stonemasonry Ning site. This was done by editing the Ning widget and pasting the html code to the end of the existing text. Thus, students logging in to the stonemasonry Ning can scroll back and forth through the presentation on the same page, or they may choose to view a larger version at the Slideshare site. Alternatively, they may view individual images in Flickr via computer or mobile phone.

It will be interesting to watch the comments on each of the public files mentioned above, for interest from the online stonemasonry community.

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One Response to “Exploring online blended and flexible delivery”

  1. TAFE Qld ResourceBank and My.TAFE « Cafechat’s Weblog Says:

    […] to ResourceBank. My prior experiences contributing material to WebCT, Blackboard, Wikipedia, Flickr and YouTube were useful because ResourceBank operates in a similar […]

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