Thursday, June 19, 2008

First one done!

I spent this morning uploading and playing around with one of the LOs from Jorum. The title is Reading Critically and is an introduction to detecting bias in a piece of written work from the University of Edinburgh Settlement ( The LO itself is a series of HTML pages containing a piece of text and asking students to answer various questions about bias, so it's got a good level of interactivity. There are also tutor answers and the option to print out the material.

Uploading the zip file and extracting all subsequent files into WebCT was very straightforward. There was a very useful file entitled 'Read me' which held all the instructions about which HTML file to link to in order for the others to work. I set up a folder in WebCT and followed the instructions and all seems fine.

I then had a tinker with the text within the original HTML source page and edited a few sections. This was very easy too and I think that with not much effort an academic/learning technologist could easily repurpose into a subject specific LO.

It may be that for some LOs the hard part will be the pedagogical issues as I spent some time over whether to edit the content to suit a higher level of student, make it more interactive etc. whilst the actual editing was very quick. As with creating learning material from scratch it's all about the planning - who is it aimed at and what do you want them to learn from it?

I think we will need to include a section on aims, learning objectives and other pedagogical aspects in any workflow documents.

More next week when I tackle the rest...!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Project web page and update

Rachel has now added a section to the GEL web site for the ReJiG project. You can find it at We will add any links and updates to this page as well as to the blog and this is where we will put links to some or all of the learning objects (LOs).

An audit of Jorum was undertaken and we identified 11 LOs that are appropriate for repurposing. Using our information retrieval skills (!) we drew up a list of keywords and terms to search for learning material and also made use of the different taxonomies on Jorum to find stuff. This stage took a long time and I think a systematic search of Jorum may put some people off. The different taxonomies (MeSH, JACS etc.) won't mean much to many of our academics so I think a review of these would be useful.

Once I found what looked like useful material I checked the metadata to view a full description and to check things like file type and size. So, we ended up with 11 LOs in subject areas ranging from critical reading, using statistical data right through to basic laboratory skills. Some are simple Microsoft Word documents whilst others are a bit more complex.

We have now begun the repurposing phase of the project. I'll be working on 6 LOs, Rachel will be working on 5 and we have so far uploaded them into our institutional virtual learning environment (VLE) WebCT. We will store them there whilst we 'play around' with repurposing and develop our workflow documents.

I will add more to the blog at the end of this week as we are really into the nuts and bolts of the project now and discovering much about this process every day.