Various various tools and instruments with E-LEARNING letters imprinted on a wrench surface

Tips for Developing Wholesome Content from Mike & Mike

By Mike Dennie & Mike Berezowsky

Tips for Developing Wholesome Content for Learning at a Distance

Transcript – Tips for Developing Wholesome Content (click to open)

Hello everybody! Welcome, thanks! We just wanted to take a little bit of your time today to share some of the strategies for The Studio that Paula and Mindy have put together, thank you very much, for creating wholesome content for learning at a distance. So, our program is the  Ford ASSET program; it’s a government ministry mandated program. They have to be registered automotive service technicians.

I’m Mike, he’s Mike, we’re certified automotive service technicians and we’re passionate about the learners. We put our learners first every time! Our learners, they are like we said, registered automotive service apprentices. They have to have an Ontario secondary school diploma or equivalent to get in the program, and they’re an incredibly diverse group. They come from a variety of different backgrounds, some have been in the trade forever, some just started with the trade. Additionally, we have to accommodate some IEPs from their secondary school institutions.

Some considerations that we thought of when creating this content for at a distance was the schedule. So, the schedule is mandated that 70% of it has to be taught in a traditional theory setting, and 30% of it has to be taught in the lab. So, what we wanted to do was take that schedule and our learning outcomes, keep them the same, but somehow deliver in a way that worked online for our learners. Yep, and that meant, you know, adjusting our assignments, adjusting our assessments, balancing the workload students experience, and we did that with a variety of different learning tools and communication methods.

So, the overlying strategy I think for us, or our overlying theme, was that we wanted to keep it simple and familiar; build on what was already existing. I hate to use an automotive pun, but don’t reinvent the wheel! Just kind of tweak it enough that it works better for your current application. And how we did that, we broke it down the course week by week, right, week by week, day by day, that’s what students understood. In the days, we’ve broken down with the lesson what they’d be expected to accomplish and the material for that day – declare concise expectations for each day.

Additionally, we had this “add existing activity” so that it reduced a click for students. They didn’t have to go into assessments and find some more stuff. We love embedding! If you don’t use the embed tool, I recommend it. It just puts the video right there in your course shell, so there isn’t, like we just talked about, there isn’t that extra click that takes you to a new window. It’s there, it’s perfect. Your completion summary: you’re able to check who’s looking at it, who’s engaging with it, and how they’re engaging with it.

And we embedded tools like EdPuzzle. You could add quizzes into videos and pause students. It lets students engage more with the content. They can be open-ended multiple choice, whole variety of different activities you could do with EdPuzzle. H5P, again, another interactive tool that was available at our disposal. One of the best ones really for me. It is super user friendly. There is so many different styles of interactive quizzes, interactive drag and drops, flash cards, fill the blanks. The list goes on and on. I love using it in the lab as part of a disassembly worksheet. You make them navigate through the workshop manual, and all the information in the workshop manual is presented here in that slide.

And communication was huge! It’s huge for online learners. One of the biggest questions we had was, “How do we get in touch with you during the quiz or test?”, because we’re not in the in the classroom, able to speak face-to-face. How we did that? Couple different ways. One was email forwarding, A lot of our students got a my.centennial email address and they never checked it. So, we had them set up email forwarding to an email address that they would get a notification for, something that they actually use.

The other thing we used was Snapchat. I know it’s a pretty gimmicky app, so to speak, and it’s kind of playful, but there’s some really good advantages to using Snapchat for us. We found that we were able to build a group where they were able to kind of interact like they were in that social environment that was presented at the classroom. So, we gave them the opportunity to use this platform to share whatever they wanted: thoughts, ideas, videos, pictures from the internet, memes, etc.

Feedback is super critical for when you’re building content, right? You might think it works, but it doesn’t work for the student. So, you need to find out what’s happening. You need some kind of feedback. Yeah! Use the surveys, the D2L. Just use the surveys that are available on this on the shell itself. I made one that was 14 questions. I just wanted to get feedback about my outcomes, about how I was doing, about how the virtual classrooms were going. I wanted to know how they thought the, or whether there was enough time for the assessments that we were giving them, or whether we were giving them too much time for the assessments.

Three tips for you. Stay positive! Your learners feed off of it. Even if you’re in an online setting, they can hear your voice. They know! They can tell, right? Throw it out! If you’ve built something, you spent a couple days on it and it doesn’t work, you gotta get rid of it, or readjust it somehow. And try everything! You can’t fall in love with something if you haven’t tried it, you won’t know.

There’s our links for a couple of the resources that we just shared with you, and if you want please get a hold of us and we will share whatever resources we have. We use anything that was available to us by COLT or BOLT or the open education resources website was great too.

So, thank you very much for taking the time to watch us today! I hope you guys found maybe a helpful tip or two, and if you’ve got any questions, comments, concerns, feedback please, please, please reach out because we’re always open to all lines of communication with our colleagues! Thanks again!

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