Developing learning content
Searching, designing, developing and creating online learning content can be time consuming. So it is important to work smarter, not harder. Consider some of the tips below.
Integrating existing online resources
So many resources are now being freely shared online that it can be advantageous for teachers and students to develop an understanding of appropriate and legal use. The video below identifies different types of online resources including scholarly material available online through libraries, and highlights copyright considerations for using existing material from the internet in your teaching. It also discusses the benefits of Open Educational Resources (OER), where teachers can freely access and contribute to a wide range of learning and teaching resources from institutions around the world.
Utilise current resources. Check what is available through the Library, Open Education Resources and the likes. Talk to others in your program as they may have taught similar content before and have resources they are willing to share. Remember to give credit to the source, but there is no need to invent the wheel if a perfectly good resource already exists!
Developing online resources
Multi-purpose resources. When developing your own online resources, consider the multitude of ways it could be used. Can the same resource be used for a number of purposes within a course? Can the same resource be used across a number of courses, or programs, or disciplines? Maximise the time and effort in creating the resource by ensuring that it is not single use. An example of this is the digital narrative videos that have been developed by the Centre for Academic Development (CAD) with various Institutes. These suite of videos were designed to address a number of learning outcomes, across a number of courses and programs. Contact your Learning Designer to find out if these digital narrative fit your purpose.
Chunk information. Break videos into sub-topics (10 minutes max.). This encourages engagement and also allows for movement if topic sequence changes.
Avoid details that may change. Course codes, dates, weeks and current affairs all change. To improve the longevity of your videos, avoid saying these or having them written on slides that you’re speaking to. You can add these details in text which can be easily altered it need be. For example, when giving the content contest, instead of saying in a video “Last week we looked at the heart…” include this as text in a book, label etc. This way, if the sequence of topics changes, you don’t have to edit the video. The same goes with dates, especially when creating videos for assessment items.
Consider breaking the content into historical, contemporary and current matters. When related to content, this will improve the longevity of videos – historical information will not change thus can be used for a number of years; contemporary information will change but not frequently thus the video can be used for 2-3 years; and current affairs can change every year thus needs to be created annually.
Work with the Federation University Digital Production team - Working with CAD's Digital Production team is like having a full digital creative team by your side. We provide high-quality digital design and video production support primarily for learning and teaching – more specifically – servicing academic and professional staff who engage directly with our students.
CAD's Digital Production team can assist staff to renew and enhance course material, produce high-end diagrams, videos or animations, and even shoot and edit promotional videos seen by external audiences*.
Scoping and project planning is a joint venture, and CAD staff will take care of the shoot for you using professional studio and production equipment. We will also provide you with technical expertise and editorial advice throughout post production stage.
Accessing online readings
Copyright. Copyright law protects the rights of copyright owners, but it also provides exceptions that allow those working in educational institutions to use copyright material for educational purposes in certain cases without seeking permission from the copyright owner. To take advantage of these exceptions, visit Copyright for teaching, or book an appointment with a librarian to discuss your needs.
Plan ahead with readings. Compile your reading list and send to the library as soon as possible to that they can ensure your readings are ready to go. Contact your Institute Library Liaison to explore how the library can support you further in your learning and teaching needs. Visit Library - Learning and teaching support
Resources, strategies or assistance
Websites & Services
- Federation University Learning Technologies Hub: DIY Video and Screen capture
- Federation University Learning Technologies Hub: Creating Advanced Video and Projects
- Digital Production Services - Federation University Digital Designers can assist you in creating engaging content
When the workload seems unmanageable, the key thing is to prioritise your workload by organising your tasks into the following:
- What MUST I do? What urgently needs fixing right now to address immediate learning or teaching issues?
- What SHOULD I do? What needs to be addressed within the next few days or weeks? It is still a priority for this cohort of students, but you have a little time up your sleeve.
- What COULD I do? Whilst it is still on the ‘list of things to do’ and it is still your intention to address it or introduce it for this cohort of students, it wouldn’t be detrimental if you didn’t get a chance until next time.
- What WOULD I do? There isn’t time to implement the idea or resource this time around, but it needs to be addressed for the next re-iteration of the course.