Join Kevin Kelly for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating your own instructional materials, part of Teaching with Technology.
- If you search and search but just can't find instructional materials that work for your class, don't worry. Unless you're trying to do something extremely complex, you can do it yourself. Almost everyone is familiar with creating different kinds of text only hand outs. Let's look at instructional materials that go beyond text. You can use common applications like Microsoft Word, or free online tools, to make many of the instructional materials I'll show you. We'll take a look at different ways to visualize concepts in your class. And graphic syllabus and graphic organizers.
We'll also review how to model proper citation for images and other media. Let's start with an instructional material that almost every course is required to have. The syllabus. Universal design for learning principles suggest providing a graphic representation of the student learning outcomes. Educational development thought leader, Linda Nilson from Clemson University supports this approach in her book called, The Graphic Syllabus and the Outcomes Map: Communicating Your Course. Making a graphic syllabus may require addressing accessibility issues.
However, it can be an opportunity to make your syllabus more effective in conveying what's important. Consider using an online concept map tool to create a graphic syllabus or a graphic representation of your learning outcomes. Popplet is a free tool that you can use online or on your iPad. It's easy to create a concept map from scratch. Text to Mindmap will take your text and construct a concept from it. To show relationships use tabs the way you would use bullets in the document. Then you can manipulate the image before saving.
If you decide you want to share your syllabus as a timeline with your students, check out Ntrepid's Timestream. It requires a plug-in but it's free. You can tag events on the timeline as topics you'll cover, assignment due dates, and so on. Students can filter to view only those items related to a topic or a specific type of item. Like exam dates. You can associate other links and files to any item on the time line. Such as, instructions for assignments, articles in an e-reader, or websites students must visit.
Once you're finished with the syllabus, think about graphic organizers that might help students gain understanding of complex topics. There are a number of different media that you can create. They either add to or replace existing presentations, instructions, or hand outs explaining difficult concepts. If you're not sure how you want to visualize a concept from your course, check out the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods by Visual-literacy.org. The periodic tables here has dozens of ways to convey information from your class. These methods are broken into six categories.
For example, visualizing broad concepts might use a synergy map, a swim lane diagram, or concentric circles. Let's say you want students to compare and contrast two or more ideas. If there are only two ideas to compare, you can use a three column table with the middle column for what's the same and the outside columns for what's different for each concept. If you have more than two ideas to compare you might use a Venn diagram. You can make these by drawing circles in Word or PowerPoint, but we have to place each text box.
Creately and Lucid Chart are free tools that let you make Venn diagrams from templates. Whether it's a graphic syllabus or a graphic organizer, it's not as hard as it seems to create media that will support learning. To practice what I preach, I've made an exercise file containing all of the tools and sites I've described in this movie. Look for the file called, Graphic Organizers in the chapter three folder. Before reviewing the next movie, take a minute to answer the following questions for yourself. How will you represent your course learning outcomes graphically to give students another way to consider them? And what concepts from your class would benefit from a graphic organizer?
Author Kevin Kelly explains how learning outcomes can be adapted to support technology in the classroom, and guides educators through selecting the appropriate technology for their activity, module, or class. Then he shows how to apply technology in three key areas: finding, creating, and sharing content with students; facilitating classroom activities; and assessing learning inside the classroom or online.
- Including technology in your learning outcomes
- Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
- Finding and creating content and instructional materials
- Enhancing lectures and presentations with technology
- Getting students involved
- Facilitating in-class activities
- Assessing learning
- Teaching effectively online