Further to my original video walkthrough of the Opportunities Online system I was asked to create a new version showing the events booking functionality. I split it into three sections and recycled the ‘Logging In’ scene from the earlier content item to save some work and time. I have also continued to work on the style and presentation of these to make them even better, making the image on the welcome slide full screen for a smoother appearance and increased visual impact for example.
The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey has become a crucial part of university rankings and, with all surveys, there is a correlation between positive results and the numbers completing the survey. Analytics over the past few years at Sunderland have shown that we have a significant percentage of people who start the survey but don’t complete it. To help improve this our Careers and Employability Service asked me to create a video walk-through of the survey showing people what it looks like and how long it takes to complete. This was building on earlier work I’ve done for Careers using Storyline which has been very well received.
Keen-eyed observers will have noticed the new Qualifications page above, where you can see my certificates and details of the courses which I studied. I ummed and ahhed about adding this page as I’m always wary about putting too much information online, but part of the purpose of this blog is to serve as a portfolio so it is very relevant, especially as I will be citing my qualifications when renewing my CMALT and will almost certainly be hosing the submission here. And yes, the images are quite low-resolution as I don’t want any nefarious types downloading them and using them to fake their own certs.
I’ve delivered a couple of training sessions lately where I’ve been plugging Storyline to people and how we can use it to enhance their learning materials. To help with this I have created a very comprehensive presentation showing all of the major features including all of the quiz and survey question types, interactions and screen and video capture options.
In conversation with a colleague in Academic Development about how to target new starters and make them aware of all the fabulous tools and services we have to offer, we came up with the idea of having short, one-page ‘quick start’ guides for each of our core tools which would provide an introduction, explain what it was and how it could help, how to access and where to find more detailed information. I wrote the ones on Equella, Turnitin and ClassLive (Blackboard Collaborate) myself, and edited the others to a greater or lesser extent to make the style and content match across the range.
Further to the video walkthrough, I have now been able to integrate Careers’ PowerPoint presentation into this Storyline item to create a more seamless experience for students. It has been well received and the customer has been impressed by what Storyline can do, so there is almost certainly going to lead onto more work in the future which will enhance the online material which our Careers and Employment service provides.
Another quick Storyline presentation, this time a video walkthrough of how to access and use a vacancy search tool provided by our Careers and Employment Service. This will be used in the next couple of weeks as part of their induction for new students and is, presently, just a link on their PowerPoint, though I have suggested to them that their PowerPoint could be imported into Storyline and integrated with this video to make it all seamless.
One pithy definition of madness is that it is the act of repeating the same action over and over and expecting different results. So it was that back in April I was asked to create a Twitter account for the team which, having done so, was promptly ignored and left to languish. To this day all six glorious tweets from that account were made by your humble author. Today, or rather spread over the past couple of days as a ‘bitty’ job, I have resurrected the old ‘LDS’* Twitter account and renamed, revamped and brought it back into use.
So, am I mad? My intention behind this is to have a more informal avenue of communication between the team and our customers, but to be a success it will require active engagement and relevant content. UoS_WaLTS has one thing going for it that NorthumbriaTEL didn’t: me, enthusiastic and not going anywhere anytime soon this time.
Another little job I’ve been doing for similar reasons of engagement is improving the announcements page on SunSpace, which was just dull black on white text, trying to make it look nice and keeping the content current so that it isn’t reduced to just annoying wallpaper which people scroll over to get to their courses, to which end I have also embedded a widget for our Twitter feed into the announcements for all users section.
* Learning Development Services, the old name for my team before merging with Web Services.
This is the third, and hopefully final version of the Sunderland branded Storyline template I have been working on. All colours and styles used are now in-line with the official branding guidelines from our Marketing department, and indeed this template has been approved by them. The only thing I am really unhappy with is the logo. You are restricted to a bitmap image with a maximum width of 200 pixels, anything larger is scaled down. I’d love to be able to pop a nice clear SVG in there instead.
The presentation I put together for student submission was well received and it has led to others. This one is for markers where there is only a single marker. The tool that the team is developing has the ability to accommodate multiple independent markers. The player is looking a little better now and I added the video in a different way with better results, more like an actual video than a series of screenshots.
Making these has been a little difficult as Storyline kept crashing on me when I was using the precision timing editor. Upon investigation I found that this was because I was running Storyline on a Windows 7 virtual machine in Parallels and had all my files on the desktop of my computer. Parallels has a nice little feature whereby it links the desktop on the host Mac with that on the Windows client, but it does so by making the drives on the Mac a pseudo-network drive in Windows. I discovered on Articulate’s forums that working on, and saving files to a network drive can cause various performance problems, and when I moved my files to the actual C drive it solved all of my problems.