As an authoring tool, are YOU kidding?

You have GOT to be kidding. Notre Dame has been expecting ND Instructors to catch on to this BbVista thing, to use Word and PowerPoints and the Gradebook and uploaded docs only?

Here I am designing and building my first full-fledge course.

I had grandiose ideas. Dreams even.

My “Help Desk Training Course” was going to be the best pedagogically sound, content rich, online course evah, I mean, EVAH, invented.

So… some choices here. Use HTML instead of file uploads. That’s a natural. How else are you going to guarantee a consistent user experience? So… if you do linking to other files on the server, which I thought I might, using the HTML Editor to create and edit the files seemed like the best idea. NOT. How the heck does one deal with the little window?

Oh, and learning modules. Great idea but why does the left margin default up tight to the frame set?

Goals. That’s a cool tool. Connect your content to the learning goal for which you created it. Demonstrate those goals and connectedness to the students. I think this one is actually working.

Assessments. HOW do you do that online with this tool? Do Instructors just blithely create questions / engage in the thought process that takes while keeping an open connection to a server? It’s like a recipe for a network hiccup. Respondus 3.5, while an improvement as a desktop client, seems to have this itty bitty window as well. Anybody know how to giant size this? Can question fonts be formatted?

Okay. I know it. I stink as a blogger. I’ve joined the ranks of every other rant and raver who blogs. Sigh.

It’s that kind of day.

3 thoughts on “As an authoring tool, are YOU kidding?

  1. This is good. Now you know why it frustrates the faculty and students. 🙂
    I edit the HTML externally in Notepad++ and paste it into the text box. Make sure the HTML Creator is not turned on or the Tidy tool could correct something you didn’t expect. Most designers probably would want a better WYSIWYG editor. nVu?
    Making questions online really, really sucks. Respondus eliminates most frustration, but even it has issues. Other than using CSS to intercept the fonts, I can’t think of anything to help.

  2. I know where you’re at – when you try to build a course in these environments you suddenly gain a deeper appreciation for the frustrations of faculty and students. That said, it’s better than the alternative of not knowing anything – there’s *a* way to get things done. But it’s certainly not the best way.
    Re: HTML Creator size, there’s a button that you can click to full-screen the page. It’s still not pretty. I know some of our instructors work in Dreamweaver (or nVu) and upload via WebDAV which makes it feel more like web design.
    Re: Default margins on learning modules, I know. They stink. I wish we could set some CSS across the board to change this – maybe in NG?

  3. I use Examview Pro Test Generator to create my exams and quizzes. You can export the assessment as in Blackboard/Vista/WebCT-ready format and import it into the course very easily. All that’s left to do after the import is set the date/time/accessibility properties and you’re done.
    Much easier than Respondus.

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