Session Descriptions

2011 Session Descriptions

Category:  Mobile

Tablets in the Fire Service, Jerome Rodriguez, JIBC, Don Jolley, Fire Chief, Pitt Meadows Fire Department

Tablets have been historically viewed as toys or fancy cell phones by first response agencies. This presentation will showcase how tablets and applications are being used in the fire service not only to teach and train, but also to save lives, enhance fire ground and inspection capabilities, track equipment and monitor supply levels, training records, incident reports, and team member availability.

In a recent course development project, JIBC course designers took key features out of the course, made them freely available /publicly downloadable outside of the LMS as standalone tools via a digital object repository.  A year later, we will explore how the portal has assisted learners, practitioners and organizations and how the use and development of mobile tools can sustain learning, enhance professional development and support public service through operational usage.

 Anytime, Anywhere: Mobile Companion for Face-to-Face Course, Paul Hibbitts SFU

What would be the challenges in creating a mobile-friendly course companion website using an “off the shelf” Content Management System? For the Fall term of CMPT-363 User Interface Design, user experience consultant and instructor Paul Hibbitts wanted to explore how to best provide his students mobile access to an extensive collection of learning resources that were tightly coupled with his face-to-face classes.

Paul pursued a “Mobile First” strategy, creating initial designs for viewing the website on mobile devices but with the same content base and tools that would be available when viewed on a desktop browser. He also evaluated a variety of Content Management Systems (CMS), choosing WordPress along with the Headway Framework to help streamline the design and development of the desktop presentation of the website. The WordPress Plugin WPtouch Pro, along with various customizations, were an essential component to enhance mobile viewing of the course website content. For further details, explore the Mobile Companion case study at

In this presentation, Paul will share some of the key lessons he learned along the way, ranging from his viewpoint on numerous user experience design challenges to specific feedback he received from his students.

Mobile Moodle, Jason  Shaw, VCH

System: Moodle New Physician Orientation.

The course was developed from day 1 to be accessible via a mobile device. This includes  tabs that open up side blocks, online quizzes, and all of the Moodle activities/resources. The aspects of this can be easily implemented on other Moodle sites. None of the customizations will make the instance of Moodle upgradeable.

  • Course format, Interface is based off an iPhone interface. With custom icons based off tradition Moodle activities/resources.
  • Moodle Theme, The interface changes when the screen becomes compact, for example ipad, iphone, or BB.
  • Moodle Media Filter, Video is inserted in a HTML5 manner, but a filter actually swaps out that code and determines the player based on devicmp4 video that plays on any device.

Category Accessibility

Accessibility in Online Learning, Chad Leaman, Neil Squire Society

There is no perfect “accessible” website – even Google, who’s mission is to make the world’s information universally accessible, continues to struggle in making user environments that are accessible to all users.

At the Neil Squire Society, we utilize a variety of e-Learning delivery models to provide computer skills, career development, and health and wellness courses online to a variety of Canadians with a variety of disabilities.  Accepting that there is no “one-size fits all” for the needs of all learners, nor for all disability use cases, we have found two major themes in accommodating a variety of learners: universal design and open source / open APIs.

In the showcase, a variety of free, open tools and simple programming techniques will be shown in practice.  The focus will be on simple things you can immediately do to make your learning environments more inclusive and accessible to all learners.

Moodle for the Visually Impaired, VCC

One never know what someone else sees, or hears, until they put themselves into the other person’s shoes. We had heard in a couple of occasions that the Visually impaired (VI) program was having some challenges with Moodle, but didn’t really understand what that could be all about.  The project was assigned to the new DLSupport person. She took this task very seriously, with a pair of earphones, and working through the material like a Visually Impaired person, she worked on the course for 1 month. She consulted with the department every step of the way.  Some of the most important changes were:

*       Removed blocks that were unnecessary or inaccessible

*       Consolidated information (week 0 and week 1)

*       Changed links and labels so everything starts with a number to correspond to the week

*       Removed formatting in the content to read more smoothly in a screen reader

*       Organized content to view in pop-up windows so it is easier for visual impaired navigation.

We also considered some best practices in this process:

*       Simplicity is best

*       Taking into account screen reading capability when designing text and content

Currently the course is a good model and template for other accessible courses and future development. We know that if we develop Moodle courses with these guidelines in mind, they will be accessible and wont need a complete overhaul of the existing courses.

Category: Post Secondary and Beyond

Rouxbe, Carolyn Levy, Blank Design

Rouxbe is a private company that has implemented highly creative strategies for online learning.  When Rouxbe first started it was not considered mainstream by the “experts.” Rouxbe focused on teaching fundamental cooking skills (skeptics said cooking was all about recipes); Rouxbe produced professional quality videos (experts said that all content on the web would be user-generated); and Rouxbe bet on users defining their own learning pathways for a variety of target audiences (e.g. home cook, culinary students and professional chefs). I was responsible for initial instructional design of Rouxbe and have helped with the redesign of the learning pathways. This has been an incredible experience from an ID perspective.

Business Communications using ventriloquism and multimedia, Gary Green, JIBC

How do you reach out to young people in this technical saturated world to give quality online teaching?  It is by using strong visual and auditory flows of information that work simultaneously to better retain information.  I try to inject as much personality and interactivity as possible to facilitate learning with post secondary audiences and compliment the written material and textbook readings.

I will be presenting a cross section of the Business Communication Course where I utilize multimedia and interactivity to facilitate the delivery of the course.  I present scenario based situations utilizing ventriloquism and multimedia presentations.

Self Study Learning Object for Nursing, Maureen Mackey & Tim Paul, Douglas College

This presentation provides an overview and demonstration of an online, self-study learning object that illustrates the Neuman Systems Model of Nursing (NSM) and the Department of Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework.

The learning object presents the theoretical details of the framework. Video clips are used to illustrate the content. The established case study method of instruction is implemented through a series of psychiatric nurse-client interactions that breathe life into the framework and make it meaningful for learners.

This learning object was created through a partnership of the Centre for Educational and Instructional Technology (CEIT) and the Department of Psychiatric Nursing. ”

A self-study learning object was selected as the optimal design to meet the learning needs of various groups of learners, both face-to-face and online students of different levels within the programs as well as new faculty members requiring orientation. The self-study nature of the learning object adds to its flexibility and utility as both a fundamental learning tool for students and instructors who are new to the Model/Conceptual Framework and to those who would benefit from an independent refresher of this complex material. Students and faculty may re-visit the learning object at any time, which is useful because the Model/Conceptual Framework is embedded in all aspects of the psychiatric nursing curricula. Instructors have the option of using the tool in their classes.

Medical Radiography, Rosario Passos and Ali Shabar, BCIT

We would like to share a design feature we are using in several Anatomy courses in the Medical Radiography blended program. Due to the need for students to look and explore tremendous numbers of x-ray images and diagrams, we created an image viewer to display the image with accompanying text, as well as zoom functionality. Rather than having a ‘toilet paper’ page requiring tedious scrolling, learner interact with each image at their own pace.

We would like to share the rationale for the design of this element and how it evolved to what it is today. For that purpose we will show the multiple iteration of the image viewer, and then the final one withing the context of one of the Anatomy courses.

Designing online content that is image rich and text poor can pose some challenges, especially when delivered to cohorts of 80 students! The Anatomy courses have always posed challenges to the design because there are usually multiple images (x-rays, line drawing, etc) for each concept to be taught.

Early Childhood Education, Barb Mathieson, Capilano University

I will showcase two online courses in Early Childhood Education., Child Development I and Advanced Child Development, a third year university course. We are beginning our foray into offering online courses in hopes of being able to include some of our regional campus students. One of the fears students have in taking an online course is that they will be doing it all alone and they feel they will miss being part of a learning community.

With this in mind we have used tools like Voice Thread, Google docs, Wikis, Audioboo, BigBlueButton, and more, to build a sense of community in the courses.  We’ve added in some strategically placed inclusion activities that provide students the opportunity to get to know each other and it seems to go a long way to building a sense of togetherness.

Students have commented that they felt more like part of a community in their fully online class then they did in some of their face-to-face classes. I’ll walk you through how we got to that point. How we translated what we do in our effective face-to-face classes to an online platform. Video welcomes, screencasts that walk students through documents, online ice-breakers, interactive lectures, discussion forums and collaborative activities are just some of the things I’ll show and discuss.

 Soilweb: An OER for the study of Soil Science in BCChris Crowley and Saeed Dyanatkar

Soilweb is an open education resource (OER) consisting of a suite of online learning tools that demonstrate a broad range of soil science information including soil formation processes, identification and classification, interactive soil lab modules, soil management and soil biology.  The resources are intended to (1) accommodate a variability of learning styles, (2) increase student’s motivation for learning about soil, and (3) engage learners by relating undergraduate course content to research carried out by soil scientists at University of British Columbia (UBC) and other research institutions in North America.

These open web-based resources were primarily designed for post-secondary education, but are also used by natural resource professionals and land managers. Many students enrolled in natural resource post-secondary programs pursue jobs in environmental consulting, government or academia where they often end up assessing and identifying soils. By familiarizing themselves with the methods of soil description and classification via web-based teaching resources, students are able to practice skills necessary for their future careers.

These online learning tools have a number of practical implications to the study of soil science including;

1. open accessible information from various experts

2. a shareable learning resource for instructors and professionals

3. mobile accessibility

4. collaboration and sharing knowledge between experts and learners

5. more informed decision-making

6. better soil management, and

7. the beginning of the creation of a soil science distributed community of practice.

Over the past four years, these learning tools have been integrated into the teaching curriculum of the online and the lecture-based version of the UBC’s Introduction to Soil Science course and adopted by other UBC courses and student response has been excellent.

Soilweb was a collaborative project primarily involving UBC, TRU, UNBC and Agriculture and Food Canada.  Development funding was provided by BCcampus and the UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) with the support of UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC Faculty of Forestry and UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

Take a look at some of the great sessions we had last year.

2010 Session Descriptions

Category:  Extended LMS

Ross Laird, Kwantlen

At Kwantlen I teach courses in Interdisciplinary Expressive Arts. In these courses (which do have classroom sessions as well as online activities) we utilize the Drupal content management system to create an online learning environment that fully integrates new and social media. We use various tools both in class and between classes. For example, each learner has an account on the course site (Facebook and OpenID logins are enabled), a blog, a personal profile page, an RSS feed, a workspace (showing their social media connections and their activity on the site), a file repository (for assignments), a contact page (for communications), a Twitter feed, a group forum, a course forum, and various others aspects of the new media environment (such as event planning, group collaboration, and so on).

All assignments in these courses have an online component: blog entry, link posting, story posting, image posting, etc. Additionally, each learner chooses the accessibility of each item of their own content on the site (from private to open access and everything in between). For learners who wish to create an online portfolio for promotion or related purposes (such as sharing their course projects and experiences with peers who are not in the course), this open access option is popular. Learners also choose their preferred method of interaction with the site (notifications via email, text messaging, twitter direct message, and so on).

Over the course of a given semester, the learners in each course (and the instructor) build an online presence consisting of a few hundred items (blog postings, embedded videos, stories, events, questions, conversations, comments). Some items are public and some are private. (The privacy is 128-bit SSL, the same as used by banks.) When a given course is finished, the group content remains live and accessible by learners, whose accounts remain active on the site (unless they choose to migrate or delete their content).

Rosamaria Fong, Jimmy Lowe,  BCIT

Today’s students face the challenges of meeting the demands of a schedule in the physical classroom and a schedule in the virtual classroom. In the physical classroom, we expect students’ physical presence to attend lectures, labs, tutorials, and do well on their written tests and exam. In the virtual classroom, we expect students to go online to do more reading, download required course materials/assignments, and hand in quizzes and assignments online on time. Are these components we are introducing into the course added features or added burden on the students?  In this presentation, I will share my experience of using a combination of Web 2.0 tools such as WordPress, MediaWiki, Twitter, and Polldaddy in my face‐to‐face classroom to bridge the physical and the virtual classrooms. I will share how I have used these tools to help the students to become more responsible, active learners.  Course site:

Jeff Miller, UBC

For the last 5 years, Jeff Miller, David Vogt and David Porter have been experimenting with various learning environments to support learner interaction in ETEC522: Ventures in Learning Technologies.  This graduate course in UBC’s Master’s of Educational Technology is currently offered through two social media platforms: Word Press (with Buddy Press) and MediaWiki.  This presentation will focus on how we have designed the course to take advantage of the affordances of social media spaces for community collaboration.  As well, the presentation will raise some of the challenges that come up when students and designers leave the comfort zone of the LMS.  The course weblog can be found here:

Jerome Rodriguez and Rosamaria Fong, JIBC

When an online course is being developed, how much of the course needs to be protected inside an LMS? In a recent course development project, we kept an open mind, pulled the best features out of the course, created a digital object repository, and made them publicly downloadable.  In this presentation, we will share our course development design and strategies on how to maximize on the creation of standalone digital objects so that the best features of the course are not hidden inside an LMS. We will share the realized rewards and the potential opportunities as a result of this course design approach.

Category:  Instructional Design/Look and Feel

Chris Crowley, Josefina Rosado, Sunah Cho, UBC

EOSC114, 116, 118 and 310: CTLT has developed and delivered a suite of Earth and Ocean Science online courses that are primarily aimed at first and third year Arts students needing science credits. These are very high enrollment courses especially at the 100 level where approx. 1200 students go through three courses that are offered three times per year. These high numbers create special challenges in terms of 1. assessment, 2. the design/content considerations of a science course for non-science students and 3. the overall look and feel to maintain consistency across all the courses yet meeting the specific needs of the content and of each course author.

Brian Wilson, UBC

DENT 407 uses the Wimba Voice Board to record, elicit peer feedback, and refine an initial contact message that will target community healthcare administrators in order to secure approval for a fieldwork project, in which students work in teams with a community proctor to apply their knowledge in a real-world setting. The Voice Board was chosen to give students practice in communicating key message elements to Community Oral Care stakeholders in order to frame the issues in ways the audience can relate to, thereby ensuring a better match between proposed projects and community settings.

Rob Chong, JIBC

One of the factors contributing to the success of e-learning to B.C. Corrections Branch staff is the JIBC’s ability to contextualize its solutions.  The Corrections and Community Justice Division (JIBC) employs several different models of technology-enabled strategies in response to the unique needs and circumstances of its client and learners.  Different “blends” of technology-enabled learning will be described including the unique faculty recruitment and development model employed by the Division.   Also, examples will be used demonstrating creative applications of web-conferencing software to contextualize the learning.

Alan Doree SFU

KIN140: Contemporary Health Issues is a first-year kinesiology course developed by the Centre for Online and Distance Education (CODE) at SFU (a mid-size comprehensive university atop a scenic local mountain). It’s design served two purposes:

  • to serve as a new template for CODE courses, featuring a more contemporary, less overtly print-biased design, and
  • to disguise WebCT’s legendary ugliness and clunkiness.

The success has been a positive response from students, instructors and colleagues to the look and functionality of the course. The main challenge has been the dreaded technical overhead involved in construction, maintenance and scalability.

Jane Slemon, Emily Carr

My two courses focus on the delivery of anatomy and physiology within the context of an art and design university–the single Science requirement for an arts degree. My courses, “Shape, function and metaphor: the organs of the human body” and “Heart, Mind, Health; Learning from the Human Body” are influenced by the students here (in their thinking and in the images they leave behind). Rich analogies are made between organic processes and creative practice, between abstract concepts and formal materials–employing student illustration of medical images in the course invites further analogies and reveals how art narrows our focus on aspects of anatomy and physiology within various conditions and illnesses–such that audience participation is optimal.

Rosario Passos, Paul Krampitz, BCIT

BCIT LTC will showcase an online course on Terminology for Medical Radiography. This course uses a multitude of media to teach key medical radiography terms while creating practice opportunities for learners to self assess their learning and prepare for a final exam. 
This course was designed to meet the needs of the Medical Radiography program to ensure that students admitted into the programme mastered key terms commonly used in Medical Radiography prior to entering the program. The aim of the course was for students to be able to use the terms in the appropriate context, recognise them when used by practitioners in a practice setting and interpret the abbreviations of terms in written forms (requisitions).

The challenge was to develop a course that used a multitude of media to teach key concepts without simply creating an extensive and boring glossary. The additional challenge was to implement it in such a way that the flash code could be easily reusable by non flash programmers and made available to other courses at BCIT.

Therefore, we would like to split the presentation into two sections – the instructional design and the implementation. In both sections we will address the importance of team work to produce a quality teaching and learning product.

Karen Belfer, Jason DeVisser, VCC

Redesigning Automotive Service Technician Training for E-learning presents several challenges.  Apprenticeship training has traditionally been implemented in a face-to-face classroom environment, but this approach is not suitable for all trainees and has resulted in 58% of registered apprentices having incomplete training. There are a variety of barriers to completion of automotive apprenticeship training: absence from work, geographic accessibility, and expense. To address these barriers, a training plan was developed to incorporate e-Learning into the apprenticeship program via Moodle.  A variety of design features were included such as the use of a redesigned web navigation system allowing for simple course navigation, visual icons allowing students to understand what is expected without large amounts of reading, audio components highlighting key points in topic sections, and webcasts featuring instructions on navigation of course content and a welcome message for students.


2 Responses to Session Descriptions

  1. Pingback: All session descriptions are up! | Online Course Showcase

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