VUSSC/Mauritius BC/News/17 August 2006

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Outcomes for PCF4

  1. The methodology for developing the contents- What skills do people need to be able to deliver the contents
  2. Curriculum outline for developing OERs
  3. Having a quick brainstorm for everyone to participate
  4. Video excerpts from key people to

---eXe module writing---

  1. Creation of "Making Tea" module
  2. Using iDevices
  3. Creating your own iDevice
  4. Packaging your modules into an html file
  5. transfering the module onto an online e-learning platform or Learning management system - We're using Moodle

Notes for the Day

Today's focus was a tutorial on eXe

Version .17 was used. Wayne took us through eXe.

Essential areas covered included:

  • What is eXe? A free and open authoring tool designed to create web content which uses the web browser Mozilla Firefox.
  • The importance of the black window that is seen on launching eXe - i.e. never shut it down unless you have saved your work since the window lets you know that a web server (called twisted) is installed locally on your computer
  • The code language of eXe is python
  • The eXe window: Three main areas – the authoring view, the iDevices pane and the area that allows you to build your content outline.
  • How eXe fits with wikieducator: Since wikieducator is not a delivery mechanism, but an online collaborative authoring tool, content must be transformed either to a print version or to an online version which can then be integrated into any learning management system (LMS) around the world. eXe packages this content in such a way, that it is made accessible to a variety of LMSs which different institutions around the world may be using.
  • eXe uses the IMS standard to package content . This is an open standard which means that a variety of LMSs can now easily import the IMS content package which one creates in eXe. An IMS content package is essentially an interoperable learning object.
  • eXe is the only open source software which authors as well as produces IMS content packages.
  • The content development process which will be used by VUSSC is: Develop collaboratively in the wiki, then cut an paste into eXe, then export this to an LMS such as Moodle.
  • When one saves in eXe the file extension is .elp
  • Once an .elp file is saved and published e.g. on the Wikieducator, anyone, anywhere who has downloaded eXe on their local computer can take that file and edit it and use it.
  • We went through a tutorial which demonstrated how to create content using the authoring view, iDevices and outline pane. (We covered a) how to add pages; b) how to create a topic name; c) adding and deleting page nodes; d)adding objectives, activities such as multiple choice, cloze tests etc. e) adding free text; f) creating an image gallery g) using the image magnifier iDevice – WOW!!!! h) inserting flash movies – note if you have quicktime movies this can be converted to a flash movie by using the free software Riva Encoder. eXe for the moment does not accept QT movies only flash files. This means one must install a flash player to view the movie. I) we even looked at how to create our own iDevice.
  • Wayne then took us through saving and exporting the file as a website (two options were given – i) a self contained folder (which can be saved on a CD for offline use and viewing) ii) a zip file (for emailing to webmaster to upload to server). Once on server, your LMS can fetch this and integrate it into its structure.
  • To print in eXe one must export as a “single page”. The print function is not too sophisticated yet though. It was not designed for printing but for web content authoring.
  • In the afternoon, Wayne touched on the deliverables for PCF4 i.e.

- showing how we have used the print-based template - showing how we’ve been using the wikieducator for collaborative authoring - showing how we have converted this wiki content for an online environment such as Moodle.

  • He then went through the process of getting the IMS SCORM package produced by eXe into an LMS. Moodle was used. (This aspect will be done again when the Moodle workshop is held next week).
  • He advised us that when using Moodle, don’t get too fancy. Use the tried and tested pedagogy i.e. point learners to the content, then engage them in discussion.
  • He also invited us to participate on the Discussion forum to brainstorm a bit on the skills needed to create such collaborative online content.
  • In summary one must remember that eXe is:

- an offline web authoring tool to create learning content - one can export eXe file as an .elp for editing - eXe content can be saved as an IMS package which can be exported to any LMS.