EMERGENT TECHNOLOGY WORK GROUP - ED TECH REVIEWS
Ed Tech Review
by Karen Willis
Karen Willis, Instructional Designer
Blue Mountain Community College
June 19th, 2019
Articulate 360 is a software suite that allows users to create interactive media for e-learning environments. Among the capabilities of the tool are interactive quizzes, drag-and-drop exercises, and responsive animations. For this project, I used the Storyline 360 program to create interactive educational media for two courses.
I received my software site license on December 11, 2018. Because it was winter break, I was able to devote a few weeks to learning the software. The product website contains very useful project-based tutorial videos and walkthroughs. While it took quite a bit of time to work through the material, I was able to do so completely on my own without reaching out to product support.
In winter term when faculty were back, I had several sample projects created that I demonstrated at a workshop. I invited faculty to bring me their ideas for Articulate projects I could create for their courses. This resulted in four project proposals, two of which we were able to complete.
An Anthropology instructor requested an interactive exercise to help students better understand the concepts of familial descent and kinship. These concepts are traditionally represented by complex diagrams. I created interactive versions of these diagrams that allow students to manipulate elements to correctly identify individuals within a familial system. I imported the exercise into the online course as an ungraded assignment. The instructor presented it as an optional course activity.
To assess the usefulness of this exercise, the instructor conducted a brief survey of his students. He asked them the following questions:
- Did you use the online kinship exercise?
- If yes, how useful was it on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not useful at all and 10 being very useful. If no, why not?
Of the 25 responses, 10 students indicated they had used the exercise. Their ratings:
|Student number||Rating||Additional comments|
|1||9||“It was a good visual to learn about the kinship patterns but the [site] was really slow”|
|2||7||“Was helpful, just wasn’t the most intuitive.”|
|3||3||“I thought it was well developed but I already pretty much understood it from class so it wasn’t very helpful”|
|4||10||“It helped me understand the kinship concept”|
|5||n/a||“I tried it but it did not give enough instruction so I was confused”|
|6||10||“I give it a 10 out of 10, but wish it allowed you to be able to identify the different systems like Crow, Omaha, etc.”|
A Writing instructor wanted a way to replicate an in-class grammar exercise for her online students. The in-class exercise involves correcting the same run-on sentence five different ways using different grammatical strategies. I created a drag-and-drop interaction that displays a run-on sentence and gives students multiple options for correcting it. The students must drop various punctuation marks or words onto the correct place on the sentence. When they drop it correctly, the sentence displays as being re-written grammatically.
Here is a feedback statement from the instructor:
“My WR115 students say it’s super helpful working individually with the activity online (not as helpful doing it together as a class, but that wasn’t the intent)–very helpful for online students to cement what a run-on is and the 5 ways to fix it. Since the 115s (and maybe 60s) were really the target audience for the activity, I’m going to just stick with their feedback. (121 and 122 students felt it was tedious, but honestly, by those levels, they should already have sentence structure mastered–though they often don’t.)”
The entire Articulate 360 suite is a very powerful tool, and it can do much more than I was able to explore during this grant period. However, I can make these recommendations.
Even though the software is moderately advanced and takes time to learn, I was able to teach myself how to use it solely by following tutorials and searching online community posts. The Storyline program itself is visually laid out just like PowerPoint, so much of the terminology and tools were familiar. The Canvas integration via SCORM allows projects to embed directly into the LMS and record scores to the student gradebook.
While I found the software relatively intuitive, it is too advanced for the average user in a college setting. I would recommend that only Instructional Designers, Ed Technologists, or Media Specialists use it. This limited access can raise some logistical challenges about updating and supporting the media in the long term.
The software does take a while to learn. I had the luxury of making this my winter break project and devoting hours to teaching myself how to use it, but this might not be possible for other people or at other times of the year.
Overall, I find this an incredibly valuable tool. It allows people like me who do not know programming to create rich interactive media that can directly improve student learning. I hope to continue developing useful course materials with Articulate 360.
2017-19 ED TECH REVIEWS
The OCCDLA Emergent Tech Work Group receives nominations for instructional technology review from work group members and our nomination form, available to all instructors and administrative staff of all Oregon Community Colleges.
Do you have an emergent technology you would like to explore? Submit your nomination for a technology evaluation by the OCCDLA Emergent Technology Workgroup.