e-Learning Strategies in F2F Classrooms

For our final assignment, this week we discussed integrating e-learning into our classrooms. My situation as an academic librarian is somewhat different from that of teachers and teaching faculty; I am typically invited into the classroom to provide one-shot instruction so my time with students is limited. But I can dream big! See my ideas for incorporating e-learning opportunities into my library classroom below.

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Project #8: Worked Example Screencast

For this week’s assignment, I created a faded worked example screencast titled “Parenthetical APA Citations” using the free Explain Everything app for iOS on my iPad. Although I also used Explain Everything for my digital storytelling project, I thought the screencast project might allow me to use some of the app’s more robust features. I’m glad I used it again; I learned about some of its additional features, like its ability to allow users to embed a new, live web browser into a screen, and to add visual elements to a slide via the timeline. I’m really excited about using this app for building tutorials for my library.

Following creation of the screencast, I uploaded it to YouTube. I used the Transcribe and Auto-Sync method to add closed captions in YouTube. I like that this feature does a nice job of automatically figuring out timing, and that it uses my script, which I just paste into the transcript area. This is a great way to ensure a level of quality that is lacking, in my opinion, in the auto-transcription feature in YouTube.

In the screencast, learners see how to create a parenthetical citation in APA style for an article with two authors. Next, they see an example of an article with three authors, and they are given the opportunity to consider how a parenthetical citation for this example might differ from one with two authors. Finally, they are asked to create a citation for a “subsequent” citation of the three-author article.

My first challenge in completing this assignment was deciding what I could do that related to my work in information literacy instruction that would make a good worked example problem. With limited time, I wanted to work on a basic problem that was straightforward and not too complex. I’m just not sure the problem I chose was ideal.

Another difficulty in creating this video was in deciding what software tool I wanted to use. Initially I wanted to use Articulate Storyline so that learners could actually complete the citations within the software rather than having to pause a video and write down their responses to prompts on paper. Ultimately, however, I decided that learners who want to engage with the material with engage whether they have to type on the screen or write on paper. Some problems with the computer on which I have Storyline loaded also helped me conclude that Explain Everything was my best choice.

Another problem area was finding a way to show APA-related resource material without violating copyright. I had considered using the in-slide browser window to demonstrate the use of Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab APA resources, but their copyright statement specifically prohibits broadcasting of the site without permission. I also considered reproducing the APA publication manual’s in-text citation table from page 177 of the book’s 6th edition. Instead, I decided to refer to this source, while modifying the examples it uses for display in the video. I think it’s likely that I could have used the table on page 177 under Fair Use, but it was actually easier to create my own examples from which to work.

I tried to incorporate the multimedia principles as much as I could in the video. Evidence of multimedia principles appears as follows:

Modality principle: In most of the video, I used audio narration to describe the steps involved in each example instead of adding text for learners to read.

Redundancy principle: When I wanted students to be able to refer back to text on the screen–in the self-explanation question, for example–I explained that learners should pause the video to read and address the question. I didn’t narrate the text, which might have caused cognitive overload.

Personalization principle: I used a conversational tone, including the use of second-person language, throughout the video. I avoided using direct statements, such as “Pause the video,” and instead used polite suggestions, giving learners a feeling of choice and cooperation.

To support far transfer, I incorporated varied context examples. In the first example, learners see an article with two authors. In the second, they see an article with three authors, which requires a slightly different citation format. In the final example, learners are asked to cite a three-author article in a subsequent citation, which has a completely different format than the first two scenarios. These are common scenarios that students in a college setting are likely to encounter across classes, years, and disciplines, and they need to be able to transfer this knowledge. Furthermore, I used a self-explanation question that encouraged students to consider what we had just done–cited a two-author article–and apply it to what we were about to do.

Here’s my worked example video. Enjoy!

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Project #7: Google Slides Presentation

This week our assignment involved creating a static presentation in Google Slides.

There are just a few things I should make note of about my presentation. First, you may notice that I’ve applied a Creative Commons attribution share-alike license (CC-BY-SA 4.0 – you can view the license by clicking on the Creative Commons logo in the bottom right corner of my cover slide when you’re in the “view slide notes” mode). I selected this license because one of the images I used had the license applied, and the share-alike license requires that I use the same license on my own work. If you are interested in using any part of the presentation, just make a copy of it and modify it to suit your needs.

In addition, I’m using the 4th edition of the textbook, so my summary of the chapter on worked examples is actually on Chapter 12 rather than Chapter 11.

I’ve been a Google Slides user for several years, and I find it to be a fine alternative to PowerPoint, except for the fact that it doesn’t allow for audio narration. With this, as with any other multimedia presentation, my biggest frustration is in finding multimedia content that is freely available and that suits my purposes, confirming my concern that creating multimedia presentations is extremely time-consuming, and that it’s helpful to be artistic and creative (I’m not). I’d say that one of my main concerns as I near the end of the M.E.T. program is that I don’t have the graphic design skills to be effective and successful as an educational technologist.

With more time I’d have given greater attention to the graphics in this presentation. I’d have also preferred to employ the modality principle and make this a narrated presentation.

I hope you enjoy the presentation!

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Project #6: Digital Story

For this assignment, I created a digital story using iPad app Explain Everything, an app I had never used prior to the assignment. The app was ideal for creating a digital story because it allowed me to upload images from my computer or pull them from other applications I use, such as Google Drive and Dropbox. I was able to add and manipulate text, move items on the screen, add voice narration, and upload directly to my YouTube account. The app integrates with many other applications, and allows for in-app editing of images and audio, making it extremely easy and convenient to use.

Incidentally, I used Explain Everything to create a short video for work as well. For the work project, I needed to create a screen shot, which I made using the app, and then create an animation of a pen circling some text on the screen. It turned out exactly as I’d hoped. This seems like a versatile tool that I would consider using for teaching and learning in the future.

My digital story is a personal story about a lesson I learned pertaining to my favorite hobby, hiking with my dogs. It demonstrates the personalization principle in its conversational style; I use first person throughout, and–I hope–a friendly voice. I wanted listeners to feel like I was actually telling them the story of what happened. I opted to use still images rather than including an avatar or other online agent, as I wanted the story to seem authentic. Most of the images used are from the actual hike I describe in the story, or from other hikes with my dogs. The most difficult thing about creating the digital story was paring it down, as suggested in Adobe Systems Inc.’s (2008) “Digital Storytelling” guide. It was challenging to tell the story in a way that was detailed enough, but without giving too much superfluous information. I used more words than suggested, but I struggled to remove any more of the story without taking away meaning.

I hope you enjoy my digital story.

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Project #5: Coherence Analysis

less is more

For this week’s Multimedia assignment, we analyzed Clark and Mayer’s (2016) coherence principle of multimedia learning, which states that extraneous content in the form of words, graphics, and audio–content that doesn’t directly support the instructional goals of an e-learning lesson–should be eliminated from the lesson (p. 151). You can read my analysis here.

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Project #4: Prezi

It’s been many years since I’ve used Prezi. One of my first uses of Prezi was, coincidentally, for a presentation in my last course for my master’s program in library science back in 2011. While I think my use back then was fairly innovative (I was presenting on the concept of the “learning commons” and I created my presentation to look like a learning commons), I apparently wasn’t aware of Prezi’s ability to inflict feelings of motion sickness on its viewers. Wow! Spins and twirls! You can take a look, if you’re interested, but hold onto your seat!Prezi presentation

When I last used it, adding audio files was not yet an option, and was considered one of the great disadvantages of Prezi use. I’m glad to see they have improved the product to allow for the incorporation of audio narration. The addition of audio capabilities makes Prezi a good choice for an overview presentation on Clark and Mayer’s Chapter 6, “Applying the Modality Principle.” To round out the presentation, I used public domain images from Pixabay, and I used the Voice Memos app on my iPhone to record the audio files for slides 2-13.

I hope you enjoy the presentation.

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Project #3: Haiku Deck

For this week’s assignment, I created a brief Haiku Deck visual aid for a live presentation about visual literacy, a topic that I’ve been addressing with some of the classes I’ve visited this semester at the university where I work. In my deck, I made an attempt to use visual elements that, combined with the words I chose for each slide, would encourage viewers to actively process the information that would be delivered in the accompanying oral presentation (the speaker’s notes that appear adjacent to each slide). Conceptually, I found this assignment challenging; the six types of graphics that Clark and Mayer (2016) discuss in terms of supporting learning (p. 73) seem much better suited to procedural instruction. My goal with the visual literacy presentation is to get learners thinking about their own thought processes as consumers and creators of visual information.

I was inspired by Nancy Duarte’s TEDx talk to employ the model she discussed for structuring communication. My first and second slides serve as the opening to my presentation, and provide the “status quo,” which is that we tend not to have strong visual literacy skills. I hoped to emphasize this by asking questions that help learners focus on the image in slide 2, considering how they respond to it emotionally and how their preconceived notions about the subject of the photo might influence that response. In the third slide, I attempt to show the “what could be” by addressing how visual literacy can benefit us in solving some of society’s problems, like the cholera map might have helped scientists better understand the spread of cholera. I then revert back to where we are now, and the traps we often fall into, in the fourth slide. In the fifth slide, I provide learners with the information they need to take action and gain visual literacy skills.

This assignment reinforced for me that it isn’t easy to find visuals that are capable of facilitating learning and that are licensed for reuse. It’s also difficult–but so important–to create a visual presentation that helps convey a message without being the message itself. It’s more important for the visual aid to help learners make connections between what the presenter says and what appears on the screen than for the visual aid to present the message.

Check out my Haiku Deck, Visual Literacy Matters.


Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). e-Learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

TEDx Talks. (2010, December 10). TEDxEast – Nancy Duarte uncovers common structure of greatest communicators 11/11/2010 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/1nYFpuc2Umk

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Project #2: Static Multimedia Instruction

Using Clarify-It for performance support

For this week’s assignment, we used Clarify-It, a tool I’ve been using since my first class in the Ed Tech program at Boise State. I love using Clarify-It to build performance support tools, find-a-book-by-title. It is designed to help students complete the task of finding a book by searching for its title in my library’s online catalog.

Learning Objective:

After completing the tutorial, learners will be able to access a book in the library’s online catalog by searching for its title.

Design Process

In designing this tool, I started with the learning objective above.

Searching for a book in the library catalog sounds like a pretty simple thing, but there are actually so many possible starting points and outcomes, that I really needed to consider what specific pieces of the task I wanted to focus on for this instruction. Students often need to search for a book about a given subject, but they don’t know what title they’re looking for. They just need books that cover their topic. So being specific about what information they have prior to the search was important.

There are also many possible outcomes of a library catalog search. Because I wanted this tool to assist students with finding books, I chose to limit the search results to books, and to address the most likely outcomes of a search.

I chunked the content into steps to make the task feel manageable for students. Students will search for a book title and limit that search to books, they will determine what the results mean about how they can access the book, and then they will take action to access the book, either by finding it in the library, opening an ebook, or requesting the item through interlibrary loan.

The final section of the static instruction contains a brief review of the process.

I used MS Word’s “SmartArt” to create the graphic organizers, and then used Clarify-It’s screen capture tool to transfer the images into the tutorial. The other graphics in the tutorial are screen shots of the actual library catalog created using Jing when working on my PC, and Skitch when working on my Mac. Text, highlighting, borders, and arrows were added to these graphics from within Clarify-It. In retrospect, I’m not sure why I used Jing and Skitch to capture screen shots, when I could have used Clarify-It’s screen capture tool. This may have just been force of habit. It strikes me that it’s actually easier to use the tool within Clarify-It for this purpose.

Using  the Multimedia and Contiguity Principles

This tutorial is intended for use by my university’s incoming freshmen. They are our most novice learners, and some of them may not have used a library catalog. According to Clark and Mayer (2016), the use of the multimedia principle is most appropriate for these learners (p. 80).

I wanted to let students know up front what the tutorial would cover, so I included a graphic organizer of the main steps to help students see the process before they started searching. This graphic will help learners organize the information into discrete steps. You can see this in the section titled “Steps” on page 1. Similarly, the graphic organizer at the end of the instruction helps learners review and understand the steps, and could be used as the sole performance support for this task in future attempts. As applications of the multimedia principle, these graphics support learning by helping the learner to organize the content and see relationships between the steps of the process.

In this static tutorial, I provided information in paragraphs above the images, but students can likely follow the steps shown in the graphics themselves and largely ignore the other written content to complete the task of finding a book. This is because I employed the contiguity principle by chunking and integrating text near the parts of each image to which the text relates.

In addition, arrows, highlighting, and numbered steps are used in the graphics to draw learners’ attention and help them find information that they will need to locate when they use the library’s online catalog.


Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). e-Learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Clarify-It Tutorial: Find a Book by Title

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Multimedia Principle…in Sketchnotes

The Multimedia (EDTECH 513) assignment for this week is, in my opinion, unique and quite interesting. It involves creating sketchnotes, notes taken during a presentation–or in this case, from our textbook reading–that include both words and graphics.

What I Did

To create my sketchnote I spent considerable time practicing (which felt a little like playing) in the amazing Paper app by 53. I decided, though, that before I would begin my actual sketchnote in Paper, I wanted to first sketch out my ideas on physical paper with a physical pen or pencil. When I started drawing on notebook paper and using colored pencils, I realized that, for me, this tactile experience of putting pen or pencil to paper has always been extremely important. I love the feel of the reverse side of the paper after the writing implement has made its impression, and I love the sound that the paper makes when I turn the page. Printing on the page has always helped me to feel like the information is more easily transferred to my brain. Additionally, using pencil and paper gave me a feeling of control that I definitely lacked in Paper.

So I created my sketchnote on notebook paper using colored pencils.

Low-tech, I know, but I enjoyed it.


Figuring out how to depict words meaningfully is extremely challenging! Note-taking using both words and pictures consumes time much more extensively than verbal-only note-taking. I think I tend to be a literal person, and I have never considered myself to be artistic. I know…you don’t have to be an artist to make a sketchnote. That’s easy for people who create beautiful sketchnotes to say, but I don’t totally agree with it. Fortunately, in the real world, if I make a sketchnote, I don’t have to share it with anyone, so I can afford to be less critical of my abilities and focus on appreciating the technique for its educational value.

What I Learned About Sketchnoting

Sketchnoting is cool for a lot of reasons, the first and foremost of which–in my mind as a budding educational technologist–is that it mirrors the multimedia principle that we use in developing instruction. While we would look to incorporate meaningful graphics that help learners organize and/or better understand the content, learners would do the same in their note-taking.

Sketchnoting is fun. Despite the mental gymnastics it required of me, I find writing (and in this case, drawing) on paper relaxing and enjoyable. Pencils require the writer to apply extra pressure that isn’t required with a pen. I find that this relieves stress as well. I could see college students–the population of learners with whom I work–actually wanting to do this!

Yes, the process took a lot longer than just making notes, but it also felt much more meaningful to me; I got more out of it than I get out of note-taking. When I think about the concepts on which I sketchnoted, I see more than just words in my mind; this goes deeper than recall. I see visualizations that have meaning. The act of putting words and graphics to paper seems to have actually facilitated cognitive processes that make the concepts more meaningful to me. Powerful!

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Who I am

Here’s a quick look at “who I am.” I created this Animoto video for my EdTech 513 Multimedia course.

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