Anyone interested in developing online content?

<b> Forum for material writers </b>

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Anyone interested in developing online content?

Post by kathyfelts » Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:59 pm

I have just started a forum at One forum is for people who are interested in developing online content. The forum is collaborative in nature. It is place for people who would like to find others to work with. Since I am just getting started, I am not sure exactly how it will evolve, but one of my purposes it to find people I can collaborate with. Online content development often requires a number of disparate skills (though goodness knows, there are a few folks who can do it all), and it is not often easy for people in our field to make the needed connections to make our ideas a reality.

In addition to a topic on finding collaborators, I also have a topic about how to market material and will invite buyers to take a look and post their needs. Please remember when you look at this forum that while this idea is new in ESL, other fields already recognize the use of group and community efforts. I am already learning so much just putting this forum together.

One last note - be careful about anything you post on the Internet. Go slowly when building working relationships with people you are considering working with. Start slowly with private messages where you do not reveal identifying information too quickly, and think ahead about how you will screen potential collaborators. Start with a small project and proceed only when you feel that a good and honest working relationship has been established. There will be times when people cannot do what they say or set out to do. Life is full of surprises, and people are not necessarily bad actors just because they cannot see into the future. Be sure to write down what each party will do, and how you plan to go forward with a project if someone has to drop out, or if the workload exceeds expectations.

Trade the information necessary to establish identity. If people are not willing to help you confirm that they are who they say they are, and have the credentials and training they represent themselves as having, you need to bow out. If you do not want to have other people take your ball and run with it, establish a tit for tat arrangement, and when the time is right, get it in writing.

Hope to see you soon,

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Post by melatee2512 » Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:59 pm


My name is Yasmin Rasidi,I am an English Teacher in Jakarta,Indonesia.Actually i have clicked on your website but i couldn`t find anything yet?

I am interested in joining your project, as a material developer.What can i do for you?I used to colour,scan pictures,select handouts whether it should be included in certain levels as we usually did MP(material preparation)which is counted as overtime while still working for ILP,one of the best English institutions in Indonesia.But,of course,it will be the first time for me to prepare material online.

I hope we can keep in touch and you can contact me at:[email protected] you and hope to get your reply soon :)

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Post by Matty » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:22 pm

Yeah, melatee2512's right. The URL you've given isn't valid.

I'm interested in your project. I've been teaching for the last 7 years and occasionally working as a director of studies (more like a senior teacher with a jumped-up title!).

Throughout that time I've been heavily involved in designing EFL/ESL resources and I once breifly held a position exclusively as a resources developer for a UK summer schools company (Elizabeth Johnson Organisation) creating specific materials in support of their summer schools excursion programmes and also some project based class materials for performing plays, making videos, creating magazines, etc.

At the moment, I'm learning to be a Flash and Actionscript developer...
Flash? Actionscript? I hear you ask (or maybe not) See the examples below.

Developing the applications to present the material is only part of the job. I want to create applications that regular human beings can create materials for. The idea is simple:

You have an application which is like a template.
You write questions and answers in an XML file (similar to a text file) which is the standard format in eLearning now.
You can also, depending on the application, include other media such as MP3 audio, pictures, animation and video, as external resources which the application uses.
You put them all together in a folder and upload them to a server.
You send the URL to students/gineapigs who visit the web-page and do the activity.
The students/gineapigs complete the exercise having had an enjoyable experience and having learned or practised something.
Bob's your uncle - USEFUL eLearning!

Allowing resource designers, teachers, DoS's to decide what goes into the applications means that from a relatively small number of them you can create a hell of a lot of resources that closely match the students' other course materials. Students can reycle vocab, practise related listenings at home, practice manipulating grammar, etc.

Flash is very powerful and can do wonderous things with texts, words and anything that a student types in. You can recreate the typical Cambridge FCE 'Keyword Sentence Transformation' exercises but have interactive feedback that 'helps' the students through.

You can also do amazing things with images which are ideal for recreating the kinds of matching, guessing, and describing activities that you might do with your students in class, such as practising the present continuous with silhouettes of images of people doing activities. The students have to guess what the activity is and describe it - e.g. "He's riding a bike."

The applications I develop get around the usual problems that these activities can generate. All too often, students make small punctuation mistakes or spelling mistakes. In the classroom we can respond to that but most eLearning just throws a "WRONG ANSWER!" which is unhelpful and discouraging. By providing instantaneous and specific feedback the students are guided to the correct answer.

You'll get a clearer idea of what I mean if you have a go at a couple of dictation exercises as rough examples of part of what I do, at the bottom of this post.

Just recently, Flash has been updated and seriously overhauled making it even more powerful that ever before (as you expect from IT - constant innovation). As a result of this, I'm busily catching up with the changes, updating my old applications to the new version and finding out what new possibilities lie ahead... basically, I can do loads of stuff now that previously wasn't possible.

What is Flash?

Flash is a very powerful software package for creating media rich applications mainly for the Internet but also for CD-ROMs, intranets and the like. It allows you to create applications that are more like software packages that run on your desktop and it incorporates levels of interactivity that are either too difficult or impossible to develop on traditional web platforms.

Here's a quick demonstration of how well it can handle user text input. It's a dictation exercise so just listen to the MP3 snippets and type what you hear. It only accepts lower-case text and the only punctuation permitted is ' . (It's a pure dictation exercise, not a spelling test or a punctuation test!): ... ologue.swf

This one is a talking calendar. Listen and click on the correct dates: ... lendar.swf

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