Interactive Learning – Important questions to ask for creating resources

How do we build great resources to communicate to students? This was the main title of my fourth music Technology lecture…and the answer is…it’s complicated.

But not so complicated that it can’t be done. The first complication comes from Australian copyright law. Unless you have the full license for any music, image, score, it would most likely be infringing Australian copyright. Unlike the US, Australia doesn’t have the right to use these items for educational purposes. When you have a licence you can copy so many scores, however this is only for hard copy, not digital copies that you may scan and circulate.

It places teachers in a difficult situation, especially when so many are creating resources such as videos for learning songs, arranging their own version of songs and much more. Hopefully there will be an update on this soon?

Once you’ve got over the copyright hurdle…somehow…there are many new methods to incorporate text, graphics, audio, visual and interactive elements to create engaging and functional resources. However not all platforms and software are created equal and it can be difficult to find the right tool for what you need.

Some important questions to ask before you launch hours into creating resources into a platform that might limit you later:

 

  1. What is the ultimate purpose of your resource and how do you want people to engage with it?
  2. Does it need to exist online and offline?
  3. Does it work across different operating systems e.g. Mac/iOS, Android, Windows, tablet, mobile, desktop?
  4. What are the costs for a complete useable version, is it in your budget?
  5. Does it include interactivity, is it limited?
  6. What is the ease of use and access for both the creator and user?
  7. Does it encourage collaboration or sharing of information?

 

There is no one perfect answer to all of these. For example, publishing products like Epub  and Lucidpress  have no interactivity, ibook author has interactivity but only works on Mac/iOS.

There is greater interactivity with Sway, however only works online conversely Office mix that brings interactivity to powerpoint only works offline.

Book creator can create up to 40 books for free across any platform, I’m yet to test interactivity extent. Kotobee , compete interactivity but could be also become out of reach pricing wise.

So the best option is to work out what you need, then test and learn what is going to be the best outcome for your audience!