Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN Psychology) workshops on the preparation of web-based lecture support materials.

Presented by Dr Paul Kenyon , University of Plymouth, July 2001


Pre-workshop resources:

Here are some thoughts on the Development of web-based teaching materials presented at the British Psychological Association Centenary Annual Conference, 28-31st March 2001.

These LTSN workshops are designed to show participants how to create the web pages described at the conference. You may find it useful to review workshop web pages before attending.

Workshop #1: "The image in web-based learning: From static to interactive image" shows participants how to prepare static and animated images for use in web-based teaching and learning. In addition, the workshop will describe how to use DHTML and JavaScript to develop web-pages that allow the user to control the progressive display of elements in a complex graphic containing the results of an experiment with several experimental conditions.
Workshop #2: "The use of sound to enhance web-based lecture support materials" shows participants how to record and edit sound on a PC. In addition, the workshop shows how a streamed sound commentary can be used to automatically guide an end-user through a web page in order to pick out highlights, emphasize the main points, or supply additional information.

After attending these workshops participants should be in a position to appreciate how the 'Holy Grail' of web design - the search for interactive pages that hold the user's attention is maturing. Initially web pages were static and consisted of text, graphics and embedded links to more of the same. The page designer controlled the user's experience. In response to this rather sterile environment, designers went to great lengths to build movement and interactivity into pages. To some extent this surrendered control to the user, but the pace of information display was still controlled by the page designer, and animated images often became visual distracters (e.g. banner ads). A more mature approach may be to strive for joint control where the user is given choices about the rate at which information is presented, but the page is designed to guide the user along an interactive route designed by the page author.

If possible, bring a printout of these pdf files to the workshop

Download the latest to view PDFs.

Here are instructions for gaining access to a folder containing all the materials used during the hands-on activities.

Post-workshop resources:
Online resources :
There are several resources you may find useful after attending the workshops.
Serving web pages:
Nowadays many universities encourage staff to place learning materials on the web, provide space on a web server , and take care of 'behind the scenes' issues.
Alternatively if you have an internet account at home provided by an independent service provider (ISP), they may offer you web space which you can access via FTP. You will need to check that your ISP supports serving streaming media (ASF) files.
But if you want to take responsibility for running your own web server, take a look at:
Recommended books:
If you want to supplement the online resources and learn more about digital compression, encoding and networks, as well as how to use Windows Media tools , I strongly recommend:

There is a huge range of books on building HTML pages and programming them with JavaScript . You may find that your university library stock covers your needs, but you may wish to buy your own. I have found that books published by O'Reilly ( www.oreilly.com ) reliably deliver high quality content at a very reasonable prices. For example,

has clear and informative chapters on Animated GIFs and Audio on the Web and does what it says on the cover - "contains the nitty-gritty on everything you need to know to design web pages".

The workshops use Dynamic HTML (DHTML) to control the display of transparent layers on a web page. You can read about this technique in:

The use of 3D Studio Max to create animations with interpolated frames is mentioned in Workshop#1. If you want an introduction to the power of this type of software, I recommend