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
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.
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
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.
- During each workshop, participants were given FTP access to a folder containing all the materials used during the hands-on activities. Feel free to download these items after attending the workshop so that you can use them as modifiable templates for use in your own teaching.
- The HTML text editor Arachnophilia which is used in the Workshops can be downloaded from the web
- Streamingmedia has a useful set of technical articles on streaming audio and video content over the web
- Introduction to Streaming Media is an excerpt from Designing Web Audio By Josh Beggs & Dylan Thede, O'Reilly, January 2001Web Mastering: The Art of Optimizing Sound Files for Napster and the Internet by Josh Beggs covers sound equalization, normalization and dynamic range compression techniques which will improve the quality of streamed audio
- Windows Media Tools documentation provides information about tools you can use to create and manage ASF content for Windows Media Services. Most of the tools also have additional online help available.
- A Microsoft course Creating Multimedia Interaction with Windows Media Technologies 7 shows you how to...
- Use Microsoft Windows Media™ Encoder to record screen content and your voice
- Use Windows Media Player to view streaming media that is received and displayed as it transmitted over the Internet
- Set up your computer and your recording environment to achieve optimal results when you use Windows Media Encoder
- Convert an existing .avi file to Windows Media Format
- Use time-compression and pause-removal features to make your encoded content more conciseServing 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:
- Spainbour S. and V. Quercia, Webmaster in a Nutshell, O'Reilly, 1996, Sebastopol, CARecommended 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:
- Microsoft Corporation, 'Inside Windows Media', Published by Que, 1999, ISBN 0-7897-2225-9. £28.99
- Niederst, J. Web Design in a Nutshell, O'Reilly, 1999, Sebastopol, CA
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:
- McClelland, D. et al, Web Design Studio secrets, 2nd Edition, IDG Books, Foster City, CA. 2000. Chaper 5 Dynamic HTML as a Design Tool
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
- M. Giambruno, 3D Graphics and Animation, New Riders, Indianapolis, 1997.