I’ve spent a couple of hours so far evaluating resources for my mythical 5 week digital skills course. Here are some of my frustrations:
- What looks to be a good resource is ruined by some contextual information that means I can’t use it. (It’s no good using Australian Endnote Tutorial if it will confuse students by telling them they can get the software for free)
- Huge search results from some search engines with few apparent methods of refining the search. No I am not going to go through 215 of them!
- Working out if the resource will fit into my overall plan for the 5 sessions? It’s about level, start point, end point, pace, amount of time. Not all of them say what time it will take, nor any useful upfront summary.
- If something is not quite right and its a fancy flash or video resource then there is nothing I can easily do to tweak it. (Unless I invest potentially huge amounts of time.) Counter-intuitively I’ve been happier to find editable Word, Powerpoints and text resources that I know I could edit and re-purpose.
- For software I know that the best sources will be the websites of commercial providers (eg Evernote), so I’ve not bothered looking on the search engines. I know there will be good resources on YouTube but I’d be nervous about seeking permissions to use them.
- Searches can give false leads. You can think you have a match then identify that the words you put in make up one paragraph of a 50 page document.
- If you start off with a plan of what you want to achieve you’ll be tempted to adapt your timescales and objectives to match what you can find, rather than stick to your guns.
- If I were to put together all these different resources I have found from the different sites there would be no sense of consistent look/feel. I can see why Nottingham and others have embraced Xerte, and OU have a standard look/feel for OpenLearn.
- I may only wish to use a small bit of a larger resource. My fear would be that students would get carried away/confused and do more than I wanted them to. I may be able to edit out the bits I want but that is going to require me to grapple with different tools.
- Where software is concerned I may find a good resource but it may not be for the right version of the software.
Enough for today! I’ll have another bash tomorrow and see if I get a bit more success.