All sorts of different digital material can be used in Curatr. As a course designer, you will mix and match according to the needs and flow of your course. The first step when selecting content for a course is to look at your existing digital material collection (this may be comprised of Word, Powerpoint Documents, PDFs, video, etc).
Once you've identified some essential content in your collection, HT2 suggests reviewing the below suggestions for how to best make use of each form of content.
Video is an essential form of content in Curatr, as it really helps set-up an effective learning experience. At times, high quality, scripted videos might be the right approach. However, at other times a slightly more “rough and ready” approach, capturing a couple of minutes on a smartphone or tablet will be the best approach.
Whilst you can upload videos directly onto Curatr the platform isn’t set up for the making the most of video streaming so we would suggest a different approach.
When considering where to host your videos, feel free to use a YouTube account, as these are free and quite customisable. However, in a corporate world, you may come across issues with company firewalls and privacy settings that could block you from using YouTube to host all video content.
If these concerns do come about, we suggest platforms such as Vimeo or Wistia, as they allow you to apply a range of settings to ensure privacy and protection of your IP address. Both platforms also offer some great analytic tools to help understand usage of videos you post.
We have created some guidance on embedding video for you.
The starting point for many course designers when selecting content for Curatr is “People learn best by viewing slides, I should make a PowerPoint presentation!“
If PowerPoint presentations are an essential component of content for your course, the good news is that you can upload them directly into Curatr for participants to utilise. However, when relying on PowerPoint presentations, there are some issues to keep in mind:
- The end user will have to download the file as it won't present itself in the object viewer window.
- The end user has to have PowerPoint installed to be able to access.
You can use a range of tools to convert PowerPoint to a format more web friendly. In fact, PowerPoint itself allows you to convert to a PDF!
On a similar note, there are several tools (free and paid for) that will allow you to record your slides, with a voiceover and then export them as a movie file or upload to the web. At that stage you could then upload/embed the slides from PowerPoint into Curatr - thus solving the issues above.
Do you want everyone in a course to be able to access a Word Document? Don’t like the way that the document has to be downloaded? A good first step in this scenario is to save it as a PDF file.
However, do you have further ambitions for the document? Do you want it to look better? Do you want to create HTML5 elearning content that will work on all devices? Want it free? Check out Adapt. Created by a community led by our friends Kineo, Adapt is an Open Source authoring tool. Note that you do need a certain amount of technical knowledge to work with Adapt (or at least the confidence to experiment with a new program), but the results can be really impressive. Amongst many highlights, Adapt allows you to integrate sliders, triggers and questions.
If you'd like to consider some more advanced content ideas, then please check out this article.