In Module 1, Activity 1.5 you identified some of the content of this course. The resources are all the materials which support a learner in achieving a defined goal. They play the role of a learning spark in e-tivities, provide essential information, introduce the subject, explain, inspire, and motivate. Resources come in various forms, for example, as texts, links, films, presentations, audio recordings, simulations or external discussion forums. They can be prepared with the help of additional tools or with those that are already part of an online platform.
One of the issues many vocational teachers often come across is lack of up-to-date resources for the subject they teach. In the recent years numerous freely available (online) tools have appeared that enable even non-proficient users to develop anything from text, images, presentations, web pages, digital posters, cartoons, audio and video materials to use in their classroom. Teachers of vocational subjects can now overcome the obstacles by developing their own teaching resources and making them available for their students, particularly in an e-learning environment.
Media and tools
Here are some of the tools or groups of tools that can be used to develop e-learning resources for VET:
- specific tools and functions available within an LMS (learning management system) - forums, in-built wikis, blogs, web pages etc.
- stand-alone wikis (e.g. PBworks or Wikispaces, both online tools)
- stand-alone blogs (e.g. Wordpress, also an online tool)
- presentation tools (e.g. offline tools: Powerpoint, online tools: Prezi or Google presentations)
- online tools for making digital posters (e.g. Glogster), cartoons (e.g. Pixton or Toondoo), comics (e.g. Bubblr) or maps (e.g. Google maps)
- mindmapping online tools (e.g. Mindomo or Bubbl.us)
- podcasting tools (e.g. offline Audacity or online Voki)
- screencasting tools (e.g. offline Jing or online Screencast-o-Matic)
- video-recording tools (hardware - e.g. webcameras or mobile phone cameras, software - e.g. offline Windows movie maker)
If you need more examples of tools for resource development you can find a more comprehensive list here: http://www.go2web20.net/#tag:create.
When developing your own materials, it is important to have the learning outcomes and desired competences of the students in mind. The use of technology should be organically connected to the achievement of the course learning outcomes.
Additionally, try to develop various types of content for your courses in order to include diverse channels of communication (text, audio, visuals, video) and different types of activities, to ensure a better reception by the learners.