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Workshop: Creating Digital Resources Using Instructional Design Principles

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My colleague CJ Davison and I collaborated on this workshop for the 2015 TESOL Arabia conference. We started with the instructional design issue of recommending specific ideas for creating digital resources based on instructional design research. The underlying sentiment was ensuring that teachers would have the right foundations for creating resources like ESL videos, animations, cartoons…

Here’s out slides for our workshop here.

Workshop: Designing and Managing Online Courses

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 23.24.07I am humbled to have been asked to be an invited speaker to the 2015 TESOL Arabia Conference in the area of online learning. This is branching out into another area that I don’t usually facilitate “public” workshops on, though I have been involved in this area of instructional design for 1.5 years now within Zayed University’s post-graduate programs. It is certainly a good chance to spread my wings!

I really struggled with the format of this one. Initially I thought, well it would be great to facilitate an online session about this topic and model best practice. Immediately, I saw the error in my ways and then thought about using a LMS to structure the workshop and materials. However, it is quite a short workshop and felt that the extra layer of technology may be more distraction than added value. So in the end I have gone for a classic Keynote with accompanying handout to structure the workshop. In this case I am living my motto of choosing the right tool for the right pedagogical task.

For those who attended, thanks for coming! Please connect with me on Twitter @digitalemerge or via email (listed on the keynote and handout).



For those who are reading, here is a glimpse into the session. Feel free to download either of the attached files and thanks for respecting the creative commons licence.

Our Alpha is here!

End of radio silence…

storyline storyboard

Well we were a few days late but we got to our alpha version release. We are about to initiate some feedback with key stakeholders and do some usability testing with students. Fingers crossed we get some quality feedback from all concerned in order to move and progress. 

Learning Outcomes

This is the first of many modules called Why Research? and introduces students to the concept of needing credible information to complete an assignment. The learning outcomes are as follows:

  1. Recognize that information exists in several locations and the importance of searching in all of them
    1. Internet
    2. library (e.g. catalog, databases, etc.)
  2. Agree that research is a required skill for a university student and as a life long learner


We chose to go ahead and record the audio and include subtitles as this was the main media through which a user progresses in the scenario. We understand that we’ll record again and hopefully get a better person to be the guide, other than me!


Most visuals are copyright free for educational, non-commercial use but some are still placeholders. We hope that next semester we will get a university apprenticeship set up to work with two or more students in the design of characters, the learning space backgrounds and other media. Having a student design and produce visuals will certainly add authenticity to it and hopefully increase the chances that students will relate to this resource and, perhaps be emotionally connected due to the visual connections and be engaged for longer through this. We’ll see…


I have had mixed results with the playback of this resource. To initially play the file, we found a workaround to not include it on BlackBoard (our IT dept…) so that we could see and test our ongoing iterations as we developed. This involved using a public dropbox folder and either opening the file in the Articulate Storyline Player or in a web browser. In this week’s testing with Library and Learning Commons staff, I was utterly embarrassed as both were giving me extreme playback delays and media wasn’t playing or even appearing on the screen. The folks understood it was an alpha realease but still, very embarrassing.