Friday, September 26, 2014

Follow-up: Something New at TLC

TLC's Jenny Douglas tests the prototype
You may recall this recent post, about a mystery prototype.  It is finally time for the big reveal!  iDesign's David Murphy, along with Ed Beck and Roger Neptune of iDesign Classroom, have been putting together a proof-of concept prototype of WVU's first light-board!
Ed Beck, checking the setup

A lightboard is similar to a whiteboard, but constructed of clear material, which is edge-lit by led lights. This can be used for shooting videos that let text appear to "float" next to (or in front of) the instructor.  We in the WVU Teaching & Learning Commons look forward to brainstorming innovative ideas for instructional use of this new device!
iDesign's Lydia Mong, decorating the lightboard


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Choosy Designers Choose GIF

Although we may know them best from looping cat clips and viral memes of would-be stunt people face-planting on concrete, animated GIFs (short for Graphics Interchange Format) can be attention-grabbing and informative for demonstrating brief processes or simple actions. They can get your point across visually in a dynamic way that allows learners to follow along from start to finish.

Creating and manipulating animated GIFs can be a time-consuming task that could involve using expensive software. So I was pleased to discover, a free resource that puts many GIF making tools right at your fingertips without needing to learn how to use an image editing program.

Some of the helpful GIF-related tasks can perform include:
  • Creating animations from scratch
  • Resizing (upload your own image or use one already online)
  • Cropping
  • Optimizing (color reduction, remove frames)
  • Adding effects (rotate, reverse, change speed, add text)
  • Extracting specific animation frames
  • Converting videos files to GIF (formats include MP4, AVI, WEBM, and FLV files up to 50MB)

After you make all the necessary changes to your GIF, you are presented with a link to download your newly edited image in a jiffy instantly.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Expectation of Teaching Enhances Learning and Recall

Science Daily reports that researchers at Washington University, in St. Louis, have found that learners who are told they will need to teach new material to others experience better memory performance. This could illustrate the importance of the learner's mindset when embarking on a new lesson. Fascinating for instructors everywhere!

Source: Washington University in St. Louis. (2014, August 8). Expecting to teach enhances learning, recall. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 10, 2014 from