Interactive learning materials

If you are using flash resources in your teaching, you are already aware that Flash will no longer work on any browser from January 2021. If you are unsure about what to do with a Flash resource, the following suggestions may help you decide.

Visual aid - decision tree to help you decide what to do with your flash resources. The suggestions depending on your resources are also listed below.

Retire it

If it's no longer relevant, current and aligned with the learning objectives.

Record it

If it is still relevant, you can't get the source files, you would be happy with it in video format and you have permission to record it. Depending on its nature, you may need to add a narration of what is happening, so students understand.

Republish it in an accessible format

If you can get the source files, you know which tool it was created in and you can use this to easily republish it as is in a non Flash, accessible format, then make any needed updates and republish it.

If you don't know which tool it was or whether it can be easily republished, ask the DEO, we may be able to help.

Rebuild it in an accessible format

If you can't get the source files, or the tool, or recording it isn't an option, or it can't be republished as is.

If it's too complex to rebuild it, contact the DEO to explore your options.

Interactive learning materials are interactive resources designed to teach a specific learning outcome. They may comprise of a single or multiple pages that can contain any combination of text, images, audio, video - including screencasts, animations, self test questions and other interactive activities. They are usually aimed for self study and delivered via Blackboard, but can also be made available online on different platforms.

Interactive learning materials can be provided as supplementary resources or as an integral part of a core activity, e.g. a prerequisite to attend a time tabled seminar. Because of the benefits they offer (see next section), they are becoming common place within both programmes of learning and on a number of support service web sites.

Advantages

Reasons to consider providing online tutorials for students (and staff) include:
  • Allow learners to study in their own time and at their own pace
  • Provide scalable (cost effective) and flexible training for staff
  • Ensure learners have a baseline knowledge in particular subjects – e.g. incoming first-year students who have varying levels of prior knowledge
  • Teach the more straight forward factual aspects of your subject, therefore freeing contact time for more complex or contested ideas
  • Prepare students for lectures or lab work
  • Facilitate consolidation and revision
  • Cover aspects of the curriculum which are not covered in the time tabled part of the course
  • Address time table clashes
  • Support distance learning
  • Enable students to practice skills learnt in class, e.g. language listening skills using audio, self test questions and feedback, or medical diagnosis skills by providing videos of patients describing their symptoms accompanied with self test questions and feedback.

Support & Guidance

Individual consultations with a member of the Digital Education Office and/or workshops on request.

Tools

Individual consultations with a member of the Digital Education Office and/or workshops on request.

Planning

You'll need to think about:

  • What will the learning objective of the tutorial be?
  • How will the tutorial be structured?
  • What activities will it contain?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • How and when will they use the tutorial?
  • Providing clear instructions and using appropriate language and terminology

Getting started

If you wish to develop your interactive learning materials for your learners, we advise you to contact us via email or phone to request a consultation. We can help you to develop you ideas and provide advice and training in:

Note: It is sometimes possible to purchase commercial interactive learning materials on specific topics. If funds are available it might be worth looking to see if there is anything on the market that suits your needs before spending time building your own. However, it is rare to find commercial interactive learning materials that fully meet your needs. Some commercial licences allow you to tailor the materials to an extent, but it is often the case that by the time you have done this you may have well built a resource in-house.

Case studies