Week 8 POT – Creating Class Elements

I love creating class materials – whether print or online. Materials creation is a passion because it gives me the chance to customize the teaching and learning to the unique needs and interests of students in a particular class while infusing the materials with my own personality (and humor). Unfortunately, this has been a busy week – the first week of a new eight-week term in Noncredit at MiraCosta College – so while I had some great ideas (so I thought) for creating some online elements for my current class, they did not really turn out as I had hoped because it was a rush job.  However, we’ll just consider this an experiment and a learning experience. I have used/use a lot of external sites (as I have mentioned in a previous post, I believe) – in addition to the Voice Tools and graded and ungraded tests and surveys in Blackboard – to create exercises and learning materials that I link or embed within Blackboard.  I also have students use some of these sites for projects. They include the following:

…and others. For this week, I decided to try making some screencasts using TechSmith Relay (formerly Camtasia – which I had been trained on through an @One course 10 years ago) is available to MCC faculty for free!  It was very easy to use but I should probably learn more about the different options and functions if I plan to use it more in the future. The results are less than stellar (ha! Pretty bad…), but I only did one take (and again, I am coming off a challenging week and am suffering from seasonal allergies at the moment, in addition to the fact that, like many people, I don’t much care for the sound of my own voice). PLEASE – NO ONE WATCH – embarrassing! The captions turned out mostly awful … and laughable


“…so if I change some words and perhaps a concrete and it’s up to a more academic higher on making love…”

“also remember that you were first sent to the tip aircraft needs to be contented”

“…I like airbags almost ready.”

And my favorite – “…no going back I see this sentence and they told me that cry…”

HUH?!?! Actually it’s a wonder anyone can understand me at all considering what the speech-to-text results yielded as captions! Therefore, I did the tedious task of removing them all rather than editing them because I have a ton of other things I need to take care of today and my lack of patience. I’m sure there is a way to turn off captioning or to remove all captions… anyone know? Anyway, the point of the first screencast is listening comprehension, and the words are there on the screen, so there’s not a necessity for captions – in reality, I don’t want them for ESL students doing this type of exercise.

Here’s what I did and the lessons learned with each:

This one is a lecture and note-taking exercise about the American Education System. First, again, do not trust captioning! Or, if you want to use captions, do plan on spending considerable time editing them. I uploaded the screencast before editing out the “Waiting” that appeared at the beginning, and once it’s uploaded, there is no editing, as far as I can see within Relay, but in Youtube, I was given the message that editing enhancements were detected, so I was able to get rid of the beginning snippet there.

Handout: American Education System notetaking Assignment Prompt: Education System Comparison This one shows students how to format Word documents. Lesson learned: Write a script and do a few run-throughs first. I flubbed up the words/terminology and pronunciation a few times.
  This one shows students how to use Word Readability Statistics and Synonyms. Lesson learned: Make sure to include a handout or link because everyone will have different versions. Handout:  Microsoft Word Readability Statistics and Synonyms
This one shows students how to send me their files through Blackboard Messages. Lesson learned: Nothing much else here that has not already been said except that I want to use “Assignments” in the future, but I need to explore that further, so that I can annotate students’ work online and save paper/time.
  That’s it for now!


2 thoughts on “Week 8 POT – Creating Class Elements

  1. Pingback: Week 14 POT – Presentation and Final Post | MCC ESL Buffet

  2. Pingback: POT Week 14 – This is the End | MCC ESL Buffet

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