QuizCreator


Wondershare QuizCreator is a tool that a colleague quickly demonstrated to me. It helps educators quickly and easily create Flash-based rich, interactive quizzes for online tests or Web assessments. Besides SCORM compliance for LMS, the built-in service FREE Quiz Management System (QMS) also help track, analyze and report quiz results for effective learning.
  • Insert Math and Science Symbols with Equation Editor
  • Import question from existing Excel document
  • Insert images, background images and background color
  • Insert screenshots and Flash animations
  • Import music or record sounds to questions
  • Customize fonts of questions and answers
  • Add notes to questions
  • Add feedback: Answer level feedback & Quiz level feedback
  • Insert hyperlink to questions, answers and images
  • Set difficulty level of questions
  • Create Question Bank
  • Shuffle Question and Answers
  • Randomize Quizzes

Here is an overview. If you have used the tool, add a comment below.

More Blooks To Read

A followup to an earlier post on vooks (video + books) is this one on blooks - blogs + books. The website OurBlook is self-described as:

OurBlook is a website combining the dynamic online atmosphere of a blog with the researched, in-depth analysis of a book. Our online community is a collaborative resource created and used by academics, public policy officials, and journalists at the natural intersection of current events and the media. Everyday, these experts join OurBlook to engage in an on-going conversation with their colleagues that seeks out the responsible, sustainable ideas that will define our future.

If you have not used a blook, you can click to their blook, Future of Journalism, where experts discuss the future of journalism, what the information distribution map will look like in 20 years, and question whether traditional journalism is a thing of the past. Highlighed contributors include John Yemma, Chris O'Brien, and Charlotte Grimes.


Adobe
has announced that the next release of Flash will be available on iPhones and that will continue the process of redefining newspapers, textbooks and magazines.

MORE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blook
http://futureperfectpublishing.com/2007/09/



The Ripple Effect and Faculty Redesign

I was working over the weekend on my presentation for the upcoming NJEDge.Net Conference 6.0 (November18-20). My session is titled "The Ripple Effect: Faculty Redesign Through Course Redesign" and I guess the title hints a bit at where the presentation goes. I might have called it "The Shell Game," because part of the idea is sleight-of-hand.

The Writing Initiative at Passaic County Community College which I direct has as its primary goal improving writing. The means to do that is by redesigning more than twenty courses across disciplines as writing-intensive. But, when the grant was written, an embedded component of the project was also to increase the use of technology by the faculty and students both participating in those writing intensive courses and in the larger college community.

There's a good chance that there has been some type of faculty-development, technology-infusion effort at your school at least once in the past decade. Many of them are not very successful. There are lots of different reasons for that and my session won't try to determine why, but what I have observed is that in some cases the technology was never accepted by faculty as necessary to what they were teaching.

Our approach has become (and it has changed during our first two years) trying to make sure the horse is in front of the cart. Though we, by necessity, still need to offer some formal faculty development for our Initiative technology, we are trying to keep a lot of that less formal.

We have a lot of technology in the writing courses for students and faculty - collaboratively creating digital content that is shared with other instructors, online assessments, lecture capture, streaming video, e-portfolios, e-tutoring, online scheduling, and promoting the use of the college portal and learning management systems. We have courses that are online, blended, and face-to-face. There's so much technology that we were often questioned (particularly by faculty) in the first two years of the grant if we weren't losing sight of the writing.

Now, as we start year 3 of the five-year grant, we can definitely point to one successful aspect of our efforts: the ripple effect in the adoption of the grant-funded technologies beyond the writing-intensive courses and instructors.

My session will report on the successes and challenges of these efforts including the data collected by my team and PCCC's Institutional Research department about the initial effects the Initiative is having on student success, learning outcomes and retention.

It pleased me to read the EDUCAUSE Top Teaching and Learning Challenges report for 2009.  In trying to set the agenda and collaborate with colleagues around real solutions and innovative directions, the community came up with their Top Five Challenges in teaching and learning with technology. Our Initiative addresses all five.

1. Creating learning environments that promote active learning, critical thinking, collaborative learning, and knowledge creation.
2. Developing 21st century literacies (information, digital, and visual) among students and faculty.
3. Reaching and engaging today's learner.
4. Encouraging faculty adoption and innovation in teaching and learning with IT.
5. Advancing innovation in teaching and learning with technology in an era of budget cuts.

"Faculty Redesign" is not something you really hear being discussed on campuses as much as course redesign, but that's what I am talking interested in seeing happen on our campus. Both are best done as a process, rather than some thing we do because we have new tools to use.

The first 3 challenges in the list above are more explicit in our grant. The last two may ultimately be the most important.

If you want to know more about the EDUCAUSE Challenges and participate, check out their project wiki where they are trying to build a network of solutions and join the Challenges Ning Network.


The State of the Blogosphere

Last week was the BlogWorld & New Media Expo which included the 2009 "State of the Blogosphere" report compiled by Technorati and delivered by their CEO Richard Jalichandra.


Since 2004, Technorati's annual State of the Blogosphere report has followed growth and trends in the blogosphere. This year bloggers were surveyed directly to provide the data for the report.


The 2009 State of the Blogosphere survey demonstrates that the growth of the blogosphere's influence on subjects ranging from business to politics to the way information travels through communities continues to flourish. In a year when revolutions and elections were organized by blogs, bloggers are blogging more than ever, and the State of the Blogosphere is strong.


Technorati released five segments that you can now access online. They started with demographics on Who Are the Bloggers, then onto the What and Why and the How of Blogging. The last two segments are of less interest to me and most educators - blogging revenues and their political impact - but are probably where the most interest is in blogging in the larger part of the blogosphere.


In addition to the survey results, there are also interviews with some big names from blogging:

Michael Arrington, TechCrunch
Penelope Trunk, Brazen Careerist
Steve Rubel, Edelman Digital, Micro Persuasion
Alex Santoso, Neatorama
Henry Copeland, Blogads
Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post
Jonathan Salem Baskin, Dimbulb
Mathew Ingram, Toronto Globe and Mail
Seth Godin, Squidoo, sethgodin.typepad.com
Simon Mackie, Web Worker Daily
Dan Gillmor, dangillmor.com
Duncan Riley, The Inquisitr

The Fun Theory

The Fun Theory is a belief that the easiest way to change people's behavior for the better is by making it fun to do.

If you teach, you wouldn't have much trouble accepting this theory. The tough part is making it fun.

Volkswagen's turned a subway staircase in Stockholm, Sweden into a giant piano to show fun can trump conveniences like an escalator. (It made me think of Tom Hanks in Big.) The ad, created by DDB Stockholm, is part of VW's "Fun Theory" campaign. Can you get people to use the stairs instead of the escalator? Watch and see.




Do you have an idea that uses fun to change behavior? Enter now for the chance to win €2500.

I'm sure some corporate sponsor will pick up on the idea and sponsor something similar for educators to make learning fun. Right?

http://www.thefuntheory.com


Geocities Closing

I saw the end of an Internet era in the email I received last June that told me:
We're writing to remind you that Yahoo! GeoCities, our free web site building service and community, is closing on October 26, 2009. On October 26, 2009, your GeoCities site will no longer appear on the Web, and you will no longer be able to access your GeoCities account and files.
I have had sites there since 1996, though I didn't keep the two sites that still existed there updated or pay much attention to them. I suspect that was true of many such sites.

GeoCities was a web hosting service that started (before it's Yahoo connection) back in 1994. It was the first free hosting service that I ever used to create a site when my knowledge of HTML was almost zero.

Back then, you selected a "city" where you wanted to "homestead" your web pages (Computer-related sites in  "SiliconValley" and entertainment in "Hollywood" - my writing site was in Athens.)  In mid-1997, GeoCities was the fifth most popular site on the Web, and had signed up its millionth Homesteader.

A post on ZDNet also sees the closure of GeoCities as an end of an era. Rupert Goodwins said that GeoCities was "the first proof that you could have something really popular and still not make any money on the internet." It may be that Yahoo's management of GeoCities is another example of their inability to turn a popular Net property into a moneymaker. But, I also think that in a time where there are lots of places to host free content, GeoCities and other similar services like Tripod.Lycos seem old-fashioned, less dynamic and much harder to use than something like a blog site.

Actually, my sites, which I will just allow to be deleted, will not really be gone forever. The Internet Archive announced a project to archive GeoCities pages, stating "GeoCities has been an important outlet for personal expression on the Web for almost 15 years" and their vast Internet Archive will be contain as much of GeoCities sites as possible.