xerte @ uct_09.03.2016
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Xerte @ UCT
XMLEditorRunTimeEngineThe story so far
Why we started using XerteMOOCs Project - http://www.cilt.uct.ac.za/cilt/moocs-project-uctA way to curate resources generated for MOOCsContent already curated on MOOC provider platformsXerte identified as a suitable optionUsers need not have technical expertise in order to create learning objectsCreated content HTML5-encoded and learning objects viewable on web browsers on different device typesMOOC packaging for making available on OpenUCT through export optionsSharing options make for collaborative authoring
MOOCs ProjectThe MOOCs project at UCT launched their first MOOC in early 2015. In order to do facilitate this, the MOOCs project team at CILT partnered with a company that offered a platform specifically for delivering course content to learners from all over the world, and included functionality that enabled course facilitators to interact with these learners, gather statistics on them and their use of the course materials and encourage them to collaborate and interact with each other regarding course-related topics.
The MOOCs project team soon realised that, if running the MOOCs was to become a long-term exercise, they needed some way to retain the materials used in the various courses as a record of what had been done and also a way to revise and reuse these materials for reruns of courses and keep the materials in a way that reflected the learning design and structure of the courses that were run. Being business entities, it is not possible to project how long their chosen platform providers will continue to offer their services, so it is assumed that the contracts that UCT has with these providers has a limited lifespan, hence the requirement.
A way to curate resources generated for MOOCs/Content already curated on MOOC provider platformsThe curation challenge lay in the fact that the MOOC provider platforms already curated the MOOC resources. We needed to find a product that would enable us to house the MOOC resources, make them available to project members when required, facilitate repackaging of content for future reruns of MOOCs and also present courses as whole, coherent units that could be presented in platforms such as OpenUCT without requiring additional context. Each unit needed to contain an entire MOOC.
XERTE identified as a suitable optionXerte (Xml Editor and Run Time Engine) was identified as a suitable option, as it is SCORM compliant, can be integrated with Sakai (through the LTI tool), and learning objects can also be published as part of the Xpert Repository (Xerte Public E-learning ReposiTory - www.nottingham.ac.uk/xpert/). Objects created in Xerte are HTML5-encoded and can be accessed via web browsers on different types of devices. As the current consensus is that the repository will be closed-access and only certain parts of each MOOC will be made available via OpenUCT, it is not anticipated that the material will be published to Xpert in the near future. However, the project has recently started to encounter reluctance by lecturers of one or two of the MOOCs to have their materials made available as relatively decontextualized objects on the OpenUCT repository, so they may be interested in making their contextualised materials available as open access learning objects in OpenUCT. There are sharing and export options for learning objects available in Xerte, so the option is available to them, as is the possibility of making learning modules available from within a Vula site through the LTI tool.
Resources CuratedAccount on the FutureLearn site www.futurelearn.com to be able to access the resources (MOOC output)Access to learning design of MOOCs project team via Google driveTypes of resources:Videos (HD mp4) and video transcriptsPage text (accompanying images, video, audio or standalone)Audio files (mp3)Images (jpg/png)Quizzes (with immediate feedback)Each page type template combines one or more of these elements in different ways
Account on the FutureLearn site for MOOC output:I was given an account on the FutureLearn site so I could access and download the resources from there. I needed to sign up as a participant in the MOOC I was curating, but not obliged to participate in the ongoing course.
Access to learning design of MOOCs project team via Google Drive:As I needed to curate the learning design of the course as well, I was given access to the MOOC learning design documents of the MOOCs project team via Google drive.
Types of resources that needed to be curated:Videos (HD mp4) best quality version of the videos kept for curationVideo transcripts (accompanying videos often found to be incorrectly transcribed and required watching the videos to correct errors)Page text accompanying videos, images and audioAudio files (mp3) link to the mp3 audio clipImages (jpg/png)Quizzes with feedback
Each page in Xerte combines one or more of these elements according to the type of template used to create a page.
Page Types: Some Examples
Page Type: Media > Video
We found that video formats other than mp4 would either not display a record or the video would not start.5
Xerte Page Display: Media > VideoHow does this compare with rendering of the same information on FutureLearn?
This same information is presented on the FutureLearn site at https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/medicine-and-the-arts, but includes information specific to those who will be taking the course, for example, certificates of completion, course duration, start and end dates, upcoming rerun dates, etc.6
ABOUT THE COURSE: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/medicine-and-the-arts7
Page Type: Media > Advanced Image
Page Type: Media > Advanced Image. Even though there is a field in which to enter the image caption, this does not render on the page, so the image has to be edited to include a caption, then uploaded to Xerte. 8
Xerte Page Display:Media > Advanced Image
Media > Advanced Image: ENGAGING WITH ARTS IN MEDICINE 9
FutureLearn Page Display
https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/medicine-and-the-arts/2/steps/43690 - copy and paste link into browser where logged into FutureLearn10
Page Type: Plain Text
Xerte Page Display: Text > Plain Text
FutureLearn Page Display: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/medicine-and-the-arts/2/steps/5134912
FutureLearn Page Display
https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/medicine-and-the-arts/2/steps/43690 - copy and paste link into browser where logged into FutureLearn13
Page Type: Interactivity > Quizzes
Xerte Page Display: Interactivity > Quiz
FutureLearn Page Display: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/medicine-and-the-arts/2/steps/43698/questions/515
Quiz: Live Demo
Functionality FeaturesWide variety of page templates for different resource/content typesCan link between pages in XerteAccess different pages via a table of contents instead of linearlyLink learning object to Sakai through LTIProject Properties settings allow for sharing, collaboration, access and other features
Wide variety of page templated for different resource/content types.
Can link between pages in Xerte: A good example of this is in the MOOC quizzes, where references to resources in other pages can be embedded in the feedback. Give an example of this, i.e. XOT Internal Page Link. This is also useful for keeping the learning object content self-contained, e.g. in Medicine and the Arts >> Quiz Childrens voices in healthcare settings > references back to specific pages in the learning object.
Link learning object to Sakai through LTI:Show LTI integration in Vula site, i.e. (Admin account: Testing Course Site) > MOOCs Test tool:Project access is set to Public (in Xerte project properties)Public access provides a URL that enables others to link to the project. Use this URL in the Remote Tool URL field and set other settings.
Extent of the integration has not been tested.
PROJECT PROPERTIESDemo what can be set:
Project:Edit the project name, and set it to either HTML5 or Flash.
Notes:Any notes you want to make about the project.
Media and quota:Import media from your computer that you want to use in the learning object. Also delete objects no longer required. Provides an overview of the resources not being used in a project and also how much space the project is currently taking up.
Access:Set project access to Public, Password protected, Other and Private, depending on how visible you want it to be or whom or what (e.g. colleagues or a website) you want to share it with.
Shared Settings:This facility can be used to share a project with another Xerte user.
RSS Feed: it is possible to share a learning object by enabling the RSS option in a projects properties, so other people can see your learning object when they subscribe to the RSS feed for your Xerte server, or for your user account (https://opensource.com/education/14/9/xerte-online-toolkits-create-e-learning-material)
Open Content: If you really want to share your object with the world, enabling the Open Content option makes it so your learning object is picked up and included in the Xerte Public E-Learning Repository (XPERT) under a license of your choice (various Creative Commons licenses are included by default, but a server admin can change which licenses are available to users). You can also search XPERT (https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/xpert/) for materials to include in your own lessons (not all the items in XPERT are Xerte projects). An Open Content syndication feed URL is provided for sharing in XPERT. You need to go to the XPERT site and click on the Submit a link link and enter your details to be able to submit the link.
Give this project:Allows the sharing of the project with another Xerte user must have an account on Xerte. XML sharing:URL supplied when XML sharing set to on.
Functionality Problems/IssuesNot all functionality available/installed initiallyLogout button does not workNo Save button >> publish work when editing projects (before closing)None of the export functions work, except Offline Zip.Transcript included in page editor, but no link to transcript displayed on pageImage captions included in page editor (Image Description field), but not on published pageImages uploaded to Xerte in FireFox cached and wont update use Google Chrome for uploading subsequent imagesNo auto-correct or spell-checker in the text editorCollaboration limited to users with Xerte accounts
Not all functionality available or installed initially:Each needs to be investigate separately and logged on JIRA for follow-up with/by the technical team. Issues have been logged concerning: Logout button does not workNo Save button, only a publish one. Must ensure all work published before closing the project.Transcript included in page editor, but link to transcript not displayed on page.Image captions entered in page editor does not translate to display beneath image on published page.FireFox caches images and wont update if new ones uploaded subsequently. This has to be done in an alternative browser, which makes for cumbersome updating.
No auto-correct or spell-checker in the text editor:This means that information input has to be very carefully done. If using different formatting, e.g. font sizes to the default, this also needs to be done repeatedly and cannot be defined for the entire learning object at the outset.
Collaboration limited to users with Xerte accounts.
The way forwardXerte Staff Pilot targeted users to be trained to start creating learning objects in Xerte, starting with Health Sciences?
Envisaged use in projects in CILT?
Greater forum participation (www.xerte.org.uk) for troubleshooting problems