In late September, we started a weekly “Tips you Desire” initiative. We had been discussing how to communicate short and quick information on how to best utilize the tools in D2L to our faculty. Many times we would be asked the same questions from different faculty regarding these tools. So, we developed the “Tips you Desire” weekly email so we could address these questions and offer new uses of tools to those who may not have previously used the tools.
“Tips you Desire” is sent out each week on Thursdays. Why Thursdays? Seemed like a good day after the beginning of the week and before the weekend so that folks could try utilizing the ideas in the tips. What is important here is that we set a point of consistency. Before we started, we brainstormed and created a list of categories and topics that we can use to create tips for the entire year. As the semester continues we’ve add to the list and received suggestions from faculty with more ideas!
In addition to a short text message with screen shots in the “Tips you Desire” message, we’ve also created quick 2 to 4 minute video clips explaining each tip. Using the free version (limited to 10 min clips) of Microsoft Expression Encoder 4, the tips are created with audio and screen capturing, so that faculty have a rich media tutorial explaining the tip!
Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 does a great job of creating the video, encoding it into a format so that I can easily upload it to YouTube. Once it’s uploaded to YouTube, I set it up as private (only those that have the link can view it) and send out the link in the email. Faculty can subscribe to the YouTube channel so that when new videos are up, they will be notified. Here’s a link to one of the videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXhh9_EJLuQ
We are in the process of determining the best format to store these resources. For example, should we create a space on our website for the links (though these should have some privacy??); should we create space in the “org” shared content within D2L?…at any rate, we are determining how best to give access to faculty for these resources we create.
We’ve had numerous positive feedback from the weekly “Tips you Desire” and we’ve noticed that more faculty are utilizing the tools in more efficient and effective ways and are actually having “fun” with D2L!