Sunday, June 17, 2007

Expo APTI Projects in which I have been Involved

The purpose of this posting is to provide an overview of my involvement in projects that are presented in the Expo APTI 2006 website.

What is Expo APTI?
Expo APTI is a type of trade show presented by faculty members in cooperation with the Department of IT and ID Services. It is meant to provide a forum for the faculty to share how the use of technology can improve teaching and learning at the College of Business at Université Laval. If some of you have attended eLearning Guild events, it is similar to the Demofest--but without the voting part, because everybody is a winner :-) .

In addition to helping faculty share their success stories, it provides us with an opportunity to build a web portfolio of the projects in which our team at the Department of IT an ID Services have participated--an activity that we rarely find the time to do.

For more about the Expo APTI, please click here:
The numbers below correspond with the project numbers listed on the Expo APTI website.

1. Le cas Bélisle (The Belisle Case Study)
In this project, I acted as Project Manager, Instructional Designer, Graphic and Web Designer, and Multimedia Developer.

We undertook this project to address the need for graduate students to truly understand everything that is involved in consulting projects for real companies. Instead of writing a 20 page case study, we found a company that was willing to open its doors to us and show us everything from the inside out. Using video, we recorded over 9 hours of material that was subsequently reviewed and integrated onto a DVD-Rom. Students can now see this company as if they are there without bothering the CEO every 5 minutes...

2. Capsules de formation théorique et appliquée en marketing (Theoretical and Applied Learning Objects in Marketing)
In this project, I acted as Instructional Designer and Graphic and Web Designer.

The goal of this project was to develop a series of learning objects to train students on how to apply statistics to the field of marketing research. Each module had a theoretical section in which the Professor narrated over a rich PowerPoint presentation, as well as an applied section that demonstrated how to use the SPSS software to obtain and analyse results. We used Breeze Presenter 5 and Captivate to build our learning objects. The professor was really pleased with the results. Since the implementation of this project, he has noted that the students' reports are much more elaborate.

5. Simulation boursière à la criée (Stock Exchange Trading Floor Simulation)
In this project, I acted as Instructional Designer and Interface Designer.

The goal of this simulation is to help students understand the roles and mechanisms of stock exchange (traders, analysts, market makers, bid, ask, spot, etc.). The simulation can be played individually or in a team of up to four people. Depending on his/her role, each participants has access to a limited amount and type of information and must communicate with his/her teamates using hand signs only. Traders must try to find other traders on the floor to buy or sell stocks at a certain price and complete a transaction.

8 . Stimuler l'interaction en salle de classe à l'aide de l'outil Timer-Picker (Using the Horton Timer-Picker to Stimulate In-Class Interaction)
Though I was not personally involved in the described project, I always use the Horton Timer-Picker when I train in-class. Its simplicity makes it so useful! You can use it as a timer, setting a number of minutes and seconds that act as a countdown, and you can import your student names and team names to randomly pick one if needed. Very useful in front of a shy audience.

9. Utilisation de télévoteurs en salle de classe (Using Clickers in the Classroom)
At the College of Business, we have bought, over the last year, 200 CPS eInstruction clickers. We promote the use of clickers to help the faculty attain a better sense of the level of comprehension of their audience, to poll, and to execute multiple choice exams.

11. Outils de soutien à l'enseignement à la FSA (Teaching and Training Tools at the College of Administrative Sciences)
Other than WebCT CE 4, we have developed a set of web tools to help faculty members to become more effective. For instance, we have built a drop box tool, a team creation tool, a tech watch tool, an electronic form tool, and virtual offices for team projects.

14. Glossaire multimédia en gestion du développement touristique (Web Glossary in Tourism Development)
In this project, I acted as Project Manager, Instructional Designer, and Video Developer.

Since Tourism incorporates several fields of study (management, marketing, demographics, environment, etc.), most students have a different definition of every term used in the field. This Web glossary was built to gain access to real field knowledge by interviewing experts that gave their understanding of key terms. We can also link websites or any kind of document to a definition. The idea behind this site is to encourage every faculty member that teaches in the program to add definitions and ressources to the glossary. It has been developed in ASP on a SQL Sever database by one of our programmers.

16. L'utilisation de la visioconférence pour l'enseignement à distance (Using Webconferencing for Distance Learning)
In this project, I acted as Instructional Designer and Tech Support Specialist.

This pilot project was intended to provide a better understanding of the benefits of using webconferencing tools (Breeze Live in this case) for distance learning. Approximately 20 students attended a virtual course on Web Development that focused primarily on software training. During the first semester, I was present at each event to ensure that every student could connect; however, the Professor was able to use it on his own during the following semester. I developed a great deal of technical documentation to help students to become familiar with Breeze without my assistance.

17. Cours simultanée en classe et à distance à l'aide de la webdiffusion (Synchronous classroom and distance courses through the use of webcasting)
This pilot project, produced by the Department of Information Systems, is the cornerstone of one of my current projects: making every classroom in the College of Business ready to be streamed online and recorded (audio and screen capture). Using a mix of open source and MS-based technology, we have developed a method to webcast and record. Our current challenge is to make it as easy as possible for faculty members to record their classroom events without having to change the way in which they teach.

18. Apprentissage de la production de connaissances en réseau à l'aide des TI (Learning to Build Knowledge Through the Use of Networking Technology)
In this project, I acted as Instructional Designer, Web Designer, and Usability Designer.

The four major achievements of this project were:
1) Building the first course website for the Ph.D. level;
2) Enabling students to work collaboratively in a Ph.D. setting;
3) Using a collaborative work platform (SharePoint) to build a course website; and
4) Building a Contextualized Web Bibliography tool that helped to manage and retain knowledge for that specific course.

21. Gestion des forums pour les grands groupes (Using Online Forums in a Large Distance Learning Courses)
In this project, I acted as Instructional Designer and Web Developer.

One of our Instructors has nearly 200 students per semester in three different courses, yet she still manages to make her courses interactive. We have developed a method to evaluate online forum postings on quantity and quality that helps the instructor to keep up with the rhythm using a simple Excel spreadsheet.


Ok, let me catch my breath...

Chickering and Gamson Seven Principles and the Role of IT

While working on a report on synchronous tools for my current employer, I found an article that was really well done. The article, entitled "E-Conferencing for Instruction: What Works?" was published in EDUCAUSE Quarterly and is accessible online at

Anytime a new gadget or gizmo comes out and hits the market, people get excited and think that it is going to change the world, especially in education. Think of all the hype around podcasting, webconferencing and clickers for instance... But one thing is for sure, without a plan--including learning objectives and a set of relevant activities and assessments--a brain, and a little human emotion, you will not be able to leverage these technologies and turn them into effective delivery methods for learning. Table 1 on page 47 really illustrates that tools are opportunities for added value only approximately half of the time.

As an Instructional Designer, I work hard to ensure that instructors obtain the training needed to add value to all web-based and classroom training.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mike Check: One...Two...

Fact #1: Synchronous classroom systems are great.
Fact #2: They are even better when people are able to use them...

I had two problems this week.

Issue #1: I realized that 90% of the user support I have to do with our Elluminate Live pilot involves showing users how to select their microphone and turn up its volume. To solve this problem, I developed a scenario to teach users how to make sure they can use their microphone--without calling me on a Sunday afternoon...

Issue #2: My Breeze Presenter 5 PowerPoint add-on doesn't work on Office 2007. I knew that Articulate could be an alternative, but since I did not have a licence, I decided to try to find another PowerPoint to Flash with voice converter - by the way, I really think that Adobe made a mistake by integrating Adobe Presenter and making it exclusively offered with Adobe Connect webconferencing suite. Anyway, 2 days later, and I resigned myself to download the 2007/Vista beta version of Articulate 5. The good thing is it works just fine.

Here is a link to the result (sorry, it is in French...):

I hope it will work well enough to help us have a smooth ride until the end of the summer semester.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

I'm Elluminated!

I used Elluminate Live 7.0 for the first time today as an Application Administrator and I have been very impressed with the ease of use of this platform. I have been so irritated with our Breeze Live pilot that it is nothing short of a miracle for me.

Since Université Laval is trying the virtual classroom, I had to copy and paste more than 40 new users. CTRL-C and CTRL-V are two shortcuts you cannot avoid when you work with IT anyway.

We are beginning a pilot with approximately 30 students on Monday. If everything goes as planned, I believe that we will be a step closer to making our decision about our next virtual classroom.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The One-Minute Media Hits Education

After reading my last edition of Wired, I was struck with all the similarities between the One-Minute Media and the recent trends in e-Learning Rapid Development. You can read the articles at

Many tools exist for teaching SMEs and IDs who want to share their daily chunk of instruction. The simplest expression of RD is building a MP3 using Audacity ( Find a music loop for your intro and you are done! Last week, I built seven 40-second MP3s from capture to publishing in less than one hour--without prior experience with the software.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Classroom Recording and Podcasting Process

Here is a chart that I have recently developed. It explains (in French - sorry...) the kind of input you can capture from a classroom event and how it can be streamed for a live audience and stored on a server for playback. It also shows that you can use different methods to reassemble audio, video, screen capture or full motion screen capture into formats that are adapted to the Net Gen.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Les outils synchrones et asynchrones

Suite à des réflexions concernant les outils d'enseignement et d'apprentissage à distance, j'en suis venu à me développer le tableau suivant :

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

My first post - Mon premier message

Well, it was bound to happen...

There you go, another blogger hits the Web. After a whole year hearing about this Blog/Wiki/Podcast madness at my job (i'm an instructional designer in a university), I had to try it. But i guess it comes at a right time. I hope that writing about my everyday stuff might help me figure it out.

Probablement que certains messages seront en français, d'autres en anglais. Donc, ne soyez pas surpris. Pour les autres langues, on verra bien, mais l'espagnol pourrait apparaître d'ici les prochaines 5 à 10 années ;-)

Disclaimer and Copyright

The ideas and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and do not necessarely reflect my employer's point of view.

Creative Commons License
This work by Mathieu Plourde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

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