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.

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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