Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First Course Done

Well, the first course is done, and I'm almost completed desgining the outline for the remaining nine courses. I've approached this process much like I've done for many of my Master's Degree assignments - start with a "wireframe" and build on the rest. This will assure some sort of continuity amongst the courses. I can't wait to finish them, but patience will be required for the rest of the process.

The weather is pretty fine here, and I will more than likely be developing many of the course's resources poolside. Don't worry, I won't let the sun fry my brain, I'll be needing it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I finally figured out how to make the media content in the course (specifically videos and audio files) viewable by any browser. Moodle has a great plug in that frames the media very nicely, and its skinnable too, and I was able to view the content on my computer and on my iPhone. Flash didn't work, as us i(anything) owners know, so I created everything in MP4, and it worked.

Back to slide show problems, I couldn't let it go, so I went back to using a powerpoint presentation. The problem is that if I load these presentations to slideshare or google docs (both great services), the slide transitions are lost and each slide only displays for three seconds, and at the moment there is no way to modify that. That was why I originally opted out of using that method. Then I had a "genius" moment as I lay in bed thinking about it and got around the too fast problem by inserting duplicate slides into the presentation. So if I wanted to display a slide for 6 seconds, rather than 3, I just had the same slide twice in succession. There is no transition capability yet in either service, so that's a blessing really, because my site visitors aren't aware of the duplicate slide. To them it looks like one that plays for 6 seconds, when it is really 2 that play for 3 seconds each.

OK, enough patting myself on the back, its back to work.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Slideshow Troubles

Yikes, I'm about ready to pull my hair out!  It has taken me almost two days to figure out how to embed a slideshow in the program website.  Tried picasa by google, but there is a known issue that clicking on the play button takes my visitors away from the site instead of playing the slideshow.  Not what I want!! The slideshow plays perfectly once, but there's no autoloop feature, and the problems are apparent if the user wants to play it again.  I can't specify the interval between slides, though, and it's a little too fast. No word from google when that will be resolved, and it's a known issue that's been outstanding since March 2010!  Can't wait for them to fix it, and this has been an exercise in patience.

So I've resorted to creating an html slideshow and used iframe to embed it in the site.  It looks good, but the user must advance the frames manually.  Still better than the google option though, because at least the visitor has ample time to read each slide.

Back to the drawing board I go, and onward to developing the course material.  The push is on to promote the site and the course on social networking.  I've established some great connections on Twitter, Facebook continues to lag behind.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Getting started!

Well, development is quickly underway.  First was the website and trying to create a portal full of information about the programs that will be offered.  I've decided to create a link to a sample course, to give prospective students a small taste of what is to come.  I've almost finished the first course, and will be taking the summer off school to complete both programs.  Whew!  It will be a lot of work.  In the meantime I'm trying to establish a presence in the social networking sphere on facebook, twitter and linked in.  So far, I'm having more success with twitter.  Can't get anyone to "like" the facebook page. Suggestions?