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Creating Educational Materials

Introduction

This page contains a list of freely available tools that faculty on our campus can use to create course materials for students. While this is primarily intended for faculty who are considering offering new distance-learning courses, these tools can also be used by faculty wishing to create supplementary resources for students in traditional classes.

The tools are this page are not necessarily the "best" tools for creating these materials, and are not the only free tools available. However, they are easy enough to use and of sufficient quality to allow faculty to "try out" the concepts without requiring the purchase of expensive software programs. This list also provides faculty information on tools that they may not even have known existed.

Wimba

Kent State has purchased licensing for Wimba, which includes several different online applications integrated into Blackboard Vista/Learn.  These applications include a virtual classroom environment perfect for hosting online lectures or holding virtual office hours; a podcasting tool for recording audio lectures; and an instant messaging tool, which allows students to communicate with classmates in real time.  More information, including links, help resources, and more will soon be posted on this page about each Wimba tool -- in the meantime, see your Educational Technology Designer for more information.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a great collaborative tool that allows students to create text documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more in an online "cloud" environment.  More information, including links, help resources, and more will soon be posted on this page -- in the meantime, see your Educational Technology Designer for more information about Google Docs.

Kent State Educational Technology Apps

These applications were designed by technology staff at Kent State University specifically to meet faculty needs while providing secure online space to store materials created with these applications.  All of these require you to log in using your Flashline username and password.

Multimedia Presenter ( mmp.kent.edu)  More info coming soon!

KSUTube ( ksutube.kent.edu)  More info coming soon!

KSU Dropbox ( dropbox.kent.edu)  More info coming soon!

Screen Capture

Screen capture programs create of video of everything happening on your computer screen. This is commonly done to train individuals on how to use new software or how to perform complex tasks. YouTube videos are available demonstrating Wink and BB Flashback that give you an idea of what these types of programs can do.

The three programs listed below are somewhat limited in their capabilities. Faculty that do these types of recordings more regularly will commonly move on to commercial products, such as Adobe Captivate or Camtasia Studio, that provide more options. Both of these professional programs have free demos available.

  • BB Flashback Express - Can create AVI and SWF (Flash) videos. Available for MS Windows only.
  • CamStudio - Can create AVI and SWF (Flash) videos. Available for MS Windows only.
  • Jing - Can download to remote (shareable) website, or save as SWF (Flash). Recording time is limited to 5 minutes. Versions for both Windows and Mac available.
  • Wink - Can create SWE (Flash), PDF, or stand-alone executable. Available for MS Windows only.

Audio Editor

If you are planning on incorporating audio into any lessons, it is important to have a tool that allows you to edit these sound clips. Audacity is a very powerful program that allows you to remove sections (cut and trim), change volume (normalize), combine different audio clips (mix), and a wide range of other actions.
  • Audacity - Versions for both Windows and Mac available

Video Editor

If you plan on incorporating video into your materials, you will need a way to edit these clips. Microsoft Movie Maker is freely available for Windows, and iMovie is available for the Mac. In many cases, you won't need more than this. The following programs are alternatives to these, that may be better suited in certain situations.
  • Avidemux - Useful for "trimming" select portions from a video, for joining multiple clips, and the changing the format of a file.  Available for both Windows and Mac.
  • Wax - Useful for creating "special effects". Available for MS Windows only.
  • ZS4 - A powerful non-linear editor capable of mixing a large number of video and audio tracks. Available for Windows and Mac.
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