Karen Pautz
Spring 2014
Master's of Teaching and Technology, William Woods University

EDU 561: Instructional Design with Technology

Week 7 final project

Unit template:
Download the .pdf file

Unit summary: 
My unit on visual imagery is part of an online course I'd like to develop on Promotions and Public Relations in the Horse Industry (I should really add the phrase "social media" in there somewhere!). My students are constantly taking photos and uploading them to Facebook, and shooting videos to post to YouTube, but I spend a lot of time cringing at what I see. 

I want my students to understand that the digital imagery they present to the world results in very strong opinions from those who view it. And because my students are hoping to be industry professionals, and not just people posting fun photos and home videos, I want them to know what works best in the equine industry. They can then use that knowledge to promote themselves, their horses, their facilities, and their businesses. In addition, they can offer those services to others in the horse industry!

In this unit, students will learn appropriate industry standards for online photos and videos which are to be used as promotional products. Once they've developed an "eye" for the qualities of good digital imagery, they'll develop their own photos and videos. They'll collaborate with others and analyze and critique the works of others and themselves. They'll use the photos and videos they develop as part of a course-end final project.

Instructional design model:
I've chosen the ASSURE model of instructional design as the basis for the course and the unit. I'm drawn to the model particularly due to its focus on technology, but I appreciate the entire model: the early assessment of students (A), the formal statement of objectives (S), the focus on selection (S) and utilization (U) of technology, the strong emphasis on student participation (R), and the ending evaluation and revision (E) if necessary. The ASSURE model fits well with the flexible nature of asynchronous online courses, and with my obsession with technology.


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And now, for the presentation! Make sure your volume is on -- although not too loud, or you might have the neighbor dogs howling at your front door!

You have two options for viewing the presentation. Read the descriptions to decide which you’ll use.

Zentation: http://www.zentation.com/viewer/index.php?passcode=ugFycrkKBu

I think there are some interesting options for the use of Zentation as an educational tool, although I’m not sure my use for this project is the best -- it makes for too much reading. I just wanted to experiment with the application. But Zentation would be ideal for a combination “talking head” video complemented by a PowerPoint presentation. The Zentation presentation does NOT work on my mobile devices, so use this one only if you’re on a conventional desktop or laptop. This will work best if you use your mouse to adjust the windows so that the YouTube window is at least as large at the PowerPoint window.

YouTube: This will work cross-platform, but you don’t get to see the lyrics. smile

For the nerds, here’s the process and tools I used:

As always, I wanted to use this project as incentive to learn new software applications, and develop new skills. It's like getting new toys! Also, I like to make myself laugh, even if I’m the brunt of my own joke.

Once I decided I was going to, um, sing, I surfed through hundreds of karaoke songs (thanks, YouTube!) until I happened upon Dance of the Hours (made famous by Allan Sherman’s version, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah”). I purchased the .mp3 for $0.99 from Google Play. I really wanted to do a version of “Modern Major General” from “Pirates of Penzance,” but I realized quickly it was above my pay grade. wink

The tune’s original key was too high for me, so I used a free trial of the web-based audio manipulator Song Surgeon (http://www.songsurgeon.com/) to drop the key by a few whole notes. It’s still high, but I wasn’t going for opera-quality singing!

Once I knew the tune I’d be using, I wrote the lyrics. I used the web-based rhyming dictionary Rhymezone (http://www.rhymezone.com/) to help.

For a later step, I whipped together a PowerPoint file showing the lyrics to the song.

I imported the sound file into Audacity (http://www.audacity.com/) and recorded my singing using a low-end USB microphone. I had to do some cutting and editing, because my laptop would consistently drop the audio from seconds 3-8 of my song. So I sang the missing part again and again (past the 8 second mark), and cut and pasted what I needed into the soundtrack. I added a two-bar introduction to the beginning. I compiled the music and singing tracks into an .mp3 audio file. Audacity makes you feel really smart.

I thought about doing the video portion of the presentation using VideoScribe whiteboard animation again, but I was tired of it, having already used it for two earlier projects. I wanted the video to clearly indicate which portion of the ASSURE instructional model was being referenced in the sone, and to serve as visual backup to the song lyrics. So I went with a basic video slideshow. I used Photoshop and GIMP for the graphics, and just dropped everything into the timeline in Movavi Video Maker (http://www.movavi.com/), and synced it with the soundtrack. The video presentation is pretty low-end, due to all the free software. I really really would love to have the powerful computers that real video development companies use, but right now, I’m busy just trying to pay off my electric bills!

Compiling the video was interesting. I had been working on my office computer, but compiling the video took 30 minutes, and ended with a 500 megabyte video that lost the sync between audio and video. That was somewhat disappointing! So I took the raw files and compiled them again, this time using my laptop. It took 15 minutes to compile, and ended with a properly-running, 80 megabyte .mp4 file. Whew!

I uploaded the .mp4 file to my YouTube channel. I also uploaded it to Zentation, along with the PowerPoint, and synced the two files with Zentation’s user-friendly web app.