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Faculty of Humanities Teaching & Learning Office

Support & Services

Training in the use of rapid development tools to create interactive resources

Examples of this Service:

Faculty of Humanities staff have access to a number of powerful but easy to use tools for the creation of online, interactive resources. They are:

  • Raptivity: quickly creates interactive activities and lively animated presentations
  • GLO Maker: produces multi-media presentations including audio, video and text
  • Wimba Create: converts word documents into web pages with interactive elements such as multiple choice quizzes
  • iSpring: converts PowerPoint presentations into interactive movies
  • LOC: quickly creates well presented web pages with optional interactive elements

Once produced, the resources you make can be uploaded easily to your Blackboard course.

  • The tools are easy to learn and use.
  • No special IT skills or additional equipment are required.
  • Development time for resources is short once you have learned the basics.
  • The resources you make can be delivered via Blackboard for self-directed study or be used as part of a lecture presentation.
  • Interactive, animated materials help make presentations clearer and more memorable.
  • You can create engaging self-assessment resources for your students.

Having a Blackboard presence is now a standard element of all University of Manchester courses. However, in many cases this Blackboard site is little more than a repository for word documents, PowerPoint slides and poor quality scans from text books. Such content does not provide a very engaging experience for students.

Like many academics, you may want to include more dynamic, interactive materials on your Blackboard site, but feel that you don't have the technical expertise to do so. Rapid development tools such as Raptivity, GLO and LOC provide the answer.

With these tools it is easy for anyone with basic IT skills to create interactive, animated and multi-media resources. The development workflow for all these tools is very similar:

  • download and install the software onto your computer
  • add your own content (text, audio, images, video) to a template
  • save the resourse
  • upload the resource to your Blackboard section

The Humanities eLearning team can help you decided which development tool best suits your needs and provide the initial training required to get you up and running. You may be surprised at just how easy it is to create engaging and motivating content for your Blackboard site.

This varies between development tools, but for most you can learn the basics in little more than thirty minutes. You will then need an hour or so to explore and experiment with the software.

Once you have mastered the basics, development time for each resource can vary from a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how media-rich the material is.

Once built, the resources can be used again and again either as self-directed study material on Blackboard or as presentational material in lectures.

You can find out more about the tools and see examples of resources built with them by visiting these web sites:

Check the events page of the Humanties eLearning site for upcoming training sessions that you can join.

If you would like a one-to-one consultation with a member of the Humanties eLearning team to discuss how we can help you get started, send us an email at elearning@manchester.ac.uk