Reflection on Design Process for Composting Project

Tuesday 25th October 2016 (The Inauguration of the Compostivists)

During class today, Damian Gordon assigned the 11 students to 3 different groups. My group consisting of Allessio Gemma, Michael McKeever, Rachel Maguire any myself (Gerard Kilkenny) began life in Computer Room 2069. We discussed what subject areas we might base our project on and it wasn’t long before we adopted a suggestion from Michael McKeever that we use composting as the theme for our project. Damian asked us to give names to our groups so I suggested that we call ourselves The Compostivists (a play on the word Constructivist borrowed from the field of learning theories). We scheduled our first meeting for three days later in the Westbury Hotel, Dublin 2. Somehow, I already had a feeling that our group will work well together. Later that evening, I set up a group on WhatsApp for The Compostivists to instant message and invited Allesio, Michael and Rachel to join the group (which they did).

Saturday 29h October 2016 (Meeting 1 of the Compostivists – The Westbury Hotel)

I volunteered to carry out the development work for the eLearning resource (using Adobe Captivate 9) and Allesio signalled an interest in taking the lead on creating a storyboard for the resource.

The following areas of composting will be considered in developing the group’s Instructional Design/eAuthoring project:

  • Why compost
  • What to compost
  • How to compost
  • Where to compost (school, house, apartment, etc)
  • Science of composting
  • Economics of composting
  • Best practice composting
  • Duration of composting
  • Composting versus ‘Black Bin’
  • How composting influences retail purchasing choices for the consumer

The group decided to assign the following roles to group members and to organise the group’s work as follows:

Subject Matter Expert (SME):   Michael McKeever
Storyboarder:                              Allesio Gemma
Storyboarder:                              Rachel Maguire
Authoring Tools Specialist:       Gerard Kilkenny

Communication methods will include email, Whats App, face to face meetings. Michael McKeever will ask Dolores McManus to set up a virtual class for the group in DIT’s Blackboad LMS so that the group can use file sharing, chat, etc.



Thursday 3rd November 2016 (Storyboarding and Video Editing)

Storyboarding with Adobe Captivate Draft on iPad

It was time to get my hands dirty with some new technologies. I discovered today that while Adobe Captivate 9 desktop version (for both Mac and Windows) is designed for authoring, there is an iPad app called Adobe Captivate Draft specifically designed for storyboarding. While I had paid the educational price of €429.27 (full price is €1,351.87) for the Adobe Captivate 9 desktop app, the Adobe Captivate Draft iPad app for storyboarding is free). Incidentally, the educational price of €429.27 allowed me to install Captivate on both my iMac and my Windows 10 laptop. I prefer to use the larger screen (21.5 inch) and more powerful iMac (16GB RAM) to my Windows 10 laptop (8 GB RAM) for authoring.

I discovered that the conduit for passing the storyboarding content developed on my iPad for later authoring on my iMac is Adobe Creative cloud. I already use iCloud (Apple), OneDrive (Microsoft) and Dropbox. I appeared to have no choice so I downloaded and installed the iMac app and iPad app (for Adobe Creative Cloud) onto the appropriate devices. I discovered that I could sign in using my existing Adobe Id that I had when I created an Adobe account for Adobe Reader services a long time ago. So, I set about experimenting with Captivate Draft for storyboarding on my iPad and found that it is relatively easy to use. Later, I created Adobe Captivate Draft test storyboard file (.CPDX file) on my iPad and uploaded this file to Adobe Creative Cloud. I then managed to open this storyboard CPDX file in Adobe Captivate desktop app on my iMac and then saved its as a CPTX file for authoring using the full blown Adobe Captivate desktop app on my iMac.

Video Editing with Total Video Downloader for Mac

I reviewed YouTube Downloaders from:


Later, I downloaded and installed Total Video Downloader for Mac. I downloaded a 30 second waste management video from YouTube and edited it to a 5 second video using iMovie.  I had used neither of these applications before so I felt quite pleased with myself.

I simultaneously developed part of a composting lesson in Adobe Captivate and Microsoft Powerpoint. I used PowerPoint as well as Captivate for two reasons. First, I wanted to carry out a a comparitative analysis (for myself) of the development process for both of these products. Second, I wanted to find a way of being able to easily pass on my authoring work to the rest of the group who didn’t have Adobe Captivate. (Later, I abandoned this dual development as I became more familiar with Captivate and discovered that I simply didn’t have time to try to replicate my Captivate work in PowerPoint).

I published the Adobe Captivate Project file in HTML 5 format. This means that the single project file is converted into multiple files which, when uploaded to a website, can be opened and viewed in a browser. Specifically, I uploaded this Adobe Captivate Project to gerardkilkenny.ie/compost using the FileZilla FTP application for Mac. I tested that it worked using the URL http://gerardkilkenny.ie/compost/ and it worked!

Tuesday 8th November 2016 – Class (Personas and Learning Outcomes)

The Personas section of today’s class (Lesson 3 of 8) was about the creation of fictional characters to guide your design.  Rather than designing your artefact for every possible user, the idea of personas is that you design for small number of fictional users. An example of a user profile for a particular persona could be:

Name: Susan Normal
Age: 18 years old
Size: 5’8″

Ultimately, my group the Compostivists decided to use a persona in developing the storyboard. It was decided that the persona would be a Transition Year student (approximately 15 years old) who would be influenced enough by the composting lesson to persuade his/her parents to begin composting at home.

The Learning Outcomes section of today’s class was an examination of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives that I had previously seen in Module 1 (Learning Theories). Even though Bloom’s taxonomy is at its most useful when applied to course design (at a macro level), it was still important for my group when designing the lesson objectives of why, what, how and where (at a micro level) on what was to become the Menu Page.

It was important that today’s class began looking at instructional design models – in particular the ADDIE model and the 7Cs of Learning Design. This encouraged me to some reading later in the week on instructional design.

Wednesday 9th November 2016 (Bolton Street Library – LTTC Section)

I found and borrowed 10 of the 11 books on the Essential Reading List.  This took about one hour but I had found all of the library references for these books yesterday in Aungier Street Library. I brought a rucksack with me to carry the books home!

Thursday 10th November 2016 – Annotated Bibliography 1 (Instructional Design)

I was anxious to learn more about instructional design so I decided that my first annotated bibliography will deal with this subject.  I read the following chapter from Carliner’s 2008 book which is on the ‘Essential Reading List’:

Carliner, S. (2008) A Holistic Framework of Instructional Design for eLearning. In S. Carliner & P. Shank (Eds.) The e-Learning Handbook: Past Promises, Present Challenges (pp.307-358). San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Later, I wrote an annotated bibliography of this chapter. I enjoyed the chapter and found it interesting. I began to understand that the subject of instructional design can be quite academic and complex having its historical roots in the second world war.

Saturday 12th November 2016 – (Meeting 2 of the Compostivists – DIT Kevin Street)

The following summarises progress to date:

  • Storyboard Mk1 Microsoft PowerPoint file (developed by Allesio and Rachel)
  • Authoring Mk1 Adobe Captivate and Microsoft PowerPoint files (developed by Gerry)
  • Webcourses LMS Module (organised by Mick)

The group reviewed Storyboard Mk1 mainly by referencing the ‘Site Plan’ (flow chart) contained in the Powerpoint Mk1 file. The group discussed, and ultimately agreed on, the merits of including the following revisions to Storyboard Mk2:

  • having an engaging launch to the Captivate lesson, in order to grab the students’ interest   and pull them in. This is called a lesson ‘hook’. This could be a short video or animation
  • having a short section, early in the Captivate lesson, on separating the different types of waste for grey bin, green bin, brown bin
  • the location and types of assessment (called ‘quizes’ in Captivate) within the Captivate lesson (assessment at the start for adaptive learning and assessment post-tutorial for summative assessment)
  • customising the background and ‘Actors’ (a feature of Captivate) used in the Captivate lesson for the two types of user: child and adult
  • implementing adaptive learning by using the ‘branching’ feature of Captivate
  • having links from an ‘About the Group’ section to each group member’s ePortfolios.

The group made the following decisions:

  1. To create a Storyboard Mk 2 file to include the items outlined above (Allesio and Rachel).
  2. To investigate how to use the Captivate features ‘Actors’, ‘Branching’ and ‘Assessment’ (Gerry).
  3. To provide expert knowledge on composting for the Captivate lesson (Mick)
  4. To source appropriate digital content for the Captivate lesson (Allesio, Rachel, Gerry, Mick).

Tuesday 15th November 2016 – Class (Instructional Design Models)

The Instructional Design Models section of today’s class looked at the a plethora of different models. However, the most important and popular macro models of instructional design are probably the ADDIE Model followed by the Dick and Carey Model.  As Damian pointed out, most of the models tend to be some variation of the ADDIE Model.  Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives is still important in relation to instructional design at the macro level.

The most important and popular micro model of instructional design is probably Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction. My group decided that it was important to use Gagné’s Events as we were designing a lesson (and not a course) on composting.

For me, the delineation between macro models (for course design) and micro models (for lesson design) of instructional design was probably the most important outcome of today’s class.

Saturday 19th November 2016 – Annotated Bibliography 2 (Adobe Captivate)

I was interested in writing an annotated bibliography on Adobe Captivate as this is the development tool that my group The Compostivists has decided to use for its project.  I read the following research paper from 2014:

Duvall, M. (2014). Adobe Captivate as a Tool to Create eLearning Scenarios. In T. Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2014 (pp. 514-517). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Monday 21st November 2016 – (Meeting 3 of the Compostivists – Blackboard)

Dolores McManus set up a group for The Compostivists on Webcourses with Michael McKeever as tutor. The remote meeting was due to take plave at 8 pm and by 8.10 pm, we had all of the technology working as a group and individually. This was my first time using videoconderencing software. We discovered that the two most useful way to use the software was to have only one person speaking (at all times) and to use the text chat feature for the other particiants to join in the conversation. Additionally, the shared whiteboard was very useful so that all participants could see and write on the same screen. We found that seeing video images of the participants to be of no benefit and we switched this feature off at an early juncture.

The group looked at the second iteration of the Storyboard file (created in Microsoft PowerPoint) and other than minor proposed changes, the group was happy that this would be the basis for producing the eLearning artefact. I captured nine screenshots of this meeting.

Saturday 26th November 2016 – Annotated Bibliography 3 (Applying the Contiguity Principle)

I was aware that I would be using audio narration in the eLearning artefact that I was to develop as part of my group’s composting project. With this in mind, I decided that I would read the following chapter from the Clark and Mayer book:

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2011) Applying the Contiguity Principle. In Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E., E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

The second contiguity principle is the principle that spoken words should be synchronised with corresponding graphics.  The instructional designer is advised that when spoken words describe actions in the graphics (including animation and video) in an eLearning course, corresponding spoken words and graphics should be presented at the same time.  The authors borrow from the world of cognitive learning theory to explain why the narration should not be separated from the graphics.  If the learner listens to a narration followed by an animation, he needs to retain the relevant words in working memory so as to match up the appropriate words with the corresponding segment of the animation.

Sunday 27th November 2016 – Annotated Bibliography 4 (E-learning 2.0)

I was aware that Stephen Downes 2005 paper E-Learning 2.0 is considered to be a classic in the field of eLearning. Since I would be publishing an eLearning artefact on composting for the web, I thought that it was important that I should read this paper. Additionally, I hoped that I would develop a sense of the history of eLearning in the context of the web.

Tuesday 29th November 2016 – Annotated Bibliography 5 (Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age)

I understood that Connectivism is the most modern learning theory and that it was the only learning theory to be developed since the mainstram adoption of the computer in society. I was also aware that like Downes paper in the same year (2005), Siemens (a fellow Canadian) paper is also considered a classic.

Saturday/Sunday 3rd/4th December 2016 – Authoring using Adobe Captivate 9

Project Times
Organise Images –   12:30 – 13:30 (1 hour)
Drag and Drop –       14:30 – 22:30 (8 hours)
3 Narration Slides – 22:30 – 06:30 (8 hours)


Adobe Captivate 9 has a steep learning curve. I had spent about a day some months ago trying to come to terms with, and learn, Adobe Captivate. Other than that period of time, I was a complete novice to this application. This weekend, I spent 17 hours trying to create the eLearning artefact from the Storyboard Mk2 (Microsoft PowerPoint file). Incidentally, I spent the first hour organising (renaming, filing, etc) images of waste items and bins that Michael McKeever had photographed and emailed to me this morning.

Drag and Drop

Trying to implement the drag and drop slides alone took 8 hours of my time. Trying to implement drag and drop with multiple objects to drag and multiple objects to drop is not possible to properly implent in Captivate. In the end, I had to implement it by dragging one object to multiple objects (for drops) per slide. It is very difficult overall, has a lot of complexity attached to it and the softare appears to be cumbersome and contains an amount of bugs.

If you put multiple waste items on the one slide, Adobe Captivate only informs the user that he is correct if all the dropped items are fully correct. If you get even one item incorrect (say out of 5 items, i.e. you are 80% correct) from multiple waste items, Adobe Captivate informs the user that he is incorrect.

So, I put placed one waste item only per slide so that the user could get feedback as to whether he was correct or incorrect for that item.

I didn’t want the user to have to click on the Submit button to get feedback. After some research, I discovered a way of dispensing with the need to use this button via the following link:


Basically, you tick the checkbox Auto Submit Correct Answers.

I learned how to implement drag and drop via the link:



I spent another 8 hours creating 3 slides with narration. In the end I was very happy with the way the narration slides turned out. The audio is created by speaking directly at your computer (in my case an iMac) and is crystal clear. It is one of the features of Captivate that I think is excellent and quote easy to use once I figured out how timing worked for the different objects on the Captivate screen (which is called a stage in Captivate). I used cartoon type figures (called actors in Captivate) as the narrators.

Lessons to be learned!

Renaming images can mess up drag and drop.
Careful and tedious naming of text captions is really important.
Timing within slides is everything!

Adobe Feature Request

Blog by Captivate Expert

Very good (and long) Captivate thread in Adobe forum

Saturday/Sunday 10th/11th December 2016 – Authoring using Adobe Captivate 9

Project Times
Branching –      13:00 – 16:00 (3 hours) (Saturday)
Menu page –     16:30 – 17:30 (1 hour)   (Saturday)
Assessment –    18:00 – 20:00 (2 hours) (Saturday)
Audio/Music –  12:00 – 15:00 (3 hours) (Sunday)
Other slides –   15:30 – 23:30 (8 hours) (Sunday)

Adobe Captivate 9 runs as an automatic slideshow, continuously from start to end, by default. This is equivalent to ‘kiosk mode’ in Microsoft PowerPoint. I had to disable this mode and remove the default navigation ‘timeline’ at the bottom of the screen. I found a checkbox to do this in Captivate ‘Preferences’ and then replaced it by creating and adding Captivate (Windows style) command buttons for ‘Next, ‘Previous’ and ‘Menu’. I also created buttons on the ‘Menu Page’ that allows the user to go directly to the screens defined by the learning outcomes ‘Why’, ‘What’, ‘How’ and ‘Where’.

Free Audio
I discovered free audio clips at the following website:


I downloaded free audio clips (in MP3 format) for correct and wrong answers for the drag and drop assessment at the beginning of the artefact.

The following text is in a Read.txt file that accompanies each MP3 audio file:

Hello from Orange Free Sounds,
Stock audio – Free sound effects, loops and music.
There are no hidden costs or need to sign-up.
Licence: The sound effect is permitted for non-commercial use under license ìAttribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

This licence (which was covered in Week 6 by Pauline Rooney) is of the following type: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International

According to the appropriate section of the Creative Commons website at the following link:

….. you are free to:

Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

The Big Bang Theory Theme Song


Monday 13th December 2016 – Authoring using Adobe Captivate

Project Times
Remaining slides –   20:30 – 23:00 (3 hours)
Test and fix-              23:30 – 01:30 (2 hours)
Publish to website – 02:00 – 03:00 (1 hour)

I was anxious to get the eLearning artefact fully working for the class presentation tomorrow Tuesday 14th December 2016. I also felt a responsibility towards by fellow group members who had places their trust in me to develop this eLearning artefact.


Carliner, S. (2008) A Holistic Framework of Instructional Design for eLearning. In S. Carliner & P. Shank (Eds.) The e-Learning Handbook: Past Promises, Present Challenges (pp.307-358). San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2011) Applying the Contiguity Principle. In Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E., E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Dick, W., Carey, L. & Carey, J. (2000). The systematic design of instruction (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Smith, P.L. & Ragan, T.J. (2004). Instructional design (3rd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Downes, S. (2005). E-learning 2.0. eLearn Magazine, 2005(10), 1.

Duvall, M. (2014). Adobe Captivate as a Tool to Create eLearning Scenarios. In T. Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2014 (pp. 514-517). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Reigeluth, C.M. (2009). Instructional-design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory. (Vol II) Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), 3-9.

M2-Annotated Bibliography 5

Annotated Bibliography 5

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), 3-9.


In this seminal 2005 paper, which has 3,848 citations to date, George Siemens begins by making the case for a new learning theory.  He argues that behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism, that were developed before computers, are no longer adequate as they don’t reflect the underlying social environment.  He draws on a paper on blended learning to provide evidence that knowledge is increasing exponentially, and also that the time taken for knowledge to become obsolete is getting shorter.  He refers to the latter as the “shrinking half life” of knowledge and claims that this presents new challenges for teaching and learning. (Gonzalez, 2004).

Siemens explores the three main learning theories:  behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism and the three epistemological traditions to which they are linked:  objectivism, pragmatism and interpretivism. (Driscoll, 2000).  He uses five references to the literature during this background exploration but perhaps refers too often (three citations out of five) to Marcy P. Driscoll.  The author argues that in all of the main learning theories, learning occurs inside the person.  He points out that these theories don’t attempt to explain organisational learning or machine learning.  Bob Dylan warned of “…your useless and pointless knowledge” in his classic 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited, (Dylan, 1965).  Exactly forty years later, Siemens attests that “…the need to evaluate the worthiness of learning something is a meta-skill that is applied before learning itself begins.” (Siemens, 2005, p.5).

The path to connectivism, along which Siemens brings the reader, is often less than smooth.  The section where he argues for the inclusion of chaos, in the fabric of learning theories, could be cognitively challenging for some readers.  He defines chaos as “a cryptic form of order” and believes that the learner’s challenge is to recognise these hidden patterns.  (ScienceWeek, 2004).  Later in his paper, the reason for Siemens allusion to chaos theory becomes somewhat apparent.  He appears to be drawing a parallel between the ability to form connections between sources of information to create useful information patterns, and the hidden pattern within chaos.  This reviewer notes that this skill is not unlike that required for data mining.  Phil and Kamber (2011, p.8) describe data mining as “…an essential process where intelligent methods are applied to extract data patterns”.

Siemens uses a computer network metaphor when he writes about nodes and connections.  He suggests that the nodes can be fields or communities, and that when nodes gain recognition for being experts, they attract more connections. The author refers to the cross-pollination of learning communities and the value of making connections between disparate fields to create new innovations.

At this juncture, Siemens hardly refers to the literature and makes the case from here until the end of the paper for his own theory, connectivism.  He outlines his eight principles of connectivism.  One of these is that the capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known.  This is essentially a different word formulation for the proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.  Two of the principles could be merged into the single principle that learning is a process of connecting specialised nodes and maintaining these connections to facilitate continual learning.  The principle that learning may reside in non-human appliances appears to be borrowed from the field of artificial intelligence.  Siemens takes some time to make an articulate and passionate argument for the importance of knowledge management and information flow within organisations.  The essence of his theory is that connectivism is the “…amplification of learning, knowledge and understanding through the extension of a personal network.”

Siemens argues that connectivism has implications for management and leadership, media and news, personal knowledge management and the design of learning environments.  As knowledge continues to grow, Siemens places a higher value on access to knowledge than knowledge the learner currently possesses.  The author concludes that connectivism presents a model of learning which is no longer an individualistic activity.


Driscoll, M. (2000). Psychology of Learning for Instruction. Needham Heights, MA, Allyn & Bacon

Dylan, B. (1965). Tombstone Blues.  Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://bobdylan.com/songs/tombstone-blues/

Gonzalez, C., (2004). The Role of Blended Learning in the World of Technology. Retrieved December 10, 2004, from http://www.unt.edu/benchmarks/archives/2004/september04/eis.htm.

Han, J., Pei, J., & Kamber, M. (2011). Data mining: concepts and techniques. Elsevier.

ScienceWeek (2004) Mathematics: Catastrophe Theory, Strange Attractors, Chaos. Retrieved December 10, 2004, from http://scienceweek.com/2003/sc031226-2.htm.

M2-Annotated Bibliography 4

Annotated Bibliography 4

Downes, S. (2005). E-learning 2.0. In eLearn Magazine. New York: ACM.  Available http://elearnmag.acm.org/archive.cfm?aid=1104968

In this seminal 2005 paper, which has 1,189 citations to date, Stephen Downes looks at where eLearning is now, trends in eLearning, the Web 2.0 and what he calls E-Learning 2.0.  In the ten years from 1995, the author tracks the development of eLearning from computer based delivery systems to online courses.  Learning Management Systems (LMS), such as Blackboard, were developed to organise the the eLearning content that is at the heart of these online courses.  The author argues that because the content used in online courses is organised according to the traditional model of division into modules and lessons, this has brought eLearning back to where it began.

In his paper, he refers to digital natives, who quickly absorb multimedia information from multiple sources.  Prensky (2001) coined the term, which was later used to describe the children of the digital age who were born after 1980.  One of the many insightful pieces of commentary in this paper is a connection that Downes makes between the world of markets and the domain in which education resides.  He notes that people in networked markets understand that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors.  Substitute networked learning for networked markets and suddenly the control of learning itself is placed in the hands of the learner.   Downes refers to his contemporary George Siemens whose highly influential Connectivism was written only a few months earlier. (Siemens, 2004).

The author proceeds to discuss what is meant by Web 2.0.  It is interesting to note that he does this two years prior to the publication of the widely read What is Web 2.0 which has 11,134 citations and whose abstract claims that it is the first initiative to try to define Web 2.0. (O’Reilly, 2007).  Downes notes that the websites that characterise Web 2.0 include social networking sites such as LinkedIn.  He sees the web changing from a place where information was transmitted and consumed into a network where content is created, remixed and shared using tools such as WordPress and Audacity and websites such as Wikipedia.

Downes argues that eLearning has evolved in tandem with the web itself and to such a degree that it warrants a new name: E-learning 2.0.  In the world of e-learning, he argues that the nearest thing to a social network is a community of practice. (Lave and Wenger, 1991).  The essence of E-Learning 2.0 is possibly the reversal of the process whereby content is produced by publishers, structured into courses and consumed by students.  It is now more likely to be produced by students and to resemble a conversation rather than a book.  The author sees ePortfolios and student gaming having a place in E-Learning 2.0 where students take responsibility for and demonstrate the results of their own learning.  Indeed, the online programming language Scratch 2.0 serves this very purpose in 2016.  The author includes mobile learning, where students can connect and learn anywhere, in his concept of E-Learning 2.0 and makes the bold prediction that learning and living will eventually merge.

In this paper, Downes manages to namecheck many of the major players in the fields of learning/eLearning (George Siemens,Tim Berners-Lee, Jimmy Wales, Etienne Wenger,  Seymour Papert) as well as some important pieces of application software (LinkedIn, Flickr, WordPress, Wikipedia, Audacity) and new methods of communication (blogging, podcasting, e-portfolio, mobile learning).  With many of these apps and means of communication still current in 2016, it is easy to see why Downes paper is regarded as a classic of its time.  There is little to criticise in this very important paper by Downes which is possibly more relevant in 2016 (in that it now adds perspective) than it was in 2005 when it was analysing unfolding events.


Downes, S. (2005). E-learning 2.0. eLearn Magazine, 2005(10), 1.

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge University Press.

O’Reilly, T. (2007). What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Communications & strategies, (1), 17.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon, 9(5), 1-6.

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.

M2-Annotated Bibliography 3

Annotated Bibliography 3

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2011) Applying the Contiguity Principle. In Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E., E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

The chapter explores what the authors described as two contiguity principles.  Contiguity Principle 1 is the idea that words should be placed near the corresponding graphic on the screen.  If this is achieved, then the authors describe the text and graphics as being “contiguous in space”.  (Clark and Mayer, 2011, p.93).   Contiguity Principle 2 is the principle that spoken words should be synchronised with corresponding graphics.  The instructional designer is advised to consider how an audio narration should be integrated with animation/video in an eLearning course.  In particular, developers are warned that when spoken words describe actions in the graphics (including animation and video), the corresponding spoken words and graphics should be presented at the same time.  The authors borrow from the world of cognitive learning theory to explain why the narration should not be separated from the graphics.  If the learner listens to a narration followed by an animation, he needs to retain the relevant words in working memory so as to match up the appropriate words with the corresponding segment of the animation. However, this cognitive overload may prevent the learner from using other cognitive processes required for deep learning.

As well as offering the reader with advice on how to present eLearning content, they also explain how eLearning content should not be presented.  Throughout the chapter, Clark and Mayer provide the reader with common violations of the contiguity principles.  However, the two contiguity principles, whereby there is no separation of two different types of media, appear to break down when the authors warn the instructional designer to avoid simultaneously displaying animations and related text. This is possibly the most puzzling part of the chapter for the reader as in this case the authors are promoting the principle of separating text and animation. However, I think that the contiguity principles apply only to graphics and text or to graphics (including animation and video) and audio, and are not applicable to text and animation/video.  The rationale for separating text and animation is that if the learner starts reading the text while the animation is playing, he will miss a certain amount of the animation.

As well as using cognitive theory to support their hypothesis for Contiguity Principle 1, the authors refer to several research studies (Mayer, Steinhoff, Bower, & Mars, 1995; Moreno & Mayer, 1999) to support their hypothesis. Clark and Mayer also refer to eye-tracking studies involving text and corresponding diagrams where successful learners read a part of the text, then search the diagram for the object being described in the text.  These studies demonstrate that this process is the then continually repeated. (Hegarty, Carpenter, & Just, 1996; Schmidt-Weigand, Kohnert, & Glowalla, 2010).  Similarly, the authors cite research evidence (Mayer & Anderson, 1991, 1992; Mayer, Moreno, Boire, & Vagge, 1999; Mayer & Sims, 1994) to support their hypothesis for Contiguity Principle 2.

In concluding the chapter, the authors present eLearning practitioners with areas that require further research.  These include questions about the amount of detail that should be included with graphics and the words as well as in what contexts spoken words should be used instead of printed words.  Clark and Mayer suggest tools and examples that the eLearning practitioner might use to put the described theory into practice.  The authors also provide the reader with a checklist that could be used in the design of eLearning lessons.  The chapter not only provides eLearning practitioners with evidence on what works best, it also considers when and how it works.


Hegarty. M., Carpenter, P.A., & Just, M.A. (1996). Diagrams in the comprehension of scientific texts. In R. Barr, M.L. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, & P.D. Pearson (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. II; pp. 641–668). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Mayer, R.E., & Anderson, R.B. (1991). Animations need narrations: An experimental test of a dual-coding hypothesis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 484–490.

Mayer, R.E., Moreno, R., Boire, M., & Vagge, S. (1999). Maximising constructivist learning from multimedia communications by minimizing cognitive load. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 638–643.

Mayer, R.E., Steinhoff, K., Bower, G., & Mars, R. (1995). A generative theory of textbook design: Using annotated illustrations to foster meaningful learning of science text. Educational Technology Research and Development, 43, 31–43.

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R.E. (1999). Cognitive principles of multimedia learning: The role of modality and contiguity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 358–368.

Schmidt-Weigand, F., Kohnert, A., & Glowalla, U. (2010b). Explaining the modality and contiguity effects: New insights from investigating students’ viewing behavior. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24, 226–237.

M2-Annotated Bibliography 2

Annotated Bibliography 2

Duvall, M. (2014). Adobe Captivate as a Tool to Create eLearning Scenarios. In T. Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2014 (pp. 514-517). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved November 19, 2016, from

Matthew Duvall’s paper examines the appropriateness of Adobe Captivate 7.0 for creating eLearning scenarios to enhance online education.  Duvall identifies himself as a graduate student with five year’s teaching experience and ten years as a computer programmer.  This blend of experience would suggest that he is well qualified to write a research paper which seeks to analyse the virtues of the eLearning development tool Adobe Captivate.  This paper addresses two questions: (1) What are the affordances of Adobe Captivate 7.0 for creating scenarios? (2) What are its constraints?  The word affordances is an usual choice of word that had this reviewer racing to his dictionary!  “An affordance is a desirable property of a user interface – software which naturally leads people to take the correct steps to accomplish their goals.” (Forager Labs, 2016).

Duvall describes scenarios as a solution to some of the problems associated with online courses such as poor retention rates and lack of innovative instructional design.  He offers no research to back up this assertion so this reviewer examined the relevant literature.  Allen and Seaman (2013) tracked online education for ten years in the United States and reported that there was a rise in concern among academic leaders at all types of institutions that lower retention rates in online courses are a barrier to the growth of online instruction. This was noted as an important or a very important barrier by 56.1% of chief academic officers in 2007 and rose to 73.5% in 2012.

A survey by Kim and Bonk (2006) found that most respondents see learning as content-driven and not based on social interactions and distributed intelligence.  Duvall looks upon scenarios as a solution to this problem.  He defines a scenario as any digitally developed environment that includes a description of a situation.

The author suggests that Adobe Captivate provides many ways to easily include video, animations and interactive visual elements that are important for learner engagement.  Duvall refers to Captivate’s non-linear navigation but fails to point out that this can be used for adaptive learning.  He is very impressed by the application’s assessment features.  Adobe Captivate provides a variety of feedback options, including detailed text based on user responses.  The integration with an LMS allows any scored assessments to be added directly to the gradebook, if desired.

In relation to constraints, Duvall believes the complexity of parts of the application means that a novice Captivate user would need to dedicate a great deal of time simply learning how to use the technology before applying it.  The author sees the software reflecting the behaviourist model of learning, which is a very traditional eLearning approach.  Finally, Duvall mentions the high cost of Adobe Captivate which makes it very expensive to buy.  This is certainly true, with this reviewer establishing that the full license price of Adobe Captivate 9 is €1,351.77. (Adobe, 2016).


Adobe (2016). Adobe Captivate 9: Pricing Plans.  Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://www.adobe.com/ie/products/captivate/buying-guide.html

Allen, I. E. & Seaman, J. (2013). Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States. Sloan Consortium. PO Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950.

Forager Labs. (2016). Usability First. Retrieved November 19, 2016, from http://www.usabilityfirst.com/glossary/affordance/

Gibson, J. J. (1977). The theory of affordances. In R. E. Shaw & J. Bransford (Eds.), Perceiving, Acting, and Knowing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Gibson, J. J. (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Kim, K. J., & Bonk, C. J. (2006). The future of online teaching and learning in higher education. Educause quarterly, 29(4), 22-30.

M2-Annotated Bibliography 1

Annotated Bibliography 1

Carliner, S. (2008) A Holistic Framework of Instructional Design for eLearning. In S. Carliner & P. Shank (Eds.) The e-Learning Handbook: Past Promises, Present Challenges (pp.307-358). San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

In this chapter, Saul Carliner asks if and how instructional systems design (ISD) have to be adapted to address current contexts of learning and design, and issues within e-learning.  The author believes that designating ISD as a model is problematic when essentially it is a value system that represents what instructional designers feel is important about instructional design and not necessarily the steps they carry out in practice.

In his introduction, Carliner baldly states that no one has offered a comprehensive alternative to traditional ISD which he references as being “too slow and clumsy” (Gordon and Zemke, 2000, p.4) and no longer being of practical use. (Horton, 2002).  However, he offers only two references overall and the second reference is very weak.  (The Horton reference is to a conference attended by Carliner rather than the written proceedings of the conference).  It is unlikely that in the sixty years since the emergence of ISD that others have not offered a comprehensive alternative to traditional ISD.  For example, the The 7Cs of Learning Design framework is the culmination of major work carried out as part of the OU Learning Design Initiative (Open University UK, 2007) and the University of Leicester’s Carpe Diem work (Armellini, Salmon et al. 2009).

After his introduction, Carliner begins the chapter by defining ISD and providing the reader with a brief history of ISD.  This is useful to those new to the field of instructional design with the author referencing it’s origins in World War II.  Carliner refers to a soon to be released publication written by himself and two colleagues to define ISD as “the recommended process for designing, developing, and implementing learning programs”. (Carliner, Ribeiro, and Boyd, in press).  He goes on to say that this recommended process guides instructional designers.  The author cites Gustafson (1991) as having counted thirty-one versions of ISD models but then goes on to say that the most common models are based on a generic process called ADDIE – an acronym for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation.

The author identifies nine reasons why ISD needs an overhaul.  He begins with an assertion that ISD should not be referred to as a model as it does not represent what is observed to be happening in the real world.  Carliner cites research evidence that suggests the first and last parts of the ADDIE model (analysis and evaluation) are minimally performed.  (Van Tiem, 2004; Wedman & Tesmer (1993); Zemke & Lee, 1987).  He points out that although analysis and evaluation constitute half of the steps in the Dick and Carey model, they are often neglected.  According to the author, another flaw of ISD is the fact that it was originally created for instructional designers in the 1950s, long before the advent of online features such as wizards, guided tours, FAQs, tips of the day and discussion groups.  These online features are not the traditional courses that ISD addresses.  Another weakness is that the analysis stage assumes that there is no existing information about the audience and / or that the instructional designer has limited knowledge of the course content.  Two further problems are that ISD tends to favour mastery learning which is out of synch with constructivist and problem solving approaches.  The final problem with ISD is what Carliner refers to as the ‘one-size-fits-all-approach’ to projects.

In this chapter, the author sets out a revised framework of instructional design that has three distinct components.  The first component is Design Philosophies and Theories which embraces the science and philosophy of how humans learn.  The second component is General Design Methodology that has two parts: identifying the size of the e-learning project as bronze (basic), silver (middle-of-the-road) or platinum (extensive) and then applying the ADDIE process.  The final component of the framework is Instructional Considerations which have three categories: general issues (including schedules and budgets), instructional approach (including mastery learning, discovery learning, gaming-simulation) and conventions (including bookmarking in tutorials, a break in a webinar).

Carliner concludes that a framework, which includes economic, technical, political, and philosophical issues as well as instructional issues, will broaden the discussion of design.  He advocates a move away from what he calls a “cookbook-like approach” (means) to an outcomes-based approach (end) in relation to design. In my opinion, this is a Machiavellian approach to design.  In other words, if the final design is good, it is immaterial how it was achieved.


Armellini, A., G. Salmon, et al. (2009). The Carpe Diem journey: Designing for learning transformation. Transforming higher education through technology-enhanced learning T. Mayes, D. Morrison, H. Mellar, P. Bullen and M. Oliver. York, The Higher Education Authority: 135-148.

Carliner, S., Ribeiro, O., & Boyd, G. (In press). Educational Technology. In N.J. Salkind (Ed.) Encyclopaedia of educational psychology. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Gordon, J. & Zemke, R. (2000). The attack on ISD. Training, 37, 4.

Gustafson, K.L. (1991). Survey of instructional development models (2nd ed.). Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information Resources.

Horton, W. (2002). Keynote address to the 18th Wisconsin conference on distance teaching and learning. Madison, Wisconsin, August 15, 2002.

Open University UK. (2007). Open University Learning Design Initiative.  Retrieved November 19, 2016, from http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/OULDI/

Van Tiem, D.M. (2004). Usage and expertise in performance technology practice: An Empirical Investigation. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 17(3): 23-44.

Wedman, J. & Tesmer, M. (1993). Instructional designer’s decisions and priorities: A survey of design practice. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(2): 43-57.

Zemke, R. & Lee, C. (1987). How long does it take? Training, 24(6), 75-80.

M2-Week 8-Home

The following is some research and development work I carried out this week to get rid of the ugly looking page and post titles that appear by default in WordPress:

WordPress(Suppress Page Title)

WordPress: Hide Page Title or Post Title on a Case by Case Basis

WordPress: Hide Page Title or Post Title on a Case by Case Basis

Step 1 – Find the Title Class Name in your browser.
(1) In your browser (say Firefox), right-click on page.
(2) Choose View Page Source from the menu.
(3) Click Edit_Find in your browser.
(4) Type <h1 class=”entry-title”>Home</h1> in the Search Edit Box at the bottom of your screen.
Note: Replace ‘Home’ by the name of the particular page whose title you wish to suppress.

Step 2 – Find the Page or Post ID
(5) Having found class=”entry-title”, look at the entry article id = “post-214” two lines above this.
Note: The number 214 is the number of this particular page. Other pages will have different numbers.

Step 3 – Insert Code into Stylesheet
(6) In WordPress, click Appearance_Editor.
(7) Click Stylesheet (style.css) in the bottom right corner of your screen.
(8) At the very bottom of the stylesheet, enter the following code:
.page-id-214 .entry-title {display: none;}
Note: The number 214 is the number of this particular page. Other pages will have different numbers.

<h1 class=”entry-title”>Home</h1>

<article id=”post-214″ class=”post-214 page type-page status-publish hentry”>

.page-id-214 .entry-title {display: none;}

WordPress (Suppress “Proudly powered by WordPress)

Step 4 – Insert Code into Stylesheet
(1) In WordPress, click Appearance_Editor.
(2) Click Stylesheet (style.css) in the bottom right corner of your screen.
(3) At the very bottom of the stylesheet, enter the following code:

.site-info {
display : none;


The CSS code for Posts is similar, but it’s not the same. Here’s an example for Posts:

#post-1773 .entry-title {display: none;}

The following text was originally on my Home page:

This is the ePortfolio and Blog of Gerard Kilkenny, First Year Student (No. D15128959)This is the ePortfolio and Blog of Gerard Kilkenny, First Year Student (No. D15128959)

M2-Week 8-Class

Instructional Design & eAuthoring Module (Week 8)

The following is a reflection on the Tuesday morning class that took place on 13th December 2016 from 10:00 to 13:00 using Gibbs Reflective Cycle.


Each of the three groups gave a presentation on their Storyboards and eLearning Artefacts.  My group, The Compostivists, were last to present.

The first group gave an oral presentation without any digital backup resources.  Their project was in the are of emotional intelligence and was still in its embroyonic stages.  It appeared to be an ambitious project whose aim was to improve how bus drivers related to their passengers through the use of scenarios.

The second group, The Northsiders, created a website with multimedia elements (graphics, video, audio) whose aim was to develop a cultural awareness of their surroundings for young people living in the north side of Dublin.

The third group, The Compostivists, created a storyboard (in Microsoft PowerPoint) and an eLearning Lesson (in Adobe Captivate 9) with multimedia elements (graphics, video, audio) whose aim was to teach young people about composting.



Here is the evaluation that my group received from Damian Gordon / class peers via an email from Damian on 13/12/16:

I like:

  • the use of Captivate
  • the work around the storyboards
  • the emphasis on recursive drafting process during development
  • starting off with images and developing descriptive text and editing back into images
  • excellent storyboard – felt I could have developed an appropriate resource from it
  • great insight into using Captivate, thanks for that. And good insight into ambition vs reality
  • content/knowledge within artefact
  • powerpoint images
  • really clear and well-planned resource
  • including the science was brilliant. You made what could have been a boring subject interesting and interactive
  • the visuals (storyboard and main artefact)
  • the idea of the project: it’s very clearly a prominent topic with climate change. 

I would like:

  • perhaps more voices in the Captivate artefact
  • to see an easier and quicker navigation system
  • to see this embedded somewhere easier to access.



Personal Action Plans

M2-Week 7-Home

The following is a reflection on Week 7 (Home) of the Instructional Design & eAuthoring module.

I have been experimenting with an accompanying free app for iPad called Adobe Captivate Draft, which is for storyboarding.  I created a three screen storyboard using some photos I had on my iPad from a Camino trip I did last year (nothing to do with composting!).  It was then possible to email the draft to others.

To use Adobe Captivate Draft, you need to sign up for a free Adobe account which gives you 5 GB of free Adobe Document Cloud storage.  Even with that account and cloud storage, I think that the Adobe Captivate Draft files are exported to Adobe Creative Cloud which requires a subscription.

So far, I have not been able to access the Adobe Captivate (storyboard) file that I created on my iPad in order to import it into the full blown Adobe Captivate application on my iMac.  I uploaded it from my iPad to an Adobe Cloud but when I subsequently logged into the Adobe Document Cloud on my iMac, there were no documents there.  So, I’m assuming that the file is in the (other) Adobe Creative Cloud.

When I used the email (‘export’) feature from Adobe Captivate Draft on my iPad, this just emails a web link which allows other members of the creative team to add comments to the (Adobe Captivate Draft) storyboard file but not to edit it. Furthermore, this link is not a file that I can import into Adobe Captivate on my iMac. However, Adobe Captivate on my iMac does have a facility to import Adobe Captivate Draft files. Frustrating!  I have ‘googled’ but no solutions so far. Anyway, I can’t afford to spend any more time now on this problem right now.

I think Allesio mentioned that he was interested in using Articulate Storyline for storyboarding.  If so, how will I be able to use the Articulate storyboard file to create the final project in Adobe Captivate? I assume that I will be able to somehow view the storyboard file that Allesio and Rachel create and then use this storyboard file to order the content (text, images, animation, video, audio) created / supplied by Mick with some content possibly being created / supplied by the rest of us?

The link below might be useful. Step 6 mentions Gagne’s 9 Principles which would tie in nicely to the Learning Theories module.

8 Steps for an Awesome eLearning Storyboard

Here is a comparison of Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline:

Articulate Storyline 2 vs Adobe Captivate 9

Hmm, one of the Adobe Captivate 9 ‘cons’:
Steep learning curve.

That’s what I thought the first couple of times I used it. Anyway, I’d better start climbing!

M2-Week 7-Class

Instructional Design & eAuthoring Module (Week 7)

The following is a reflection on the Tuesday morning class that took place on 6th December 2016 from 10:00 to 13:00 using Gibbs Reflective Cycle.


THIS WEEK:  Design, Learning Analytics and Evaluation

Design (Ciaran O’Leary)
Herbert Simon, 1969, The Sciences of the Artificial

Design distinguishes the professions (schools of engineering, architecture, education)

Everyone designs
Product, Service, Assemblage
Expert Non-Expert

Failed Use, Non-Use
Faithful Use, Appropriation

“If you want to create a product that satisfies a broad audience of users, logic will tell you to make it as broad in its functionality as possible to accommodate the most people.  Logic is wrong.  You have far greater success by designing for a single person.”

Alan Cooper (2007)

“Self-referential design” – making the mistake of designing for yourself.

Learning Analytics (Pat Walsh)
Year 2 Project
Research Methodology – Sequential Mixed Method Approach

Data Analysis Tools

The Retention Center (Early Warning System)

Rules based on
(a) Missed deadlines
(b) Grades
(c) Course Activity
(d) Course access

Current debate about VLEs/LMSs – Effective learning tools or data repositories – NGDLE/NGVLE must provide greater analytic and predictive tools. (Brown, Dehoney, & Millichap, 2015)

Evaluation (Damian Gordon)
The Quantity versus Quality Issue

Evaluation Tools

MERLOT – www.merlot.org
LORI – Learning Object Review Instrument

Quality of Content





Personal Action Plans