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Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

The SEA Framework: An Open-Source Framework for Building Custom Content Authoring Tools

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Presenter: Bruce Barton, E-Learning Tools Developer, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bruce presented a faculty support tool developed by his University called the ConceptTutor. The product is designed to support the development of medium-sized learning objects that are of moderate sophistication. The product provides a seamless design and lightweight programming, supports dynamic content, and can be hosted on a local file system.  Little or no technical expertise on the part of the faculty is required to build objects with this tool. According to the product website:

“ConceptTutors are "just-in-time" windows that open from existing web pages to teach concepts. We like to think of ConceptTutors as glossaries on steroids.  They support various media types (images, audio, and animations), and their design is based on best practices for learning concepts.”

As a front-end designer some of the presentation was over my head. Fortunately the product possibilities kept glued to my seat struggling to understand the product design. I am still not sure that I completely understand the design, but I found the product very easy to use. Needless to say when I got back to my hotel I logged onto the engage site reviewed the ConceptTutor training materials, downloaded the product and started creating samples.

The product is very easy to use and has some interesting possibilities. I would really like to thank the developers and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for allowing this product to be released under an open-source agreement.

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2005 by in Educause2005.

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