#ocTEL Week 3: Materials & Platforms for Learning Technology

Critiquing different materials and platforms – a video, a game and an interactive story… 

This week’s ‘if you only do one thing’ task:

On your blog, via Twitter (using #ocTEL tag), or on this forum topic, please respond to at least one of the following questions:

  • What elements of these do you think are appealing to different learners?
  • What learners, if any, would they be inappropriate for and why?
  • How do each of these resources differ from that of the resources we’re using in ocTEL? Do they promote social learning, re-use of their materials, or open access?
  • What ways can you see to improve the effectiveness or potential reach of these resources? Effectiveness can be considered as allowing students to work at their own pace and review areas they need to, providing a richer learning experience by expanding the range of expertise which students will confront, or providing a range of materials in different media formats to suit students’ different learning preferences.


The animated drawing attracted me so it would appeal to arty types! The combination of these illustrations with a narrated soundtrack tells a story so would appeal to visual learners. It’s didactic – students are passive observers.

The Khan Academy offers “free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere“. As videos are distributed via YouTube and can be embedded into your own site they are both open-access and re-useable. Students can also watch them at their own pace, reviewing them as they wish. Videos could also be considered to promote social learning if students are directed to discuss and evaluate the content…


'Beat the Bard' - Shakespeare Top Trumps

Screenshot of ‘Beat the Bard‘ from the Guardian website


Beat the Bard‘ is based on the popular card game, Trumps. It is likely to appeal to autonomous students who like to actively engage with a subject and solve problems. However, as there is no audio accompliment and due to its fixed size, it would be unsuitable for students who have a visual impairment.

While it’s available to play for free on the Guardian website, it can’t be embedded. Although I enjoyed playing it, I would have appreciated time to read the Bard’s cards properly so that I could match the quote with the character and also get to know their traits better. I didn’t feel that I learned very much – with a few tweaks this could be addressed though. BTW thanks #ocTEL for the link to the ELearningExamples blog – lots of good multimedia resources there!


 iEthics Virtual Patient Screenshot of iEthiCS Virtual Patient Scenario 


This is an interactive story where students are shown a scene and then have to choose a course of action. The story continues depending on the students’ choice. This is targeted at a very specific group of learners – I didn’t understand the terminology so guessed my way through. I don’t know whether I took the right course of action as no feedback was offered. This surprised me, perhaps because I was involved with developing a similar scenario-based exercise a few years ago for our Early Childhood Studies Team. Feedback was integral to our resource, although it wasn’t ‘branched’ – it would have taken too long to create all the different strands of the story!

Like ‘Beat the Bard’, this scenario is free to use but can’t be embedded into your own site.


Exploring different platforms for learning has been really enjoyable. With the constant development of apps and web-based tools, there are now lots of approaches available. Exciting times!


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