How to create simple e-learning based teaching and learning resources through the use of free software (beginner and intermediate levels)
Being able to create simple e-learning based teaching and learning resources using free software is a plus in any teacher’s career, especially in these times. As teachers, we need to constantly innovate our teaching resources and free software is an appealing inception point. We are committed to an e-Learning vision that integrates all learning scenarios mediated through Internet technologies that complement each other forming a whole, taking into account the active methodologies we plan to use.
After meeting the technical characteristics mentioned in the previous section, it is time for the teacher to experiment on the different possibilities of the free software chosen. This demands time, but is of utmost importance, since it allows the teacher to understand which aspects are of relevance for the resource to be implemented in terms of contents for linguistic purposes and learning outcomes.
For instance, in each e-learning course we can embed or have links to several free learning tools like game-based learning platforms or online assessment tools that allow teachers and students to create and use one another's quizzes or even interactive lessons (kahoot
). We can use https://learningapps.org/
to create a variety of different activities. Edpuzzle is an easy-to-use platform that allows teachers to motivate their students through video learning. Language learning apps like EducaPlay
or similar can also be of good use and be really useful when it comes to providing the teachers with ideas already designed and clearly guided.
These resources are very user-friendly, therefore they are adequate for the lecturers’ beginner and intermediate levels as they do not require much expertise (if at all) in this specific technological domain. As teachers, we always want to implement more innovative methodologies supported by interactive and engaging material in the lesson, but sometimes we lack the time to prepare teaching and learning resources that meet this innovative input/requirement. As such, resorting to these options of free software facilitates not only the time issue/constraints, but also the intended outcomes, since the teacher is able to immediately recognise how the software can and will serve the purpose of the lesson or activity.
This app is very user-friendly as it is rather intuitive and easy to use. As we can read on the website: “LearningApps.org is a Web 2.0 application, to support learning and teaching processes with small interactive modules. Those modules can be used directly in learning materials, but also for self studying. The aim is to collect reusable building blocks and make them available to everyone. Blocks (called Apps) include no specific framework or a specific learning scenario. The blocks are therefore not suitable as complete lessons or tasks, instead they must be embedded in an appropriate teaching scenario.”
Course presentation tutorial
This video tutorial shows us the steps for creating a powerpoint presentation but incorporating interactive activities. Even though on this website we can also find writing instructions on how to use it, the video is more effective and clearer.
Educaplay is a complex tool that offers a variety of activities: various Matching games, various types of Quizzes (Video, Map), Crossword puzzle, Dialogue Games (where dialogues from films can be used), Dictation (which can be used for comprehension check, spelling check etc.), Fill in the blanks game, Froggy Jumps Game, Memory Games, various Unscramble Games, Puzzles, and Riddles. The site offers a “library” of activities created by members that can be used as such ort as models for other activities. Many activities in the library are created with adult learners in mind, for various levels and for specialised languages. The large variety of activities and high level of adaptability to learners’ age, language level, domain (any, in fact), as well as the fact that it is language independent makes it a flexible and useful tool. The interface is intuitive and user-friendly. Each type of activity comes with its own easy-to-follow video tutorial.
Kahoot is a gamed-based platform. Based on the quiz concept, it allows the user to create and share engaging learning games.