Use Current Technologies

Quality Review Showcase

The Quality and High Quality online course reviews explore components proven to be best practices in online course design. This post showcases High Quality item, “Technologies used within the course are current.”

To be successful in online teaching, keeping up with the various technologies is critical. A technology that was commonly used in the past (for example, Flash) may no longer be functional (for example, Flash was sunsetted at the end of 2020).

Thankfully, there are resources and services at UCF to assist. The Faculty Multimedia Center has the latest technologies and can help to answer questions about what you are using. If you are credentialed to create online courses, speak to an instructional designer. If not, contact Webcourses@UCF Support. One tip is to use university-wide technologies; for instance, check out the many ways to enhance your online course. Have a question about a classroom space on campus? Contact Office of Instructional Resources.

What are Some Ways your Online Course can be Designed to Meet this Standard?

  • In your syllabus, identify the technologies that will be used throughout the course. It may also be helpful to link to the browser and computer requirements for Webcourses@UCF.
  • Verify links in your course are working by using the Validate Links in Content tool.
  • Click on Files in your course and in the search bar, search for “swf” and “fla”. These are Flash files. If you are no longer using them, consider deleting them from the course. If you are still using them, it’s likely students will have trouble accessing it.
  • Using technologies within Webcourses@UCF (such as Pages) is generally recommended over external technologies (such as Word).
  • Have a colleague or TA review your course to see if they can access the technologies.
  • Before your course goes live, review it using the Canvas Student app as well.
  • Make sure to read the Webcourses@UCF Faculty Update newsletter which has pertinent updates about technologies. This should be automatically emailed to you as a UCF teacher.

What Does This Look Like in a Real Online Course?

Example 1: Michael Strawser, SPC3602 (Advanced Public Speaking)

Most of the content in this online course is shared via the Pages tool, which is typically more accessible and more easily viewed on a mobile device. Review this award-winning online course now.

Example 2: Amanda Groff, ANT3158 (Florida Archaeology)

Previously, Dr. Groff recorded mini-lectures for this online course in PowerPoint, and then processed them through a program called Authorpoint Lite which produced Flash files. When Flash was sunsetted at the end of 2020, she had to come up with an alternative solution. In her own words: “When we moved away from Flash, I took advantage of the Video-producing feature in PowerPoint. It’s really easy to use and gives us the flexibility to convert our lectures on our own time (and in the background while doing other things!).”

Her current process is to:

  • narrate the slides in PowerPoint using the Record feature (pro-tip: include your transcript/notes in the “notes” under your slides so they appear while you record)
  • record the slides
  • click File and then Export to “Create a Video”
  • save the video to your computer
  • apply closed captioning to the video using YouTube [she created this file to help: How to Add CC Using YouTube]
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