Software You Will Need
Q: What software will I need to have installed to develop online learning?
Besides having any of the major browsers installed on your PC or Mac (Safari or FireFox on Mac OR Microsoft Internet Explorer on PC), you will be using the below software applications to develop content:
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 (latest version on Mac)
- Microsoft Word 2010 (latest version on Mac)
- Microsoft Infopath 2010 (this program is optional and should have installed as part of Office 2010)
Q: What software will my learning audience need to view my online learning?
They will need (2) third-party browser plug-ins. Browsers need third-party applications installed to ensure that certain types of web content can be viewed. The following instructions will make sure the following "add-on's" are installed in your web browser:
- Flash Player from Adobe
Click here to download the latest Flash player by Adobe. This will allow you to see the content of the modules and engage in the interactive activities. After the separate browser window opens, uncheck the check box for "Free Google Toolbar". Check the check box next to "I agree to the Adobe Flash Player Terms of Service".
Then, click the button labeled "Agree and install Now". You may have to right-click on the message that appears at the top of this separate browser window and select "Install Active X Control..." with your mouse.
- Adobe Reader
Click here to download the latest Adobe Reader software. This will allow you to see the "printable" support content found on the extOL web site. After the separate browser window opens showing the Adobe web site, uncheck the check box next to "Free Google Toolbar". Then click the button labeled "Download".
Q: When is the next Online Content Developer Training offered?
The OCDT will be based on all of the information you entered into your BEAR Project Description, so make sure you complete your BEAR Project Description before emailing extOL Support to sign up for the OCDT.
The OCDT is a hands-on training, so you will have a partially completed online project at the completion of this training. It will be taught as one-on-one, and either face-to-face training or via an online classroom. In either case, the OCDT will be scheduled at your convenience.
The OCDT for Online Programs will be delivered in (2) three-hour sessions to focus on the distinct development processes of your online content. The OCDT for Tutorials will be delivered in (1) three-hour session. Listed below is a breakdown of the OCDT structure:
OCDT for Online Programs
- 8:30am - 11:30am: Instructional Design for Online Learning
- 1:00pm - 4:00pm: Storyboard Development
- An optional session named "Using the extOL Learning Management System" will be offered on a periodic basis. It is not required to complete the OCDT.
OCDT for Tutorials
- 8:30am - 11:30am: Instructional Design and Storyboard Development for Online Tutorials
We have gone to great lengths to make each training session as simple and as practical as possible, so you will be able to create an online in-service or tutorial with familiar software tools and easy-to-use templates.
Here is a link to a list of the software you will need to attend the OCDT:
Q: What should I bring to the OCDT?
Laptops are being provided, so bringing your own laptop is optional. The most important thing is that you have all of your existing content (if any) stored on a USB or jump drive, so you can plug this into the laptop and have all of the information you need at your fingertips when you start developing your online content. Some practical suggestions include:
- On your USB or jump drive, create separate folders to organize the content you'll be using to create your online learning. Put graphics in a "Graphics" folder, etc. This will allow easy access during the training.
- Be sure to bring your creativity and your own ambitions to help your learning audience reach the instructional goals you have for them!
Q: What should I do for my first online learning project?
You may be wondering what to do for your first extOL online learning course or tutorial. Here are some helpful suggestions:
- Make sure your online learning content is not available in some other online program on extOL or related web site. Email the extOL Support Team with a brief description of your idea, and check with your department heads, administrators and peers.
- Complete the BEAR Project Description process (log in with your NET ID and password). Use the BEAR process to help you "iron out" some of the details. Write down exactly what you want to accomplish.
- Do not "bite off more than you can chew". You may want to start off with a simple tutorial instead of a ten-module online program!
- Remember, this is about helping your learning audience learn what you know. It's absolutely vital to them, their work and even their quality of life.
- Don't be afraid of the technology. We've structured this to be as simple as possible (if you can read, you can develop online learning).
- Here's a new tutorial that shows how to complete your BEAR project description. Just click the BEAR Project Description Tutorial link.
Q: Will I need to know how to do web development or learn a difficult software application?
No and no. Developing online learning for extOL does NOT involve hard-to-learn software or web development. Your part will be the basic instructional design and conversion of your existing content to a storyboard. But no worries, the storyboard work will take place in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. With hands-on training and step-by-step instructions, as well as ongoing support from the Instructional Technology Specialist, you should have no problems with the learning curve!
Q: Does the development process change if this is for a sponsored project?
Every project is different. And the level of collaboration for each subject matter expert (you) is different! However, the process is generally the same whether it's a sponsored or non-sponsored project. You can email the extOL Support Team with any questions you may have about including extOL services in your grants and proposals.
Q: I'm using a third-party or another staff member for content development. Can I use extOL to consult?
Yes. The Instructional Technology Specialist with extOL can consult, provide quality control and provide learning management system support for your project. You can email the extOL Support Team with any questions you may have about these services.
Q: Where can I get further help understanding how to develop content?
After you complete your BEAR Project Description and the OCDT, you will be offered ongoing technical and instructional design support. The below is the beginning a list of job aids and tutorials that are meant to help you with your continuing work in online learning development and extOL.
- How to navigate the Workforce Learning site
- Creating or Editing Your BEAR Project Descriptions
- Supervisors: Approving or Rejecting the BEAR Project Description
- Using Your extOL Content Development Site
- More to come...
Q: What if I need reports about enrollments/completions for my online program?
All requests for reports about the participants in your online program within Moodle should be directed to the Instructional Technology Specialist with extOL. A report will be generated in a Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word format and emailed to you within three business days.
You are not nor ever will be expected to learn how to administrate your program within Moodle. However, if you would like to learn how to do so, there is an optional training on this subject offered on a periodic, as-needed basis.
Q: What if the regulatory state agency requires that my department track enrollments and completions for my online program?
The Instructional Technology Specialist with extOL will ensure that administrative support staff in your department are fully trained and have the resources for ongoing reporting tasks and completion confirmations. While the learning management system (LMS) automates this process, it is best to assign someone (as part of the checks and balances) to interact with the LMS and the state agency involved.
Q: What if I have questions about Moodle after I complete the OCDT?
All questions about Moodle should be directed to the Instructional Technology Specialist with extOL. If the question cannot be answered, it will be referred to the Moodle vendor's support services. Depending upon the scope and priority of your project, you could have individual access to the Moodle vendor's support portal.
If this is the case, you will be provided with a username and password to access this portal for ongoing support about Moodle. Your first action for questions about Moodle should be to email the Instructional Technology Specialist by clicking the link below:
Q: How do I submit a question to the Moodle vendor's support portal?
Submitting a question to the Moodle vendor's support portal is handled on a case-by-case basis. This involved the complexity of your project, the priority of the issue, and whether the issue will not change the administrative configuration of the extOL server in any way. Most importantly, submit your question to the Instructional Technology Specialist for extOL prior to seeking help from the Moodle vendor.
All technical support requests related to Moodle must first be made in writing to the extOL Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: If I have a question about whether I need to participate in an online program, how should this be handled?
The online programs within extOL are meant to address the professional development of our various learning audiences. The content on the extOL Workforce Learning site caters to Tennessee Extension professionals. Fee-based certifications are available on extOL Certifications. And various programs covering a diverse range of subject matter and learning audiences is on the extOL People site.
If you think you could benefit by completing an online program, but are not sure if it is relevant to your needs, check out its description on the site or email the subject matter expert for the program.
Q: How do I view my grades for the online program?
Checking out your test and quiz scores for the online program in which you enrolled is easy. Just follow the steps below:
- Go to the online program within extOL by clicking on its name in the Online Program Catalog.
- Click the Control Panel link in the Course Menu.
- Click "Grades".
Q: How do I know my work in completing an online program was recorded?
For every online program on extOL that you complete on the extOL Workforce Learning site, the completion will be recorded in SUPER as a training event / professional development completion. This process is automatic and does NOT require any manual data entry on your part. You will also have the option to print a Certificate of Completion. We strongly suggest that you print these certificates to keep track of what you've completed on extOL. Here's how to do this:
- Go to the online program within extOL by clicking on its name in the Online Program Catalog.
- Complete the requirements for the online in-service.
- Click the Certificate of Completion link located near the bottom of the main program interface.
- Click "Print Certificate" or the button that looks like a printer.
Q: If I have a question about the instructional design of my online program, how should this be handled?
Your ongoing work in your storyboard after the OCDT will require instructional design support from the Instructional Technology Specialist, depending upon the complexity of your project. With that in mind, a special content development site on SharePoint will be used for each project. You will be able to store your work there and email questions to the Instructional Technology Specialist whenever an issue arises. All of this will be explained further in the Online Content Developer Training (OCDT).
Any comments regarding the above, and any other issue related to the use of extOL, may be submitted via email to: