Monday, January 03, 2011

ABC Using Moodle for Training Journalists Online

Paul Chadwick, Director Editorial Policies, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) contributed "A shared challenge" to ‘Self regulation and the Media’ at the Journalism Education Association Conference in Perth, 1 December 2009. In this he invites tertiary institutions to partner with the ABC for teaching journalism online.

Mr. Chadwick is proposing "fair commercial arrangements with partner universities" for training materials. Given this is an experiment, the simplest arrangement might be to use a Creative Commons open access licence, so that the ABC, the universities and anyone else could use and modify what was produced.

One difficulty I can see is that Mr. Chadwick is proposing that "Each module should take no longer than 12 minutes.". A university module in Australia is usually a semester long, 12 weeks of 7 or more hours a week. Even for the 20 minute audio-visual items which replace lectures in the ANU engineering "Hubs and Spokes" project are assumed to take about one hour to complete, with the student stopping the playback to do exercises.

Mr. Chadwick includes "Technical specifications to assist compatibility of potential partnership proposals with ABC’s preferred online learning platform, Moodle", prepared for the ABC by (the same company as advise the ACS). Here is the table of contents:
1. Australian Broadcasting Corporation
2. Introduction
a. Online Learning Content - Editorial Policies
i. Moodle Native Content
ii. IMS Packaged (SCORM) Content
b. Purpose
3. Technical Specifications (Moodle Native Content & SCORM Content)
a. Content Formats
ii. CSS
iii. PDF
iv. Word and RTF
v. Images
vi. Video / Animation
vii. Audio
b. Accessibility
4. Technical Specifications (SCORM)
a. Directory Structure
i. File naming and location
ii. Source files
b. Packaging learning objects
i. Metadata
5. Best Practice
a. Links
i. Virus Scanning
6. Client platforms (minimum specifications)
i. Hardware
ii. Operating System
iii. Browsers
iv. Plug-ins/auxiliary software
v. Connectivity Requirements
vi. Screen resolution
7. Further Information
a. Standards ...

From: "A shared challenge", Paul Chadwick, Australian Broadcasting Corporation for the Journalism Education Association Conference, Perth, Australia, December 2009

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