Basic Image Editing in Microsoft Photos

You may not have expensive software like Photoshop for image editing or you may just want to do a quick edit. There is a free option for basic editing in Windows 10. It’s called Photos.

If you’d like to find out how to do basic editing in Photos then check out this guide on the FMS TEL Community:

Canvas https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/30988/pages/basic-image-editing-in-microsoft-photos

MLE https://mle.ncl.ac.uk/cases/page/30511/

Media Resources

As a result of a few enquiries about extra resources and uses of some media programmes in FMS, we have compiled a few options below. Newcastle University has its own broadcast library with an array of resources. The BBC Box of Broadcasts has many BBC TV broadcasts which educational institutions can use – maybe you’ve seen a documentary or interesting programme on your subject, search BOB for it. TED talks have a plethora of subjects, many of experts talking about issues in their own fields. MERLOT covers a range of subject, with Health Sciences being particularly relevant for FMS.

IPTV – Newcastle University Broadcast library

Newcastle’s IPTV gives you access to more than 8,000 movies and TV shows in dozens of languages, available both on and off campus.

https://iptv.ncl.ac.uk/ (Links to an external site.) (requires university login)

More resource options from the university are available on campus at https://www.ncl.ac.uk/language-resource-centre/resources-facilities/multimedia-resources/ (Links to an external site.) 

BOB – Box of Broadcasts

Have you seen a programme on television which you would like to recommend to your students or use in your teaching?

The BBC have a library of shows available in their Box of Broadcasts. You can search for your programme on there to see if it is available.

https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand (Links to an external site.) (You will need to login by selecting your institution and entering your university login)

These are only available for broadcast in the UK. 

TED Talks

Talks by experts and influential people on education, business, science, technology and creativity.

https://www.ted.com/talks (Links to an external site.) 

MERLOT

As their website says, “MERLOT is an international community of educators, learners, and researchers” across a multitude of subject areas including Health Sciences, Biology, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Business, Chemistry, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Engineering, English, Fire Safety, History, Information Technology, Instructional Design and Technology, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Professional Coaching, Psychology, Sociolog, Statistics, Teacher Education, Technical Allied Health, World Languages.

There is a variety of learning materials available including simulations, animations, case studies, presentations, tutorials, quizzes etc

https://www.merlot.org/merlot/ (Links to an external site.) 

The Health Sciences Portal can be found here https://www.merlot.org/merlot/HealthSciences.htm (Links to an external site.) 

eLearning Webinars (by eLearning Brothers)

eLearning Brothers regularly host online events for eLearning solutions, which some of the FMS TEL team attend. They own software such as Lectora and CenarioVR, and also provide some development services. They produce webinars on their own software and services, but also produce a number of more general webinars related to eLearning.

You may find inspiration in some of their webinars, which have included:

You can find upcoming events and recordings of previous events at the link below

https://www.elearningbrothers.com/elearning-resources/webinars-events (Links to an external site.) 

Planning Learning

As part of my own research to pass on to colleagues, I recently attended a Future Learn course “How to Teach Online” where this planning tool was demonstrated. I thought colleagues may find it to be of interest.

Learning Designer helps you plan different types of activities for your students. It allows you to organise a blend of online and face to face activity. These are called TLAs, or Teaching and Learning Activities. There are 6 different types to choose from

  • Read, watch, listen
  • Collaborate
  • Discuss
  • Investigate
  • Practice
  • Produce

You can add resources such as links to videos and websites.

It produces a helpful pie chart showing the proportion of activities the students will experience.

You can download your plan as a word document or share it with a link.

Have a go with the Learning Designer Tool yourself at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/learning-designer/designer.php (Links to an external site.)  The video below talks you through how to use it.

More information is available on the Learning Designer Website https://www.ucl.ac.uk/learning-designer/index.php (Links to an external site.) 

A User Guide is also available at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/learning-designer/guide/

3D Object Photography

3D object photography can have many purposes from selling products to interactive learning. It can be a complicated process, but we recently found a way to do it at home or in the office.

The thinking behind this for FMS is for the ability to show things such as models of parts of the body for example, which students away from the lab won’t have access to. They can interact with the object, and look 360 degrees around it. You can use a host such as Sirv (Links to an external site.) to create an interactive object.

Below is an example of what can be created. It can be viewed in full screen from the Sirv website:  https://tracyncl3d.sirv.com/Head/Head.spin (Links to an external site.) 

Would you like to try it yourself? You can find a guide on this in the FMS TEL Community

https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/30988/pages/3d-object-photography-at-home

ReCap – Adding an Audio file to a Video

Resulting from a few queries from FMS staff, we have added some information to the FMS TEL Community detailing how to add audio to a video using ReCap.

Staff had recorded footage of processes or experiments in laboratories which they wished to add a narration over afterwards. There was existing audio or noise on the video which they did not want to include. Rather than go through the process of removing the unwanted audio, ReCap/Panopto ignores the audio if the video is uploaded as a Secondary file. Audio can only be uploaded as a Primary file.

You may want to record your audio narration first using your mobile phone or software such as Audacity on a computer with a microphone. A common format would be mp3. Then upload your audio narration as your primary file and your video as a secondary file. Any audio in your video file is ignored and the new audio you recorded will be played instead.

See the full guide ‘Adding an Audio file to a Video‘ on the FMS TEL Community course in Canvas.

Editing with VLC Media Player

As we have had a couple of enquiries via FMS Enquiries about audio and video, we have added some information to the FMS Community on how to edit using VLC Media Player. VLC media Player is a free application which allows you to play and convert videos. You can save in many different formats.

You may be looking to add new audio to an existing video, or remove audio before commencing adding a new narration. For example a demonstration of a practical session in a laboratory, or a tour around a building. You can also extract audio only from a video.

See the guide on how to do this here: https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/30988/pages/editing-with-vlc-media-player

Technology in your pocket

We have had a few enquiries via FMS Enquiries about getting tasks done without specialist equipment we would normally have on hand in our offices.

We have recently added some information to the FMS Community on how to use mobile devices to produce learning materials. A kind of Do It Yourself guide for producing materials from home or on location.

Create video, audio, images, presentations, conduct meetings, and communicate with students and staff. Set students tasks to do on their own devices. Check it out here: https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/30988/pages/technology-in-your-pocket.

Your device may not have all the features identified, but it may give you some ideas.

Branching Activities

Following a request to create branching activities for the BMS Health and Safety Course, we have added an example of a branching activity to the FMS Community so that others can try these out. These activities can be used to present a scenario with a range of options for students to follow, like a choose-your-own-adventure book.

A branching activity was included in the Health and Safety course this year to guide students through a scenario where a fellow student becomes unwell. At each stage, some information and a set of choices is presented. The student clicks through to discover the consequences of their choices, and finally, an outcome is presented. Students can run through the activity multiple times to try out different paths through the scenario.

These activities are built by setting up pages in Canvas to represent each stage and adding buttons that link pages together in the right order depending on the choices.

You can try out an example branching activity in the FMS Community. This example has 13 different pages, including a landing page where students start the activity. The number of pages you need to create will depend on how complex you want your scenario to be.

If you’d like to try making your own branching activity, you can find instructions here: https://ncl.instructure.com/courses/30988/pages/creating-branching-activities.

360° Images

Prompted by the need to show students FMS teaching labs, we have added some information around 360° images to the FMS Community, including example images and how these images are captured, processed and made ready for viewing. This work results in images which can be viewed on screen or using a VR headset.

360 pan of lab showing navigation through the tour
This is a low-quality preview of the real output.

These images have a variety of uses, including:

  • allowing students to view places they may otherwise never see in person
  • allowing students to see facilities such as labs before they arrive on campus
  • students can familiarise themselves with the layout of a room or building
  • taking activities in a safe controlled realistic environment, for example identifying hazards without putting themselves at risk
  • helping students learning at a distance to feel like they are part of the institution

As well as single images, it is possible to connect a series of images to create tours. Users can then click one place to the next in a series of linked 360 images – like in Google Map Street View. Video tours can also be created.

Recently we used these images to provide a virtual induction to FMS labs as part of a health and safety course. To see the full case study, visit the FMS Community.