Not all content in an online learning environment needs to be published on the page, which is why file management and document hosting is one of the core components of any virtual classroom. The Resources module available on Ultranet’s class and web pages provides a neat way to quickly share files, links or embed web objects.
File and document links.
How much do you have set aside for your photocopy budget? How much of that is spent on documents that were in a digital form to start off with? Think it’s time to reduce the paper consumption in your school?
The Resources module is the perfect starting point in transitioning your class files and materials away from paper copies and documents locked on the server. Upload all the core handouts, worksheets, exemplars or other related learning materials in a digital form straight onto the page. Items can be sorted into folders, so a page can support different ‘categories’ of files.
Now students can’t rely on the excuse of having “lost the handout”, and can be responsible for downloading their own copies of content, saving you on photocopying costs—and saving the trees too!
Learning resources need not be restricted to documents and files that teachers have uploaded. Indeed, there is a wealth of useful and quality learning resources available on the web.
To keep track of these resources and make finding them a lot quicker for your students, simply add them to the Resources module as a bookmarked link. The links can be sorted alongside the other documents/files, so their contextual relevance can be maintained. Plus all links open in a new browser window, so users won’t lose their place in Ultranet.
Embed learning objects.
Going one step beyond related web links, some online resources exist as self-contained Digital Learning Objects (DLO). These can vary from simple crossword puzzles, to interactive slideshows or full-blown educational adventure games.
Most of these reside in DLO repositories, although you can also find these simply by performing a web search with the appropriate keywords. Wherever they are located, in order to include them within the Resources module, all you’ll need is the web address (URL) to that object.
Once inserted in the Resources module, the DLO will load up within a dedicated pop-up window. Once the student is done with the activity, closing the pop-up windows takes them straight back to the Ultranet page they came from.
In some cases, teachers may set up their entire course in the virtual classroom at the start of the year, but may not want students to preview future resource or content until the time is right.
To aid with this, individual folders and files within the Resources module can be flagged as ‘hidden’. When set to this mode, only the teacher can see the file/folder. Then, when the intended publish time arrives, teachers can ‘unhide’ the links and students will be able to access the attached resources.