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About e-Learning Courseware



Page contents:  Navigation | Search facility | Printing | Animations & interactive elements | Technical issues  | Accessibility

There are a number of ways to use this courseware. You may decide to study from your computer screen, in which case you will find links to animations and other interactive elements embedded within the on-screen text at appropriate points. Alternatively, you can print out the module in pdf format and use the unit contents pages in this courseware to quickly access the animations, self-assessments and other features relevant to the section you are studying.

 

Home Page

The module Home Page is divided into:

  1. Right-hand-side column which contains three sections linking to three different pages:
    1. How to Study this Module: provides a useful summary of the various parts that constitute the module, such as types of study materials, assessment methods, study calendar and resources.
    2. About e-Learning Courseware: provides a summary of the structure of the e-courseware, the different types of pages, the navigation system, search system, printing option and animation & interactive elements.
    3. Login to the Online Learning Environment: links you directly to the Online Learning Environment (this link requires an internet connection).
  2. Main graphic area: takes you onto the module level index page. Click the 'Click to Start' link to start working.
  3. Course credits and summary area: provides a brief description of the course.

A range of other options can be selected from the bottom right corner of the home page. A sample Home page is shown above. The selectable options available are briefly explained in the following table:

System Requirements This provides a summary of the hardware and software required to successfully run all the features of this module. It also provides links to software included on the e-study guide.
Legal information This outlines legal provisions and disclaimers relevant to use of this courseware, and detailing copyright provisions.
Courseware development This links to a page identifying the team who have worked on the development of this courseware.
Acknowledgements This links to a screen acknowledging the valuable contributions made by third parties in helping us with the development of this module, or in supplying us with tools or interactive materials which are used within the courseware.

 

Module Index

The module level index page is divided into two sides and three sections:

  1. Useful Links: on the left-hand-side you will find 'Useful Links' icons, each with a description beside it. These are linked to the Self-Assessment Overview, Study Calendar, Study Guide Print Version and Tools pages respectively. Some modules may have more icons/links depending on their contents.
  2. Module Index: on the right-hand-side, there is a list of each of the units, together with the module overview. Each title links to the contents pages of that unit.
  3. Module Assessments: at the bottom of the page, you will find a link to the section that describes the  module’s assessment.
Module Level Index

Module information - The following table gives an explanation of the buttons accessible throughout the courseware that link to useful information relevant to the module as a whole.

image of 'home' button
Home
Takes you back to the module home page where you can access the Module Introduction, links to all units, and other information relating to the module as a whole.   image of 'self-assessment overview' button
Self-assessment overview
This area brings together all the assessments from each unit into a self-contained area. A useful page to visit at revision time!
image of 'Calendar' button
Calendar
The calendar page contains the module study calendar, with suggested details on how long each unit should take to study.   image of 'Print screen' button

Study Guide Print Version
This page provides access to .pdf versions of the study guide, specimen exam paper etc for printing or viewing and annotating on screen. Please note you will need to have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to open these files.
image of 'Tools' button
Tools
The tools page contains a list of freely available software which may help you in your studies.   image of 'Help' button
Help
The Help page contains tips on using the courseware and making the most of working electronically.

 

Unit Contents Page

The unit contents pages provide an at-a-glance view of the entire unit. You may use it to jump to any section, self-assessment question or other information about the unit. An example of a unit contents page is given below:

Unit Level Index

 

Navigation

The courseware has been designed to be simple to use with a top banner that is consistent throughout, providing quick and easy access to the contents of each unit.

On the left-hand-side of the top banner, you will find navigation buttons that take you to: next page, unit contents page, previous page, slide-down menu, module index page and the search slide-down facility.

Navigation

Module slide-down menu - (move your mouse over the image below, to start the animation).

Slide-down navigation menu

The slide-down menu provides a quick access to any page within the module. If you click on the button marked 'MENU', the slide-down menu will appear showing a blue strip that contains all the units within the module. When you move your mouse over any of the numbered units, a list of the sections in that unit will appear on the left-hand-side of the slide-down menu. In turn, if you move the mouse over any of the sections appearing on the left-hand-side, a new layer containing the sub-sections will appear on the right side of the menu.

For information on other tools to help you use this courseware, see the section on tools.

 

Other symbols

The table below identifies and explains some of the other symbols that relate to features found within your courseware.

2.4 Ti...

A block of yellow indented text denotes an extract, summary or explanation of a concept often quoting or paraphrasing a seminal work.
activity image The activity symbol appears within the section level text. It denotes a task that you should try and do. It is not compulsory, but we hope this will prove interesting. Some activities require use of the Internet, but others may require a bit of local research or discussion with others within your country or organisation context. In all cases if you have access to the Online Learning Environment you are encouraged to share and discuss the outcomes of activities you have done, with your tutor and fellow students.
intext question
Intext questions appear within the section level text, and provide an opportunity to stop and reflect on the material you have been studying. There will typically be answers to intext questions, though in some cases where for example you are reflecting on something to do with your own experience or context, no answer is provided.

Self-assessment questions

At the end of each section and at the end of a unit, you will normally find a selection of self assessment questions. These are typically multiple choice questions that help you review your understanding of some of the factual information provided in the preceding section or across the unit as a whole. These questions are also helpful for revision. The section and unit level questions can be accessed from the unit index pages. You can also access a page linking to all self assessment questions within the module by clicking on the self assessment overview button, found on the navigation header strip located on every screen.

Self assessment questions usually provide some feedback, but not necessarily the answer. You will normally need to select your answer, click on a 'check your answer' button, and then some feedback will appear. 'Try again' means you got the wrong answer.

The screen will indicate how many questions are associated with the section or unit, and you can step through the questions using the normal forward and backwards navigation buttons.

image of a question feedback screen

Note that some self assessment questions have been developed as interactive Macromedia Flash animations. This supports different types of questions, for example matching words or phrases, and dragging and dropping labels onto diagrams. These questions are generally easy to use and self-explanatory, i.e. the question tells you what you should do.

 

 

Search Facility

You will find a search icon Search Iconon every page of this courseware. When clicked, a slide-down search menu will appear. The search menu is a very useful tool for quickly finding pages or sections containing a specific subject matter. Type in a keyword and click on 'search'. The results will be listed, 10 to a page, with a short description of the contents to be found on each resulting page. From here you can click on a link to be taken directly to the page selected.

Search button on the navigation bar

Tip - to search a page for a particular word or phrase, use '<CTRL> F', and enter the word you are looking for.

 

Printing

During your study you may want to print off all or part of a screen, a range of pages or indeed the entire study guide. The notes below briefly explain how to carry out these tasks.

1. Printing content from a screen

There are two main options for doing this. Go to the screen you wish to print and using your mouse, highlight the area you want to print. Access the Windows Print window (shown below) by selecting 'File' then 'Print' from the drop down menus at the top of your browser screen. From this print window click on the button that reads 'Selection', followed by 'Print'.
Alternatively, copy and paste the text into a word document and print it from there. A quick way to do this is to use '<CTRL> and C' to copy, followed by '<CTRL> and V' to paste the selection into Word. Then use '<CTRL> and P' to print the selection.

image of 'print screen' box

2. Printing content from the study guide

A printable version of the study guide has been provided on your courseware e-study guide in pdf file format , as it provides smaller file sizes than many other document types. This is a format that is recognised by Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader software a link to which is included in the System Requirements section. In order to print pages from the pdf version of the study guide you must first ensure that you have a version of Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer.

You can then access the pdf file for the unit that you want to print (in whole or part). These files can be accessed from the courseware 'Print' page.

When you reach this page click on the file that you want to print, and it will open up in the Adobe software. You can now print some or all of the pages for that file, by following the steps illustrated below:

Firstly select the print option from the file menu:

image of the file | print menu

Now select the pages you wish to print from the screen illustrated below:

print box image



Animations & Interactive Elements

Your courseware may contain some interactive 'Flash' animations. For the animations to run correctly, the Flash plugin software must be correctly installed. When an animation of this sort is present it will have its own navigation system, enabling you to step through and control the animation, as well as access help in relation to the animation. The navigation and help provided is standard for all animations produced internally by the Distance Learning Programme. The screenshot that follows provides an example of an animation with the help screen displayed.

example of the flash help screen

Navigation of interactive Flash animations

The navigation system for the interactive animations is described within the animation by accessing the Help system. You can click on the help (?) icon or press<INSERT> on the keyboard whilst using the animation to view the help screen. The basic way to use the animation is to click on the relevant navigation and interaction buttons using your mouse.



 

Technical Issues

Flash

Some elements of this courseware require the Adobe Flash plugin. Most recent browsers incorporate this so it is unlikely that you will have any problems. If you do not have this already, you will be informed when you visit the module Home page. In this case follow the link to the System Requirements page for help with installation. It is reported that some of Mac products do not support Adobe Flash plugin.

Pop-up blockers

Many browsers and firewalls now use pop-up blockers. These are very useful in stopping unwanted adverts etc from popping up in your screen when you are trying to work, but can also stop you from seeing courseware pages that open in a new window.

Tip - You can often stop a pop-up blocker from activating if you hold down the <CTRL> key on your keyboard when clicking on links that open in a new window.

JavaScript

We strongly recommend that you have the JavaScript turned on to gain full advantage of the features on this e-study guide. If you do not have JavaScript turned on, a warning message will be displayed at the bottom of the page to indicate this. For help with enabling JavaScript in your browser, refer to the System Requirements page.

 

Accessibility

This courseware has been designed to be navigable using either the mouse or keyboard. To activate keyboard navigation through animated explanations/activities, click on a button in the animation with your mouse. Use the arrow keys to page backwards and forwards within the animation, the "Up" arrow will take you back to the beginning of the animation and the <Insert> key on your keyboard will display the "Help" menu.

Users of screenreaders should refer to the Accessibility section of the Tools page to check the compatibility of the screenreader with this courseware.

If you need to increase the text size, you can do this within your browser by selecting (in Internet Explorer) 'View | Text Size | Larger/Largest'. Other browsers also have this facility.

If you are having any difficulty in using this courseware, please contact the CeDEP technical team via email oleadmin@soas.ac.uk.


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