Learning Materials (was: PowerPoint and Teaching Effectiveness?)

Thinking about teaching, yet again...
From a post on a Moodle forum.
This thread almost had the effect of an intervention, on me. Maybe my use of bullet points on slides is not as appropriate as it should be. As a victim of Steve Jobs's RDF, I would prefer doing Jobs-style (or Lessig-style) presentations, instead of following bullet points on slides.
My main excuse to use slides is that I'm really absent-minded and I tend to go on tangents. Slides help me improvise my lectures as they: remind me of what I want to discuss, are easy to time, are easy to read while lecturing, and are clearly structured.
Some of my most honest students have told me (in course evaluations) that I should dispense with slides. The reason I still use slides is pretty much because other students react strongly if I go too far on a tangent and they don't know where I'm going. With a slide, they can at least tell where I'm at.

But lecturing is just one part of the story.
I just gave my last lecture of the semester. Only lectured for a short period of time as the rest of the course meeting was devoted to preparing students for the exam. The highlight today was that I was able to build up exam questions with a relatively large number of students. Those questions will be on the final exam and I'm convinced that the process helped students way beyond the scope of the exam.

Slides, lecture notes, textbooks, presentations, lessons, podcasts, wikis, blogs, links, webpages... All of these are pretty much what I would call "learning materials." Been thinking quite a lot about learning materials recently and will be holding a session on learning materials at the Spirit of Inquiry conference organised by McGraw-Hill/Ryerson and Concordia. My main ideas with those learning materials are that they can be free (as in speech and/or as in beer), open (access, -ended), and flexible (customizable). I'd like participants at the conference to have fun with these ideas on learning matetrials. Mashing up on mashups and mash-ups, Lessig's Free Culture and Creative Commons, Wesch's "Web 2.0" video ethnography, Baraniuk's free coursework materials, MIT's OpenCourseWare, Wired Magazine's Radical Transparency, and the Cluetrain legacy.

There are technical issues and Moodle can help. For instance, with editing and repurposing content.
I still don't have the perfect workflow which would allow me to use outlines to produce both slides and lecture notes at the same time, post everything on Moodle, link everything with podcasts, collaboratively edit content, etc.
A friend has been using ProfCast with great success. Another friend recently showed me a neat script that he hacked together which allows for seamless integration of wiki-like markup and slide structure. Previously, I've used OmniOutliner with LaTeX, HTML, Keynote, and other file formats (including PPT). I tried Hans Hagen's ConTeXt with little success. I've even started to think that OneNote 2007 might provide a solution. Zoho Notebook looks promising, especially if it can integrate with Zoho Show.

Many of us do a lot of things with our "learning materials." From producing self-paced slideshows to collaboratively editing textbooks. The content itself can be fairly simple. File formats abound to make it easy for anybody to work with this type of material. Maybe Moodle can help people understand that it's not just a question of coding in some HTML, Flash, or SCORM.

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