Archive for May, 2011

ADA Compliance Part II

Choose two ways of creating instructor created presentations and that you might use and explain how you will ensure that they are ADA compliant. 

I would make an ADA compliant powerpoint presentation. The powerpoint would be offered in plain black text and a white background. No color indicators would be used. If I insert any video/audio of any type, I would be certain to provide a caption and text option of the media. The text would be provided in a simple PDF file, so as to provide accessibility to the user.

To be certain my course is compliant, I would make a checklist. The checklist would be based upon the guidelines featured in ADA Compliance Part I.

Question Yes or No
Is a text version of all video/audio available?  
Are indicators in plain text (no color)?  
Are markup sheets used correctly?  
Is the language easy to understand?  
Did the tables publish correctly?  
Did all the page over all publish as intended?  
Can the user control time-sensitive content?  
Can the user access all outside links?  
Can the course be used independent of a certain devices?  
Is there a clear context of the information provided?  
Is an orientation to the information provided?  
Can the user easily navigate through the pages?  
Are there indicators for navigation?  
Are all documents clear and simple?  

ADA Compliance – Part I

Name of evaluator: Elizabeth Tomzik

URL of page being evaluated:

Explain your procedure:


I have evaluated the above URL based upon Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. You can find the Guidelines here or an annotated version below.

1. Provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content.

2. Don’t rely on color alone.

3. Use markup and style sheets and do so properly.

4. Clarify natural language usage

5. Create tables that transform gracefully.

6. Ensure that pages featuring new technologies transform gracefully.

7. Ensure user control of time-sensitive content changes.

8. Ensure direct accessibility of embedded user interfaces.

9. Design for device-independence.

10. Use interim solutions.

11. Use W3C technologies and guidelines.

12. Provide context and orientation information.

13. Provide clear navigation mechanisms.

14. Ensure that documents are clear and simple.

List Any Problems Found:


I have identified a few problems with the above URL.

  1. Red-Green-Blue Combinations
  2. Color conveys meaning
  3. High contrast
  4. No optional text option to audio version
  5. Internal navigation to skip through sections


Explain How to Correct These Problems:

  1. Red-Green-Blue Combinations
    1. a.      Change all font to black
  2. Color conveys meaning
    1. a.      Color should not convey meaning. Instead, spell out any connotations that require meaning.
  3. High contrast
    1. a.      High contrast can be avoided by using black font with a simple white background. This would make text easy to read.
  4. No optional text option to audio version
    1. a.      Either captioning or a text version of all audio would eliminate this problem
  5. Internal navigation to skip through sections
    1. a.      This can be corrected by providing hot links that would the user to skip through sections.


Annotated Bibliography


Waldeck, J. H. (2008). The Development of an Industry-Specific Online Learning Center: Consulting Lessons Learned. Communication Education, 57(4), 452-463. doi:10.1080/03634520801894747


Waldeck (2008) created an online learning program for a business to accomplish educational objections. Waldeck (2008) create a series of web-based, industry specific, training modules that provided users with a place to communicate with peers in different markets and access information related to their markets. In addition, the programmers created a game of sorts which followed strategic moves and pitfalls associated with the industry. Waldeck (2008) assessed the success of the program through course assessments, enrollment figures, completion rates, participation in features and users response to the materials. The author found that business owners believed that their business management and leadership skills improved as result of their interaction with learning content. Though the program was successful, it only had a life of three years due to funding.


Overall, this is my favorite article that I found as it discusses a similar business partner version of an LMS like I work with at my job.  The article provides a broad analysis of how the LMS was created and to what purpose it serves and explains how an LMS is useful in a business setting. Though LMS are traditionally used in a classic education setting, I appreciate that the authors worked with a LMS in a nontraditional environment. My only critique is that the authors should have provided a larger scale example of their coding for success. I am also interested to see the results of a program like this over time, such as the profitability of those who took the courses.


Mayor, M., & Ivars, A. (2007). E-Learning for interpreting. Babel, 53(4), 292-302. Retrieved from


The authors explain the simulations of real life experiences are often left out of elearning. Simulations, which include response to incidents and situations, are now being incorporated and offer a range of recording of these simulations for future interpretation and analysis. In method, the instructor has an PC which is equipped to view such presentations. Each training station is equipped with audio panel. The interactions gained during the time at these modules can be later reviewed, analyzed and evaluated to hone in on students skills. The training can even be proliferated through a website, granted the student has the tools. The benefits of such training include convenience, granting the students responsibility to complete the program, the teacher becomes a learning facilitator.       Furthermore, for such a distance program to be successful the program must have the following:

  1. Knowledge transfer. Students need to be able to apply what the learn in a distance setting to the real world.
  2. Learner must take an active role in learning.
  3. Learner must be able to deal with a variety of experience so that they can construct mental models of the experiences for future use.


This article is particularly useful, as it examines how real life training simulations can be offered in an elearning environment. The article more so provides a broad analysis of how such a simulation can be offered then an actual testing of such modules

I think that this article is useful as it provides a basis from which one can create a real life training simulation. I do think that programming of this such an LMS would be quite complicated, and I wonder how cost effective such a program would be. Additionally, though I find that the simulations would be useful, I am also interested how the simulations would actually translate into real world environments. Thus, I believe that future experimental research should be engaged so as to determine if the authors findings are useful and conduscive to elearning.


O’Brien, M. (2009). THE E-LEARNING INDUSTRY. Rocky Mountain Communication Review, 6(1), 57-61. Retrieved from


O’Brien (2009) examines how face-to-face training is often preferred to online learning because of the isolation factor that is associated with online training. What has caused this context is that learning in the workplace is often informal, such as through (1) watching and modeling behaviors of coworkers, (2) there is no social way to relate to the online learning module. The second of the stated has changed through the use of social media forums. Thus, the authors finds that elearning training environments coupled with networking tools of support, the training online training environment may stand a chance against the favor of face-to-face communication. The author concludes that most LMS systems are purely modules that control and manage learning, but integration of social software can increase favor and use of online learning.


This article is particularly useful, as it examines the reasons why face-to-face training is preferred to online training. The article was based on what we already know, but lays out such concepts in a way that is easy to understand. I found it particularly useful how the article acknowledges that informal learning adds to ones basis of knowledge and therefore, that gain of such informal knowledge is important to incorporate when developing an LMS.

I think that this article is useful as it provides a basis of support of online social learning in the development of an LMS. In a consumer setting, I think that social learning through the use of forums can take this role in such a way that learning in a business environment can take place. Like O’Brien (2009), I believe that future research needs to develop social tools that are created to work with the LMS that elevate the elearning experience.



Jayanti, R. K., & Singh, J. (2010). Pragmatic learning theory: An inquiry-action framework for distributed consumer learning in online communities. Journal of Consumer Research, 36(6), 1058-1081. Retrieved from


The authors examine whether or not participation in online learning communities promotes empowered decision making among consumers. Jayanti and Singh (2010), like previous scholars, believe that decision making is something that is developed, thus it can be nurtured in an elearning environment. Jayanti and Singh (2010) engaged in a longitudal study which included sampling of forums on a asynchronous bulletin board. These boards were found through Google. The authors looked for boards with descriptive content and those which had a wide range of users. With in the forums, the authors looked for the number of threads related to a particular consumer issues, the length of the postings, the content and those which remained on track with the topic at hand. The information was coded based on when action was taken over a period of time, when each inquiry was laid forth, how was it explained, and how the pattern of inquiry continued in the forum.

Jayanti and Singh (2010) concluded the following:

  1. There are two basis of knowledge, that which is reflected through experience or acquisition. Inquiry bridges the different between knowledge and knowing.
  2. Inquiry and action forms in a cycle. Inquiry and experimental knowledge empowers decision making.
  3. Learning trajectories reflect diverse modes of learning – thus consumer learning can be a achieved by insinuating a motivating inquiry


            This is an interesting article, as it explores how users learn in an online learning community through methods of inquiry. I particularly found the tools and coding features that the authors presented as useful. I also like that the study was longitudal, which increases the studies validity.

Overall, I found that this article was useful as it acknowledges that inquiry is the point of which online learning can take place and develop. Similarly, I think that this article supports the use of forums in promoting learning and development of ones basis of knowledge. In a consumer setting, I think that forums do play this role in such a way that consumers learn more about a product and thus encourage (or discourage) one another based on the inquiry that occurred in the forum. Like the authors, I believe that future research needs to be done as to determine what makes online learning interaction social vs. action based.



Liyan, S., & Hill, J. R. (2009). Understanding adult learners’ self regulation in online environments: A qualitative study. International Journal of Instructional Media, 36(3), 263-274. Retrieved from


The authors of this article examine how learners self-regulate their learning through the use of resources, strategies, and motivation in synchronous and asynchronous environments. The researchers followed six participants who were in enrolled in an online course. The researchers engaged in a qualitative analysis which involved eighteen face-to-face interviews of the participants. Three semi-structure interviews were also conducted face-to-face throughout the term. Other data was obtained through online forums used in the online class. This data was used to provide further insight into the data provided by the interview. The data was analyzed through thematizing, coding and categorizing.

The authors found that self-regulated learning will help learners overcome challenges (resource use and motivation). Additionally, the authors found that online learners must use self-regulation skills more than face-to-face learners. These strategies include verbal communication strategies, more motivation to participate and the abilility to rationalize the use of online tools and activities when they are not monitored. The authors explain that more research is needed to understand tools that can be used to improve users online self-regulated skills.


This is an interesting article, as it explores how users are kept engaged in an online learning environment through self regulation. However, this article did lack which coding tools and resources it used in its qualitative analysis. I also thought the sample size of six students was far too small to be completely reliable.

Though I found that the article lacked in some areas, I though that it was useful to point out that motivation plays a factor in how successful a user is an elearning environment. In my experience, there must be a motivating factor for a user to engage in the elearning – such as a requirement for a degree. I found that like the author, more research needs to be done to examine how to motivate users though I think that the article provides a good standing point to understand what other self-regulating tools are used by online learners.

Grading and Such!


I chose to make a test module for those are studying what currency to use when one does International Business.

To take the quiz, you must do the following (Click here to access the test):

1. Register first with QuizStar. The registration is free!

2. After you register, click Search for A Class

3. At the search landing page, search the course by the Course Name “Tomzik – International Business”

4. Register for the course

You’re done!

I found a great the rubric with Rubistar (To find the rubric, enter Sales into the Search Engine) a This is a assignment given in training seminar for entitled “Understanding International Sales Presentations.”

Understanding International Sales Presenations

You have completed all of the course materials! Now, you must give us a mock sales presentation. You will be assigned an international client who is interested in international business. You will be graded by how well you touched upon the following prompts during your sales presentation. Do you research! Please see the Rubric below to see exactly how what you will be graded on

1. What is best place to discuss business?

2. What currency will the transaction take place?

3. Who are you competitors?

4. What gains can be made by doing business together?

5. Why they are interested in globalization.

6. What future investment options are available?

Business attire, very professional look.
Casual business attire.
Casual business attire, but wore sneakers or seemed somewhat wrinkled.
General attire not appropriate for audience (jeans, t-shirt, shorts).
Facial expressions and body language generate a strong interest and enthusiasm about the topic in others.
Facial expressions and body language sometimes generate a strong interest and enthusiasm about the topic in others.
Facial expressions and body language are used to try to generate enthusiasm, but seem somewhat faked.
Very little use of facial expressions or body language. Did not generate much interest in topic being presented.
Student is completely prepared and has obviously rehearsed.
Student seems pretty prepared but might have needed a couple more rehearsals.
The student is somewhat prepared, but it is clear that rehearsal was lacking.
Student does not seem at all prepared to present.
Student uses several props (could include costume) that show considerable work/creativity and which make the presentation better.
Student uses 1 prop that shows considerable work/creativity and which make the presentation better.
Student uses 1 prop which makes the presentation better.
The student uses no props OR the props chosen detract from the presentation.
Student is able to accurately answer almost all questions posed by classmates about the topic.
Student is able to accurately answer most questions posed by classmates about the topic.
Student is able to accurately answer a few questions posed by classmates about the topic.
Student is unable to accurately answer questions posed by classmates about the topic.
Uses Complete Sentences
Always (99-100% of time) speaks in complete sentences.
Mostly (80-98%) speaks in complete sentences.
Sometimes (70-80%) speaks in complete sentences.
Rarely speaks in complete sentences.
Listens to Other Presentations
Listens intently. Does not make distracting noises or movements.
Listens intently but has one distracting noise or movement.
Sometimes does not appear to be listening but is not distracting.
Sometimes does not appear to be listening and has distracting noises or movements.
Shows a full understanding of the topic.
Shows a good understanding of the topic.
Shows a good understanding of parts of the topic.
Does not seem to understand the topic very well.
Collaboration with Peers
Almost always listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group. Tries to keep people working well together.
Usually listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group. Does not cause “waves” in the group.
Often listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group but sometimes is not a good team member.
Rarely listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others in the group. Often is not a good team member.

Discussion: I am having technical difficulties with the discussion board. I will post here as soon as I am able to logon.

Week 5

Facebook eLearning (this is a link with photos – I couldn’t get WordPress to accept my screenshots.)

Facebook can be quite useful as new media elearning method. It can be useful for both asynchronous and synchronous learning. Furthermore, Facebook is a useful elearning method as it creates a high degree of social presence where users are able to represent themselves in an online environment. Additionally, according to the social presence theory, Facebook contributes to high levels of social presence as it it allows users to relate to one another in a common space .

For users to engage in this elearning method, they must have a Facebook account. You can learn more about creating a Facebook account here.

Once a user has created a Facebook account, they engage in the following features:

–          Link to ones friends

–          Update and see updates

–          Hold conversations (threads)

Facebook uses a common interface. Here is a screenshot of the Facebook Dashboard (Please note that all screenshots are from my personal Facebook account):

The Facebook dashboard constantly updates with a newsfeed of a users friends posts. These posts are useful to facilitate a discussion.  One can post photos, links, videos, or even take a poll or all those who are ones friend on Facebook. All of the tools that allow posts are views by all a users friends.

Posting is primarily a form of one-way communication, though it has options for two-way communication through the use of threading wall discussions. Posting allows, to an extent, for an increased social presence as it provides interaction through users.  Users in an elearning environment are able to interact in student-student and instructor-student.

Walls are essentially each users own interface that is available publicly for other users to create posts. Here is an example of two-way communication on a wall:

Email discussions to multiple users can be created, or you can write emails to single users. This type of discussion is done privately. This is mostly a form of one-way communication, though two-way communication is additionally optional as the email takes the format similar to a wall, but in a private setting. This feature can be useful for student-instructor interaction as it is asynchronous. Email allows for personal focus though it is not media rich. (Note: Private instant messaging is also available)

Additionally, Notes can be created. Notes are similar to a blog. Notes are a form of one-way communication.

Notes are not traditionally media rich, as they do not provide instant feedback, provide “body cues”, allows of the permission of natural language though they do provide a personal focus of the medium. Similarly to a blog, though notes are not media rich, they are useful for completing basic writing tasks as it provides such a space for users to simply write and accept comments.

The following is a comparison chart between Facebook and the LMS that I currently use for work (though we do use Facebook – it is not for LMS).







Discussion Boards











Graphic Presentation




Grade Book




From this, I can conclude that Facebook is useful as a function LMS as it provides the following:

  1. Distributes course information
  2. Allows for student-instructor and student-student communication
  3. Allows for student interaction with course resource

The LMS feature that Facebook does lack is that it does not provide a tool for online testing and grading activity.  Therefore, from this information we can conclude that Facebook would not be useful for online traditional testing (i.e. multiple choice, true or false) as it does not provide a tool for testing.

Facebook is useful as an elearning tool, even though it is not heavily rich in media, as it allows for a high levels of social presence and student-instructor student-student interaction. Also, Facebook is a useful elearning tool because it would already have a large presence among most audiences. Facebook would particularly be useful for course discussions and blog posting – similarly to how we do in class now.

I think that one of the best tools that Facebook has for elearning is one of their newest features, which is polling. Users can vote, add comments, or even ask their friends what they think. This is two-way communication. Facebook polling is a moderately rich media as it provides for instant feedback and allows for personalization.  (The following is a sample poll from a popular reality tv show – Bad Girls Club)

This would particularly be useful as a supplement to elearning discussions as it would provide raw information of how a discussion tended to go.

To further demonstrate the usefulness of Facebook as an LMS, I have created an activity so as to explain how Facebook can be used as an LMS.

 A Lesson on Widgets


(1)Create a Facebook note about what you think about Widgets. Make sure that you allow your Friends to see the note.

(2)Then, take the poll on the Instructors Facebook “What do you think about widgets?”

(3) Briefly share with us what you think about widgets in a Facebook post. You must add a video, picture, or URL to supplement your Facebook post.

(4) Additionally, you are required to make a thread on another students post.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email your instructor.

Week 4

Question 1.

Textual information can be seen in an elearning environment as text on a computer monitor. Textual information is either an announcement or document. An announcement is brief and prepared using LMS software. A document is longer than an announcement and addresses topics in detail. Documents are often uploaded (like an attachment format) to an LMS and can be viewed in its original format i.e. Word or PDF.

Presentation graphics slide shows are viewed on a computer screen. Graphic slide shows can be considered text based. An example of a presentation graphics slide show would be a PowerPoint Presentation.

Spreadsheets and databases are common ways to represent data. Excel is often useful for posting student grades. Excel spreadsheets are particularly useful as they students have a tool where they can predict their course grades by inputting “fake” scores amongst their real scores. Though spreadsheets maybe useful for said grade posting, spreadsheets and databases are not effective as they do not offer

Multimedia objects are still pictures, moving pictures or sound (or a combination of) that are used in elearning. Videos and animation are examples of moving pictures. Pictures and sound can be combined to make a multimedia object. These objects can be embedded into textual information, presentation slide shows or can be used independently. YouTube videos can be seen as a multimedia object. Multimedia objects is particularly effective in elearning situations where an task is ambiguous. Multimedia objects are able to transmit cues such as facial expression, body language and ton of voice. It also allows for the use of natural language. Due to these characteristics of multimedia objects, multimedia objects are useful for elearning.

Question 2.

Most important guidelines for textual information:


Bullets (or outlining)

Proper linking

Purpose: To outline product for sales team

Users: Sales team

A Summary of Widgets

Widgets are useful to sell because this, that, and the other thing.

Who can I sell a widget to?

  • This person
  • That person
  • The other person

Here are the main features of widgets that you should known:

  • Does This
  • Does That
  • Does The Other Thing

Here are a list of tools, the reason why these tools are useful and the links to find these tools. Here is the list of tools that will support your sales of widgets:

Question 3.

Synchronous – Students and instructors engage the elearning environment at the same time, but not necessarily from the same site.

Asynchronous – Students and instructors engage the elearning environment but not at the same time, nor from the same site.

I think choosing between synchronous and asynchronous tasks depends on what goals the instructor has for the course. In an elearning environment, it is useful to have a blend of synchronous and asynchronous tasks and assignments. For example, an asynchronous tasks allows for convenience of access for the both the students and the professor as it allows the students and instructors ot engage in the elearning environment at varying times from different sites. Convenience of access is important for many online learners, therefore, I would choose primarily asynchronous tasks for in a computer mediated learning setting.  Synchonous tasks, on the other hand, are useful for creating a sense of community in an elearning environment. A synchronous task, such as TalkShoe or Skype, is useful for accomplishing such tasks. Even though synchronous tasks are useful, they do create a sense of inconvenience for users – particularly for grad students. Therefore, I would primarily use asynchronous tasks and assignments for elearning.

Question 4.

Supporting Synchronous Communication technologies with the LMS I use at work



Question 5.

Supporting Asynchronous Communication technologies with the LMS I use at work




Questions 6.

Describe an asynchronous task

The task I would use in an online class would be the following:

Take a training module and take the quiz at the end of the module. The purpose of the training module is to improve the users sales by providing relevant product information that consumers would find useful in a sales presentation. This would be a general post in the sales training module. Users would be allowed to quit anytime and would be able to save their progress. The quiz can be completed an unlimited amount of times, though 70% is required to pass. Participants will have access to a link where they can email any questions that they may have.

The assignment would be explained as followed:

Please complete the following training module. You will have 40 minutes to complete the course. You may stop and continue the course at any time. Complete the training module and continue on to the quiz. You may take the quiz as many times as you need.

Technology support:

The technology that I would use to support this activity would be a graphic slide show, supported by a flash function. Students would need to have access to a computer and the Internet. I would use this LMS graphic slide show as a way for the students to work their way through the content. I would use this format as it provides a rich media space. This format would be useful as it allows the students to complete the module at their convenience. A feedback link would allow participants to submit any questions that they may have.


I would know that this activity was successful by the number of participants who would successful complete the training module  and pass the quiz. Also, I would be able to see how long the participants took to complete the training modules and how many times it took the users to pass the quiz. Form this information, I will be able to determine if the module is at the appropriate difficulty for the participants.

Also, I would be able to judge how clear and concise the training is by how often and to what extent participants use the email feedback link.