By Morriscooke and Constructivist Toolkit LLC
Available on iPad
Explain a Website (EAW) enables you to browse in the app a website, and to write and/or draw annotations on a website; the website dynamics are still operational so you can browse through the site making annotations on the each page. The app provides recording facility so you can create a screencast recording of your annotations, verbal comments and navigation around the site. This subsequent file can be exported as PDF (series of stills images without the audio is supposedly exported, however when I exported the file no program on the desktop or iPad could open the resultant file) or as a video to email, DropBox or Evernote. The video format is compressed MP4 codec.
In terms of education the app has potential to enable academics/teachers to feedback on student website assessments submissions, but also assessment submitted electronically to the VLE, as can browse the VLE in the app. I personally have used the latter example to provide timely and constructive feedback on a e-submitted (submitted to VLE) draft student dissertation, the app enabled me to recording my musing and written comments as I scrolled down the web-based document.
A 2 minutes video of audio, annotations, screen movements, medium quality, and 640x450 resolution takes a couple of minute or less to be compressed into a MP4 codec format, and the resultant file can be as much as 7.1Mb (just small enough to be emailed), size dependent upon volume annotations, screen movement and audio, less activity recorded over 2 minutes results in a smaller file.
However with respect to screencasting feedback of a large web based document, where it is possible to scroll down the large document recording you annotations and verbal comments, the resultant screencast feedback is likely to be longer than 2 minutes, therefore to ensure the resultant screencast is of a file size that can be emailed:
· The resolution of the video project requires to be 320x225
· The quality of the video needs to be low
However it should be noted;
· The resultant video is significantly reduced in quality for the recipient
· A 14 minute video can take up to 1/2hr for the app to be compressed into MP4 format· The resultant file is 9Mb and therefore only just small enough to be emailed
Therefore realistically the app if providing feedback to a class individually then the app should be realistically used to provide short screencast feedback. However lengthy and detailed feedback on complex websites or large electronic documents should to be one off exercise to an individual or a few groups on each of their website assessment submissions. A student’s reflections of receiving EAW formatted feedback on their online submitted dissertation:
“The audio/video feedback was helpful in explaining key points to the user, I did experience resolution issues and the screen was very small and hard to see.”
The student comment also highlights that the resolution size (set to solve issue being able to transfer the feedback to the student, as feedback on 50 page dissertation consisted of 14 minutes reflections) is a critical issue, to low may hindered wide adoption by students and staff.