1.2 ON-LINE NOTES

 

• Typical tips for making on-line notes are,

- have references that will automatically link to the reference source.

- have different levels of material - the students can then skim the material they understand, and explore challenging topics.

- use other media to explain topics.

- allow links to fundamental materials for students needing review.

- written text is bulky and hard to read, point form or highly condensed text is better.

- the material should be cut up into small sections, a single printed page is a good size, but more or less can be used as required.

- a good directory structure is needed to organize the information. This should be done before doing any large scale development of the Web site. Cut the information up and organize by major and minor topic areas. (don’t worry if these are not perfect, you can adjust this later when setting up tables of content.)

- the need to worry about fonts and layout (e.g. pagination) is not an issue as the readers viewer will take care of these. But, each section/subsection should be in a separate file to decrease delays.

- we can add links to other documents that allow direct connection to references. This frees us from having to fully explain every point (e.g. go straight to an earlier proof).

- tables of contents can be used, as in normal books, but they can be broken into smaller parts.

- when there are enough small segments of information, we can put together different books. Each of these can put the material in different sequences, or as reference. I typically produce one of these for each course.

- a date must be added to sections. The document is living, and corrections and additions can be made frequently. The reader needs a date or version number to know when these changes have occurred.

- various miscellaneous items need to be added. A set of icons are needed for navigating through the document (next, previous, up one level). A contact email address. An identifying icon that marks the page. A copyright notice is optional, but should appear on each web page.

- line drawing figures convert well to Web format.

- photographs can be added easily but are best left as links. Viewing documents with a large number of photographs on the page slows down viewing, and makes the document very large.

- linking to video and sound can cause problems, as no format is supported universally.

- linking to application files requires that the reader have specific application software (e.g. Mathcad or Photoshop).

- we can add hypertext links to other sites outside of our documents, but these are highly unreliable, and so they may be separated into a separate file.

 

• Issues include,

- password protection is possible when you don’t want notes to be shared publicly. Student then need to have the password to access the notes on-line.

 

 

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