eCourse Submission Format
Thank you for your interest in hosting an online class for The American Kumihimo Society. This guide will assist you in preparing materials for the Online Learning Center (OLC). These guidelines will also help the AKS volunteer who will be assigned to upload your course material to the AKS website.
AKS eCourses are accessed through the AKS website and are only available to AKS members. Most eCourses will also utilize a Class Forum, also on the AKS website, for students to ask questions. More information about the Forum will be provided by the AKS Education Department upon acceptance of your eCourse.
Important note regarding Intellectual Property
You MUST OWN or have rights to all of the content that you upload! This includes text, graphics, videos, and anything else incorporated into the class. If you are using content that is NOT of your own creation, you must provide written, irrevocable, permission from the content owner to use their material, along with contact information for the content owner that we can verify. Creative Commons licenses are not acceptable as they can be revoked at any time.
What we need from you
- The complete course needs to be submitted as a word file. This document is our guide as to how the course should appear to students. It is easiest to think of the course as a book with chapters (modules) and sections within the chapter (units). More on modules and units below.
- Photo images and graphics that will be used in the course should be separate files. They should be labeled and noted in the course material where they should appear. Be sure that the photos have a good resolution so that they will display well. More information on graphics is provided below.
- Video files that will be used in the course. Videos should be limited in time to under 10 minutes. Longer videos can be enormous files and are difficult to process and upload. All videos are hosted on our YouTube forum as unlisted, meaning they cannot be searched by viewers. Alternately, you can provide a link to your YouTube channel link. More information on videos is provided below.
Components of a Course
A course is composed of a series of modules, each containing one or more units. A unit is a container that holds the content of the class. When you create your class, you should assign each module and each unit within a module a meaningful title that describes the topic being addressed in the module.
Each unit can consist of any combination of text, graphic images, videos, or pdf files (which can be view-only, or view+download). A well designed course presents units that can be completed within 15-30 minutes. If needed, it is okay to go a little more than 30 minutes.
Although there is no limit to the amount of text or content provided, short paragraphs of 150-200 words within units that can be completed in 30 minutes or less, seem to work best. If there is a topic that is more complex, we suggest breaking it down into separate units to make it easier for students to complete.
Graphic images can be used freely within a unit. Image files can be JPG or PNG. Image dimensions must be larger than 250 pixels in each dimension (width and height). A good size for an image is between 1mb – 3mb. Images may not be displayed full-size, but rather in a reduced size that can be clicked to open the full image.
It is VERY important to understand that the display of images in a web page will view differently depending on what kind of device a user will be viewing the page, and therefore no way to know exactly how the image will be interpretted.
We will position images centered in between paragraphs, so that they will always appear where they are supposed to.
If you have multiple images to display that relate to the same paragraph, a Gallery may be used in place of a single image. A gallery is a collection of images displayed together, in between paragraphs, like this:
All video content is hosted on third-party sites. Our preferred hosting site is YouTube. The video below is hosted on YouTube and embedded in this page. It can be played, paused, or maximized (if you’re not familiar with Teddy Bear, check him out…):
Access to our video content
When our OLC hosts a video on our YouTube channel, the video is set to “Unlisted”, meaning that it is not searchable by YouTube users. It is essentially private. You can host your own videos if you wish, and provide us with the link to embed. You can find instructions on hosting YouTube Videos online. PLEASE remember that it must be your video, or you must have permission to use it as per the note at the beginning of this page.
What should be in the video
In most cases, the video will be of you demonstrating some aspect of braiding, such as setting up the fiber, specific hand movements, etc. Try to avoid lecture-type videos (where you are facing and talking to the camera). The videos in AKS courses are usually short demonstrations that support the course curriculum. Speak slowly and clearly. We recommend using a script and rehearsing several times before shooting the video. It is easier to make several short videos than one long one, as you can re-shoot a short video if there is a mistake far easier than a long one. If necessary, we can compile several short videos into a longer single video.
Types of Videos
The term “video” usually refers to a movie clip of some kind, but in reality, your video can be a series of narrated still images, animations, or what is called an “explainer video”, which is a combination of all of these things. Below is a video created by Explaindio, a company that makes this type of application. If you are considering expanding your video instruction options, it is an inexpensive option to use: