A while ago I reviewed a demo version of CGP’s new MathsTutor. This week I have got round to installing it on our VLE and a few people have asked me to update them on how it goes, so here it is.
The time had come for the Mathswatch package which was built into our Frog VLE to be taken down and sent back to 1996. Conveniently, our Mathswatch subscription (£350) was about to run out. My fellow department members were also very keen to have Mathswatch replaced by the new fancier-looking CGP MathsTutor (£250 – bargain). So we went ahead and bought it.
Soon after, the following problems all crossed my mind:
1) What actually is a SCORM package?
2) What on earth will I do with it when it supposedly ‘arrives in the post’?
3) It is half-term next week and we need it up and running by the time we get back to school. Will this take me all half term?
It soon became apparent that I would be here until Christmas if I tried to upload the SCORM package using my home internet. So, depressingly, I traipsed into school on the Monday morning of half term. Unfortunately, the SCORM files provided by CGP are large in size and there is close to 100 of them, each of which had to be uploaded manually onto the VLE. This took about 3 hours – it was a good job I remembered to bring a book with me.
Once the files were all uploaded and unpacked I had to make a home for the Video Tutorials in the Maths Department Website on our VLE (see pictures). The process of actually linking the SCORM packages to the website was relatively straight forward (in comparison to most processes on Frog) and it was all ready to go.
I was hoping that CGP would have a way of making the files searchable. MathsWatch had handy features that allowed students to search by GCSE Grade. It appears that I will have to try and do this myself with MathsTutor. Currently, the drop down menu contains the links to the SCORM files. When you click on your chosen link, the chosen SCORM package boots up in another window (picture below).
I am content with the way it works but it does have a few definite areas for improvement. I will wait for student and staff feedback before developing it further.
In terms of a MathsWatch comparison, I still remain convinced it provides a far higher quality of videos and resources and I look forward to hearing student feedback on the resource. It is inevitable that because it is bigger and fancier it will take longer to upload and for the videos themselves to buffer. But it is up there now so it shouldn’t need too much changing around for a while. In fact, possibly the only advantage of having a VLE is it’s ability to host the SCORM packages.
So, in response to my earlier questions:
1) I still don’t know what a SCORM package is, but I like what it does
2) Uploading SCORM files into a Frog VLE is surprisingly straightforward
3) It didn’t take me all half term. Only one day in fact!