A recent project developing a micro-course for BCcampus was inspired by many of the inquiries I had working in post-secondary education from instructors wanting to share and have their students collaborate with multimedia such as images, audio and video online.

Teaching and learning online have become more essential than ever. However, using media as part of a lesson or activity is not always as simple as in a face-to-face situation, particularly in the typical learning management system that most institutions currently deploy. With an interest in exploring state-of-the-art web publishing tools for sharing media online, I embarked on this journey of exploring, testing and sharing my findings in the course.

The platforms that I chose to explore were WordPress (and its variations like SPLOTs), Notion and GitHub (and its variations like Docsify-this), quite a lot for a single microcourse! My approach was to have participants draw from their use cases using images in their teaching and have them develop prototypes for one or each of these platforms depending on their interest and time. I successfully guided them along their journeys by providing different entry points as difficulty levels for them to choose where to put their energy.

Icons for each level of difficulty. Beginner (green circle), Intermediate (blue square), Advanced (black diamond), Expert (doubke bklack diamond)
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert labels and icons commonly used on trails and ski runs.

Guiding by modelling and demoing

It was interesting to set up a portfolio of images on each of the platforms and compare their functionality and results. For my demo, I chose to publish a collection of images I created for the Inktober 2023 event. I created one zine for each day consisting of 4 images. So a total of 124 images. Here are some of the spaces that I set up during the course..


Course demo: A SPLOT or “Smallest Possible Online Learning Tool” was used as a collaboration space to start the course. With this platform, participants did not need to log in or have special privileges. All it took was a simple prompt and a link to get them to share. – https://pleaseshare.opened.ca/

Jason’s demo: The “Image Collector” SPLOT theme is fantastic. Some of its power is lost when it is just for one person’s collection because it is truly meant as a collaboration space. – https://jasoninktober2023.opened.ca/


While SPLOTs are built on a WordPress back end, I hoped folks would dig further and set up their own website or one provided by their institution. I used my existing business website which has a very simple theme and portfolio functionality. It works for my needs, but a limitation here is you can only see one image at a time. – https://samepagestudio.ca/portfolio/inktober-2023/


“Notion” was some of the new hotness I was interested in demoing. While it has a much bigger range of functionality than merely posting a gallery of images, it does it so well! My favorite part of using Notion for this purpose is how easily you can change the view and layout once all your images are uploaded. – https://same-page-studio.notion.site/Inktober-2023-portfolio-f744e07683a2426dae5ca7091c789cdf


While I could only scratch the surface in this domain, I saw the potential for much greater things. Particularly in the way a collection could use GitHub as a shared repository and generate galleries in a myriad of other platforms or for other purposes from this single data source. – https://github.com/jasontoal/inktober2023/blob/main/README.md


Unexpectedly, I tried yet another platform at the recommendation of one of the participants. Blogspot! I was shocked to learn that the platform was still around, but the type of ‘flip card’ display it had as one of its default presentation modes was exactly what I was looking for. It is fairly easy to upload images, free, and in the most cool way, allowing the user to change the viewing mode. – https://intober2023.blogspot.com/?view=flipcard

I still have much to process and share from this course. I want to go back into my demo sites and fix them up. I want to publish my open-access version for the course on Git Hub and Notion, although it will be shared as an open resource at some point; for now, you will have to accept my collection of videos for a preview of the material and activities.


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