Communities of Practice Online (CoPo)

Communities of Practice Online (CoPo)

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Building Online Interactivies with Hot Potatoes 6 (and the use of Blackboard)

This course was delivered online by Susan Bergstrom - University of Calgary.

The first learning curve for me was using 'blackboard'. I did find blackboard easy to navigate and use and the University gives very detailed 'how to' information including two movie tutorials on using the discussion board and adding attachments. There was also an online tutorial 'Orientation to Blackboard'. Once again this emphasized the importance of having very clear, easy to follow instructions to help put the new learner at ease. Susan did this very well. However, I must admit I still prefer WebCT!

Hot Potatoes is a VERY EASY to use free (for those working for publicly-funded non-profit-making educational institutions, who make their pages available on the web) download that makes it easy to create interactive crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises, multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, online puzzles and quizes.

The URL for Hot Potatoes home page is

There are 5 major sections in Hot Potatoes:
JCross - this tool helps you create interactive online crossword puzzles
JMatch - this tool makes it easy to create interactive matching questions
JCloze - this tool lets you create interactive gap-fill exercises
JMix - this tool helps you create interactive jumble-sentence exercises
JQuiz - this tool makes it easy for you to create interactive quizzes
Susan states that 'each of these interactivies are a fun way to enhance all kinds of learning, with hints and immediate feedback on hand at the click of a mouse'. I believe they are particularly useful as review exercises.

Using these interactivities is one way of creating FUN in a CoP. For example you could set up a crossword on specific industry terminology. I would also suggest giving participants who complete the interactivity correctly some kind of prize eg. chocoloate frog.


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