Lowering Barriers to Entry for Workshops on Learn

You may be asking yourself: “What is she talking about? Workshop content on Learn is free!”
Unfortunately time and high data costs can be exclusionary.

Quick Case Study: How to Find Help With WordPress

Challenges:

Length

This video is 31 minutes in length.

While this may sound reasonable for an introductory video, this should use approximately 160 MB of data.

At an Out-of-Bundle rate, this is approximately 2.5 x minimum wage for domestic workers in a developing economy – and therefore inaccessible by and exclusionary to many users.

Quality

Videos on Learn only offer the ability to turn on High Definition.

There is no option to set the video to a lower quality setting for streaming.

This is an inherent limitation of VideoPress.

Speed

Videos on Learn can only be watched at 0.5, 1, 1.5. and 2 speed.

These speeds tend to be unnatural.

Unfortunately, VideoPress does not currently offer 0.75 and 1.25 speeds, which are more natural.

Proposed Solutions:

Content Guidelines

Instructional videos should be scripted.

Discussion videos (panel discussions) on more complex topics can be very valuable content on Learn.

However, particularly for introductory topics, scripting topics heavily avoids repetition and should help to keep video lengths efficient.

If a contributor would like to submit an unscripted workshop, they should include a compelling motivation in the application why this best serves the interests of Learn users.

Lesson Plans should be submitted for all Workshops.

To ensure that Workshops benefit from input regarding curriculum development and best practices in terms of teaching philosophy, this proposes that a Lesson Plan (in outline form) should exist before workshops are recorded.

This will also facilitate the harmonization of Workshops and Lesson Plans into Courses at a later date.

Chapters

Workshops should be broken down into chapters, with descriptive titles.

Long-format videos are not conducive to meeting the needs of students in particular, as the information contained in workshops is not searchable.

Video is not an ideal format if you would like to review information again at a later date.

This proposes that a “Chapters” widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. is added to workshops on Learn, with time-stamped links.

Subtitles

Subtitles should be submitted at the same time as the Workshop.

Users should not have to watch the video to get access to subtitles.

Subtitles should be viewable on Learn itself (possibly as a custom blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience.) and should be downloadable.

Subtitles (in the original language) should be required for all scripted videos on Learn.

Subtitles for unscripted videos like panel discussions should be uploaded as soon as practical.

Browser-side Caching

Carefully consider caching behaviours on Learn.

Content on Learn should not change often and the caching periods should be as long as possible, unless a user manually clears their browser cache.

If possible, use version cache busting.

Buffering

Investigate whether the buffering is sufficient for users on slower internet connections.

Download Option

Make it possible for users to download videos directly from Learn.

This is particularly desirable in educational settings, where multiple users may share devices / a copy can be placed on a central network for everyone’s offline viewing.

Licensing

In order to facilitate downloading, sharing and to encourage proper academic habits in relation to citations, prominently include licensing information on the Learn website and preferably in the videos themselves.

Feedback:

We need your input and engagement in order to realize the goals set out above.

Please comment below!

License:

The contents of this post are made available by the author under CC-BY-SA 4.0. International.

Request for Testing: Slides Plugin

The Training team is on the lookout for simplified way to create slides. We need:

  • An interface similar to writing a WordPress Post
  • A centralized location to access slides
  • Means to audit and revise slide content as WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. updates
  • Consideration for accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) and translation
  • Means to download or use the slides without internet connectivity

We have historically tried tools like Google Slides and Shower.js (similar to storing Reveal.js slides in GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/). We found some of these options worked, but still were a barrier for new contributors to use.

Use Case:

During State of the WordState of the Word This is the annual report given by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress at WordCamp US. It looks at what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and the future of WordPress. https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/. 2019, Matt’s presentation used a blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. editor pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party to create the slides, with quite a crew of folks that helped build the plugin and his presentation.

Get Slides Plugin:

You can find the Slides and Presentations plugin on Plugins:

Benefits

This Slides plugin looks especially interesting because it would offer us :

  • Using slides in the WordPress editor experience
  • A centralized location for auditing and empowering to update later as the revision tools become available on Learn
  • Options to download the slides
  • Templating for design, accessibility, and good UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing.
  • No pre-required skills with GitHub to create or present the slides

Testing and Feedback

  • Install the plugin
  • Create a simple slide presentation
    • Add additional slides
    • Add media
    • Use the speaker notes
  • Save the slides
  • Display in browser
    • Does your theme conflict with slides displaying? (having the plugin on Learn would use the Learn theme – possibly with custom styles for that post type, solving any theme conflicts)
  • Export the slides

Comment below with feedback