Ohio State University faculty have a new tool for distributing digital content to students: iTunes U Course Manager. iTunes U Courses are an online collection of images, video, audio, links, and documents created and managed by faculty. Students can access collections through their computer with iTunes software, or with Apple mobile devices using the free iTunes U app.
An example of an OSU iTunes U General Chemistry coursewas created by Dr. Matthew Stoltzfus (@Dr_Fus) as a companion to the textbook for his class, Chemistry: The Central Science. The course includes videos of Chemistry equations being worked and explained by Dr. Stoltzfus, as well as the Pearson eText app for purchasing the digital version of the course text book.
Quick Guide for iTunes U and Course Manager
Courses are created in a web interface using Safari. The following tips are intended to serve as a quick guide for Ohio State University faculty who wish to create a course for iTunes U. Faculty interested in making a course need to:
- Create an iTunes credential with Apple that points to their name-dot-number email address. After creating that account,
- Contact email@example.com to ask for iTunes Course Manager access. Media Services will add you as a contributor so you can log into the Apple Course Manager site, create courses, upload content, and link to materials from other websites and iTunes U courses.
Your course will be private until you share a link to your course. Publishing the course in the iTunes U catalog makes the course accessible to iTunes installed on PC and Mac computers. When the course is ready to be made public,
- Send your course link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Before publishing, the course can only be viewed or reviewed on iOS (Apple Mobile) devices.
- Submit a 600 x 600 pixel .jpg or .png to Media Services and request Ohio State branding be added to your image. We will send back your file as a .png, ready to add into your course. When selecting an image, remember the top 435 pixels of the image will be visible, and the bottom 165 pixels will be covered by the OSU bar.
Course content is hosted by Apple, and faculty can change their content at any time. When subscribers open a course, the latest version of content in your course will be downloaded to the course subscribers.
It is important to recognize the experience of a student viewing a course on an iPad or iPhone is different from that of a student viewing a course on a Mac or PC running iTunes software. Some file types can only be seen on iOS; however, there are file options that can be opened on any device. A list of these file types is below:
File types that can be distributed to Mac, PC or iOS devices:
Audio: mp3, m4a
Video: mp4. m4v, mov,
Documents: epub, pdf
Images: png, jpg, jpeg
File types that can only be distributed to iOS devices:
Documents: ibook, key, pages, numbers, rtf, doc, ppt, xls, txt, docx, xlsx, pptx
The Course Manager tool was released in February 2012, so expect improvements as Apple learns what faculty need in order to make this tool work. With the huge growth in the mobile market and increasing use of mobile and tablet computers by our students, there is no question that students will expect to access a wide range of university content and services while on the go. Course content, Carmen assignments, and recordings of lectures are the first wave of content our students will expect via their mobile devices; being in a position to satisfy our students’ needs will help keep Ohio State at the forefront of Education as digital natives enter our university.
If you have questions about iTunes U or Course Manager, please contact David Hooker or Media Services email@example.com for more Information. To learn more about the Digital First initiative at Ohio State, visit digitalfirst.osu.edu