My personal experience with making an interactive education module for the OPS
the OPS was first invited to join ACTIONed, the Board of Education was
excited about finally having a place to offer online education for our
members. However, after doing some research and seeing some of the fancy
interactive modules available, I personally wanted more than just plain
old PowerPoint presentations or "talking heads” from recordings during
an Educational Program.
weekend after our board meeting I started to search on the web for some
kind of module making tools that could offer situations where the viewer
have some control of the event in the module. The challenge was that I
do not have any programing skills and would need something that would
work similar to PowerPoint but with extra features.
I found was company called Qarbon. Qarbon has several products and
their Flagship is Viewlet Builder Enterprise. It looked like this
program was the answer to my desires but I wanted to be sure and started
to investigate and experiment. Luckily, Qarbon offers a free download
of all their products and the software version is completely functional
with one exception; when publishing a flash file with the final result,
an unlicensed version will have a Qarbon watermark in the center of the
screen – unless the flash file is published on Qarbon’s website
directly. It is a place called Viewlet Central and anyone can create
their own account, free of charge,
and upload a maximum of two modules at one time. The system gives you a
link to the module, which you can share with anyone. Qarbon can be
found at www.qarbon.com
setup allowed me to freely experiment and over the following few months
I worked on convincing my fellow Board Members that this program was a
jewel. The Board of Directors approved the purchase of one license for
the program and I started developing my first official OPS module,
"Intro to Fundus Photography, an Interactive Guide” which is now
available on ACTIONed.
Viewlet Builder 7 Enterprise Workspace. Left column=slide selector. Center field=current slide workspace. Bottom=timeline controller. Right column=function icons.
program has many fun tools to draw the viewer into the module.
Everything is done by selecting function icons (see picture of Viewlet
workspace above) and just in minutes you can have an animated and
exciting learning tool. Absolutely no programing necessary – it just
takes logic. You can assign specific actions, display text or images by
just moving the mouse cursor to a redefined area of the screen of a live
module. This is called "rollover” area. For my "intro” module, I decide
to demonstrate the functions of the different button, knobs and dials
on the fundus camera by adding rollover areas over each control seen on
an image of a fundus camera. When the viewer examines the camera with
the mouse cursor and points to a control, text and images will appear
and stay there as long as the cursor remains in place. Because the mouse
cursor can only be at one place at the time, text and images for one
control can be displayed in the same location as all the other controls.
If I wanted to include a more in-depth explanation of a particular
function, I would add a "click” option to the rollover area that would
take the viewer to a different page containing more information. To see
how this works in the finished module, play around with the small demo
of the controls for a Dark-adaptation unit called SST-1.
Roll-over zones, where text and pictures will appear and disappear as the mouse cursor moves in and out from a predefined area
the fundus camera vendors were very helpful in providing me with high
quality images of the current cameras and many fellow OPS members sent
me pictures taken with those cameras. I could not have done this module
without their help.
Question types available within Viewlet Builder Enterprise
fun tool is the "drag and drop” question. Viewlet has several options
for adding questions, quizzes and survey options to your project. I
thought that it would be a great tool for teaching the anatomy of the
eye. It is hard to really describe how this works so the best way is to
show you. Click on the link below to see a small demonstration. You will
be asked to "grab” the blue labels marked with retinal orientation
names – superior nasal, temporal, inferior ect. You then have to "drop”
it in the correct location on the retinal composite. Because my module
is intended to be educational, I also provided the option of seeing the
correct answers and to turn them off again. Additionally, I gave hints
to guide without giving away the answer. Give it a go! Drag-n-Drop sample
all the standard tools of shapes, arrows, text boxes, images, sounds
and the special tools of rollover, click zones, drag-and-drop, zoom in,
and pop-ups you can also record a video sequence from any program on a
computer where the Viewlet program is installed. In preparation for my
Viewlet lecture I gave at the Annual Program in Orlando 2011, I made a
small demo of that function by recording the steps it takes to change
the file size of an image in Photoshop. By having both programs running
at the same time, I can tell Viewlet to record everything I do in the
other program running in the background. After the recording is finished
I can expand and edit using all the tools available in the program.
Click here to see the result of that experiment. Please be sure to turn
on your sound so you can hear my voice recording which I did with the
Viewlet sound interface within the program. Recording Sample
imagine what you can do by recording the computer screen while doing an
OCT scan or an FA SLO procedure. What a great teaching tool!
Video tutorials available on Qarbon's website. All are made with the Viewlet program
Sound recorder interface. Record a sound directly from a microphone or upload a saved sound file.
way where PowerPoint works better than Viewlet is with animations. I
had a cool animation in PowerPoint that demonstrated how the inside of
the fundus camera works and how the light travels through the optical
path from the light sources to the patient and on to the photographer or
computer. I wanted to use this animation in my "intro” module, so I
used the "video capture” to record the animation, saved it as a flash
file and imported it as a movie into my module.
If you want to use bullets and graphic from Word, just copy and paste into a text box in Viewlet.
knew nothing about this program when I started but Qarbon has loads of
tutorials available on their website and an excellent searchable PDF
User Guide available directly within the program.
of the functions are similar to PowerPoint, so if you know your way
around PowerPoint, you will feel at home very quickly within Viewlet.
Qarbon’s support system is also very user friendly and they are very
responsive in helping you out if you get stuck with a problem. When I
made the "Recording Sample" you viewed earlier, I had a problem with the
sound keeping to loop at the end of the module even though I told it
not to. I emailed Customer Service and they reported back within 24
hours that it was a bug and they would look into it. Three days later I
received a link with a new version of the software and the bug was
I wish more
members of the OPS would step forward and try their hand at creating an
educational module with this program. The OPS would like to have several
core ophthalmic imaging courses available on ACTIONed. Doing this with
PowerPoint is also possible, but sitting through an online lecture just
listening is not as exciting as being the conductor of the module and be
able to control how much time you wish to spend on something. In my
"intro” module, the viewers can learn things at their own pace and
repeat any section as many times as they need.
you are interested in designing a module, please talk to me or comment
on this page. I would love to welcome you into the Viewlet family. The
Viewlet program is available to anyone and is just a download away.
Remember, you do not need a license to get started.
Kirsten Locke, RN., CRA., FOPS.
Chair, Board of Education & Online Education Committee