Power of three and planning online content22 July 2014
by Catherine Emmett
It’s long been considered that there are many interesting things that come in threes. Throughout history, in just about every area of life, people have shared knowledge about the power of three. Here’s a few examples.
- English Literature: the ‘rule of three’ is used to make a powerful impact in writing; it’s been said to have been used in novels, films, even political rhetoric (Westing, 2012).
- Maths: the number three itself is the only integer which is both equal to the sum of the previous two integers, i.e. 1+2=3, and also whose sum equals the product, i.e. 1+2+3=6 and 1x2x3=6. (Thanks to pal @MrSimonWood, former Maths teacher, for checking up on this!)
- Anatomy: patterns of three exist in the human body; we have three phalanges (bones) in each finger (University of Kansas Medical Centre, 1997), three primary layers of skin to protect us, the epidermis, dermis and subcutis (Patient.co.uk, 2011), and our DNA nucleotides are made up of three components, a phosphate molecule, sugar molecule and nitrogenous base (University of Leicester, 2014).
And that’s not to mention, the many classic groupings of three in entertainment like the “Three Tenors” (Pavarotti, Carreras, Domingo), “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (Eastwood, Van Cleef, Wallach), and the most famous Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico). My favourite line* of the latter, by the way is this.
“One morning, I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got in my pyjamas I don’t know.” (Groucho, Animal Crackers, 1930).
But what’s all this got to do with online content? Well, it so happens there are also three important foundational factors when planning the use of online multimedia learning content.
Finding out about accessibility
Accessibility is important because we need to be inclusive of all our students and in fact UK legislation requires it. What that means when delivering online learning content is making sure to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for students with a disability. (To help with this somewhat, there are now in fact new laws in relation to disabled learners and the use of copyright materials.)
To find out about how to deal the basics of accessibility, and some tips on ‘reasonable adjustments’ and what to think about for planning online learning, I’ve created a short interactive presentation. Look, learn and feel free to share!
You can find this presentation on the basics of accessibility here (HTML).
* What’s your favourite Marx Brothers quote? Comments below if you feel like it!
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