More about using Pop-Ups for Educational Purposes – Mark Morton

AAAADG06KPYAAAAAAFSrnQA while back, I posted a note on this blog about a method I had devised for creating pop-up “roll-overs” for text-based web pages. In other words, the method allowed users to put their mouse cursor over a word in a web document, causing a small pop-up window to appear containing more information. My reason for doing so was related to second-language study: for example, an instructor could upload a page of, say, a German text, and every word on that page could have a pop-up associated with it, which would not only define the word in question but would also clarify the relevant grammar. My method of creating those pop-ups was a bit cumbersome, so it’s fortunate that I recently upgraded from Dreamweaver CS3 to Dreamweaver CS4, and discovered that the later version of that program includes a feature for easily creating text-based pop-ups. The feature uses something called Spry Tool Tips, which is an Ajax-based web-development framework.

With Spry Tool Tips, you can easily create any number of pop-up roll-overs, without having to look at even a smidgeon of HTML or Java code. Moreover, the pop-ups can contain hyperlinks to other web resources (something my previous method couldn’t do), and can also include images. You can also easily control the size, colour, and placement of the pop-ups. All in all, it’s a great tool for instructors who are interested in creating teaching resources for their students.

You can see an example of Spry Tool Tips in action at a page that I’ve made here. Just roll your cursor over some of the Arabic words on the top right side of the page, and pop-ups with explanatory text should appear.

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Mark Morton

As Senior Instructional Developer, Mark Morton helps instructors implement new educational technologies such as clickers, wikis, concept mapping tools, question facilitation tools, screencasting, and more. Prior to joining the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Mark taught for twelve years in the English Department at the University of Winnipeg. He received his PhD in 1992 from the University of Toronto, and is the author of four books: Cupboard Love; The End; The Lover's Tongue; and Cooking with Shakespeare.

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