Authoring Guide


Authoring in SE has two phases: offline and online work. Direction panels and video clips are created offline first, and they are uploaded to the SE server. The online part of the work is a matter of filling out a form and plug in the direction panels and video/audio clips.

Creating direction panels

Direction panels are created most conveniently with PowerPoint. Download this template to use.

You can use PowerPoint editing functions to add text, shapes, photos, etc. Feel free to change the template background to match your school colors, add a school logo, etc. One PowerPoint slide is one direction panel. Make as many as you need. When you are finished, follow these steps.

  1. Save the file as a PowerPoint file. If you need to make modifications later, you can come back to this file.
  2. Save the file as a set of JPEG files. PowerPoint will produce one .jpg file per slide. (Use the highest quality setting.)
  3. If the slides are named Slide1.JPG, Slide2.JPG ... (or Slide01.JPG, Slide02.JPG ...), they are ready to go. Otherwise, rename them following this naming pattern: d01.jpg, d02.jpg, d03.jpg...
  4. That's all!

Alternatively, if you are comfortable with programs like Photoshop or Fireworks, you can use such programs to create .jpg files. The width should be set to 500 and the height to 600.

Creating video/audio clips

If you plan to market your exercises later, use professional video cameras with proper lighting. Otherwise, a consumer-level camcorder or a webcam is adequate.

Video clips can be either .mp4 or .flv. The .mp4 format is recommended because it tends to produce smaller files of higher video quality. Use the data rate of about 200 kbits/second (go higher if the quality is not satisfactory).

The video demensions are 360x270. If your camera has a 4:3 mode, use that. If it only has a 16:9 mode, you will have to crop the video later.

Video can be created and edited with Windows Movie Maker on Windows or iMovie on the Mac. When you segment it into clips, be sure to make a cut right after the last word is said. If a clip is for repeating after the model or a Q&A item, your student will want to start speaking right afterwards. If there is a silent period at the end of the clip, SE will not start recording until it is done.

Audio clips should be .mp3 files.