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Learning Toolbox at the CMS / ATMI / NACWPI / PKL National Conferences 2020
The following dates are important:
17th July – Invitation emails sent from Learning Toolbox to ePoster authors
30th July at 12 Noon (CT) – Webinar for authors (Zoom Link)
10th September DEADLINE – ePoster should be complete & marked as ready to publish
14th September – ePoster Showcase opens
Learning Toolbox supports an exciting new approach to ePosters (and more generally content sharing) at online, hybrid and onsite conferences and events.
Using Learning Toolbox you will create a Stack/ePoster (a collection of material that could include a presentation, video, weblinks and more) that you can use to present and share your work at the event.
People will be able to easily view and interact with your ePoster by browsing the online ePoster showcase. Your ePosters will be available for people to explore throughout the event and can also be presented in a scheduled session if your event supports this.
Viewers can open your ePoster and explore all the rich content you have added. Viewers can also post questions or comments to your ePoster, to which you can respond. This text chat discussion will be attached to your ePoster and can continue after the event. Viewers can also favourite your ePoster so that they can return to it more easily.
Your ePoster will also live beyond the event, as you can continue to share it and (in some cases) even add to it after the event.
Your ePoster can even have a physical presence in the real world. Within Learning Toolbox you can create a mini-poster that acts as an advert for and gateway into your interactive ePoster. People can simply scan the QR code on the mini-poster and your interactive ePoster will open on their phone/tablet.
Onsite and hybrid conferences will print these mini-posters and use them as a way of promoting the ePosters onsite. You can of course print the mini-poster yourself and use it wherever you want to promote your work and provide access to it.
Many conferences are now using Learning Toolbox to present, share and discuss research. We have seen some great examples of ePosters/stacks created by authors attending these conferences. If you would like to explore some of these then you can look at the ePosters/stacks we have added to our Learning Toolbox Showcase. These are live and still being used by authors to present and share their work. You will see that they vary in terms of what content they include and how they are structured, but we feel that they have all made great use of the platform to present their work.
Of course your own ePoster/stack does not need to be as sophisticated as these examples – a simple and effective ePoster/stack may just contain the abstract, a presentation and a link to a website for example. But we hope these examples may give you an idea of what is possible and some ideas of the type of material you could include to give people a richer view of your work.
We would like to thank the authors of these ePosters/stacks for agreeing to their excellent work being showcased here. If you have come across any brilliant Learning Toolbox ePosters that you would like to see added to this showcase then please let us know so that we can contact the author and ask for their permission to add them.
Creating an ePoster/Stack
Getting started – Create an LTB stack for a conference v2.0 (updated 23rd May 2020)
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Named Author space (1) allows you to decide which author’s name you want to appear on the summary view of the stack/ePoster in the showcase.
The default is that the editing author’s name will appear here, but you can change this to a different name. If you then save (2) and close the editor (3) then you will be able to see where the Named Author appears in your stack/ePoster’s summary view (4).
There is a character limit of 25 for the Named Author to ensure that it can be displayed within the summary view. This means you will not be able to list all the co-authors of a stack/ePoster within the Named Author space. Although you can use the academic convention of et al. to indicate within the Named Author space that there are more authors (e.g. I could edit the Named Author to be “T. Treasure-Jones et al.”)
You can also add all your co-authors details within the stack/ePoster itself. Many authors add a Text Tile listing all the co-authors. Another possible approach is to add a new Screen and on that new screen to add a Tile for each author which links to their professional webpage.
Adding content and resources to my ePoster/stack
There are three main sections to the Learning Toolbox editing screen:
- The tile library shows all the different types of content you can add to your ePoster.
- Your ePoster. You see your ePoster as you build it. It is shown as it would appear on a mobile phone.
- The settings. The settings area changes dynamically depending on which part of the ePoster you are editing.
You add content to your ePoster by dragging the relevant tile from the tile library into your ePoster and then filling in the information required in the settings area.
A summary of the type of information you can add using each Tile is shown below.
You can add a powerpoint presentation using the File Tile. Drag and drop a File tile from the Tile Library into your ePoster (1) and then click in the Add File box (2) in the Settings area and add the powerpoint file from your computer.
Learning Toolbox will automatically convert your powerpoint presentation into a PDF file so that it can be viewed inside the PDF viewer within the Learning Toolbox app or within any web browser. This conversion takes a little time and there will appear a message telling you it is being processed (3). When the processing is finished then you will see the first slide in your presentation appear as the image on your File tile. You can edit the tile title and the tile image (as usual) if you want to change them.
Please note there is a 400MB file size limit on files uploaded using the File Tile. However, we would recommend that you keep your files much smaller in size if possible since large file sizes will not produce the best experience for the viewer (due to loading times).
There are two different ways in which you could include a video in your ePoster/Stack. Both approaches will allow the video to be played inside your ePoster.
As a File
You can add a video using the File Tile. Drag and drop a File tile from the Tile Library into your ePoster (1) and then click in the Add File box (2) in the Settings area and add the video file from your computer.
The file will be uploaded and will be processed. Whilst it is being processed there will be a default image showing on your file tile. Once the processing is finished then the tile will show a still image from your video as the tile image. However, you can continue editing and add other tiles whilst this processing is being done.
Please note there is a 400MB file size limit on files uploaded using the File Tile. If your file is above this size then we recommend that you consider saving your video in a lower resolution (more suitable for viewing on the web) before uploading it. If however you do want to add a larger video file then you can do this by uploading it to a video sharing platform first and then add it to your ePoster as an online content tile (see below).
2. As Online Content (Using YouTube or Vimeo)
Another way to add a video to your ePoster is to upload your video to a video sharing platform like YouTube or Vimeo first. In Learning Toolbox you can then add an Online Content tile to your ePoster (A) and add in the url link (web address) to where your online video appears on the video sharing platform (B).
When you are in the editor then you can edit a tile by clicking on its edit button (in the top right hand corner of the tile).
To delete a tile, first click on its edit icon (top right hand corner) and then click on the delete button in its setting’s area. Be careful to make sure you are deleting the correct tile. This delete cannot be undone.
Some conferences ask their authors to add a video presentation to their ePoster/Stack. A common way that people make video presentations is to use Powerpoint.
If want to make a video presentation using Powerpoint then we recommend following the instructions from Microsoft (see links below) to add a narration to your Powerpoint presentation and then save that as a video file.
- Record a slideshow with narrations and timings (just follow the basic steps 1-5 in this guide) then:
- Turn your presentation into a video
Please note that Learning Toolbox does not support .PPSX files, so when you save your presentation as a video you should save it as an MP4 file, not as a PPSX file.
Please also note that you should choose to save your video in 720p (or internet) resolution (not the 1040p default that Powerpoint offers) as this is the most suitable format for videos playing on the web. Following these instructions will reduce the chance of hitting any upload issues due to the file size.
Learning Toolbox automatically creates optimised and resized images to reduce use of bandwith without losing image quality.
For tile background images you want to make sure your that your cropped image –the square or oblong cut-out that you create using the LTB imagepicker– has at least 400 pixels.
For your mini-Poster image you need to make sure that the cut-out has at least a 1000 pixel width left, especially when you aim to have it printed.
Don’t worry about measuring this exactly, you can just try what it looks like using the LTB app or the LTB webviewer.
You add content to your ePoster by dragging a tile from the Tile Library into the mobile phone view of your ePoster and then filling in the required information in the settings area.
A summary of the type of information you can add using each Tile is shown below.
In short: Yes, there are legal restrictions.
You should only upload material that you have permission to add. Even when material is in the public domain (such as websites), you should be careful to ensure that you are not presenting it as if it was your own.
There are two things to consider. Firstly the copyright of the material and secondly whether it contains protected content matter.
As a rule of thumb: Do not upload the work of others as your own. Only upload content of others if they have given you permission (or if they have licensed it under Creative Commons).
Another option is to use materials that have been specifically marked as no rights reserved, public domain or copyleft. Usually these works are released under a Creative Commons CC0 license and allow you to freely use them for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
The Pixabay image library that is integrated in Learning Toolbox, provides over 1 million images that can be freely used.
Privacy, Portrait right and trademarks
In addition you should consider if depicted contents may be subject to additional copyrights, property rights, trademarks, protrait right, etc. and may require the consent of a third party or the license of these rights. For example the Disney’s image of Mickey Mouse is a protected trademark.
Changing the layout and appearance of a tile
You can always return to a tile that you have previously added to your ePoster and edit it.
- Click on the edit icon on the tile that you want to edit. Note that the edit icon of the tile that is open for editing appears red.
- You can now make any changes you want to the content of the tile in the Settings tab
- And you can make any changes you want to the appearance of the tile in the Layout tab
- Click on the Layout tab
- Within the Layout tab you can change the tile size
- tile colour
- and set or change the background image
- Click on the Set Image button. This appears in the Layout tab for most tiles, but appears in the Settings tab for the File and Online Content tiles.
This opens the image selector. From here you can choose to:
2. Upload an image from your computer
3. Search the Pixabay repository of copy-right free images that are available for you to use
4. Pick an image you have previously used from Pixabay
When you pick an image then you will have the chance to crop and resize it.
5. You can crop it by dragging and moving the image so that the area you want appears within the focus area.
6. You can resize the image using the resize scrollbar
6. Click on Apply when you are happy with the image preview. Note that the top section of the image will not show on your tile if you have used a tile title.
When you pick an image then you will have the chance to crop and resize it.
1. You can crop it by dragging and moving the image so that the area you want appears within the focus area.
2. You can resize the image using the resize scrollbar
3. Click on Apply when you are happy with the image preview. Note that the top section of the image will not show on your tile if you have used a tile title.
Adding an extra screen/layer to my ePoster/stack
If you are adding a lot of material to your stack then you may find it useful to create an extra screen. You can do this by using the Stack Screen tile. This will allow you to add a tile that creates and opens a new screen.
To create an extra screen:
- Add a stack screen tile to your stack (1)
- The settings area will show which screen that tile is currently pointing at. Click on the down arrow (2) next to the target screen name and then choose “Create New Screen” from the menu that appears.
- This will immediately create a new empty screen (which will be connected to the stack screen tile you added) and move you to that empty screen
- It will give it a default screen name (3) which you can edit and change to something more meaningful
- You can now add new tiles to this screen as normal
- Note that there is always a bar visible in the window that shows you the name of the current screen you are editing (4)
- When you want to move to another screen (e.g. back to the start screen) you can just click on the menu next to the current screen name (5) and choose the name of the screen you want to move to
Viewing and testing my ePoster/stack
If you want to preview your ePoster in a web browser then you can just press the preview button (1) and the ePoster will open in the viewer. What you see here is what your ePoster viewers will see if they are viewing your ePoster in a web browser on a computer or tablet. From here you can click on the tiles (2) and check that it is working as you expected. Once you are finished then just click on the X button (3) to close the viewer and return to the editor.
You can change the permissions of your stack to determine who can open it and whether it shows up in searches.
To do this sign-in and open your ePoster as usual, but do not click on the Edit button. Instead next to the Edit button you will see the access permissions button that indicates what permissions your stack currently has (Private, Restricted or Public). If you are still developing the stack then it is probably still set as Private. If the conference has just finished then it is probably set as Public.
Click on that access permissions button and you will see the drop down menu allowing you to change the access permissions for your stack.
If you are still working on the stack but want to share it with others (perhaps your co-authors) so they can see what you have done, then you should change the permissions to Public and Hidden. This will mean that only people who have been sent the QR code or web address for your stack will be able to open and view it.
If the conference has finished and you do not want your stack to be accessible any longer then you should change the permissions to Private.
Your ePoster on the showcase website
When your stack/ePoster is published to the showcase then viewers will see its summary information (the summary box) and be able to click on its title to open and explore it.
In the editor you can add extra information (description, image and tags) that will be included in this summary box. Adding more information helps your stack/ePoster stand out in the showcase and also helps your stack/ePoster to be found when people search the showcase.
To add this information to your stack/ePoster open your stack/ePoster in the editor and then:
- Click on the Stack Poster Details Tab
- Fill in (or check) the information (Stack name, Stack description, Image, Tags) as indicated in the image below
You can also add your co-authors names to the Authors information. They will not display in the summary box, but in a planned future release this information will be used when viewers search by Author. If you have many authors then we recommend just including surnames so that you do not exceed the character limit on this field which is approx 110.
You do not need to fill in the two boxes at the bottom of the Stack Poster Details tab unless your conference is using mini-posters, as this information would only appear on the printed mini-poster. Mini-posters tend to be used by onsite conferences as they are printed and displayed at the venue.
Marking your ePoster as ready to publish to the showcase
You will see this view (offering the option to mark your ePoster as ready) when you have closed the stack/ePoster editor.
You need to click on both buttons to indicate that it is ready to print and ready to publish. In fact there will be no printing done for online only conferences, but you still need to click the ready for printing button. In future this button will be removed for online only conferences.
We strongly recommend that you preview your stack/ePoster and check that it works as you expect, before you mark it as ready to publish.
Marking your stack/ePoster will let the administrators know that your stack is ready. It will not be published to the showcase immediately, as the administrators will take that action and they may have many stacks/ePosters to review. However, once it has been published then you will see a message onscreen indicating that this has been done (as shown in the image below).
If you do not see the buttons that allow you to mark you ePoster as ready then this will be because you are creating a stack/ePoster that is not linked to a conference/event invite with a showcase. In this case you can instead make your ePoster public yourself by changing its access permissions.
Creating the mini-poster
An option usually used by onsite conferences to promote your ePoster onsite.
The mini-poster is a printable poster that acts as an advert for and a gateway into your interactive ePoster. Onsite conferences usually print and display these at the venue as a way of promoting the ePosters.
You add the information that will be used to make your mini-poster in the Stack Poster Details tab within the stack/ePoster editor.
You can then enter all the information that will appear on your mini-poster, as described below. Remember to save your ePoster after you have added these details.
This is an important step if your conference is using the printed mini-posters. Printed mini-posters are usually used by onsite conferences as way to advertise and provide access to your ePosters at the venue.
Marking your stack/ePoster as ready for printing will let the administrators know that you are happy for them to generate and print your mini-poster.
You will see this view (offering the option to mark as ready for printing) when you have closed the stack/ePoster editor.
If you do not see these buttons then this will be because you are creating a stack/ePoster that is not linked to a conference/event invite. In this case you do not need to mark your ePoster as ready for printing.
Presenting my ePoster/stack
The exact details of how to present your ePoster (the time available and the location of the presentation) will vary from conference to conference.
However, we have included here some general advice on presenting the Learning Toolbox ePosters at conferences.
Exploring and sharing published ePosters/stacks
Open the ePoster in the Learning Toolbox app.
Click on the star icon (1) to favourite and follow the ePoster.
Click on the drop-down menu (2) and choose My Favourites (3) to browse all your favourite ePosters.
An easy way of sharing an ePoster with someone who you are talking to is to show them its QR code. They can scan this and view the ePoster on their own phone.
To do this you just need to open the ePoster in the Learning Toolbox app on your phone. Then open the drop-down menu (1) and choose Stack Info (2).
The screen will then show the QR code (3) of the ePoster you are viewing. The other person can use their phone to scan the QR code.
Open the ePoster in the Learning Toolbox editor. Here you can see the QR code (1) and the unique web address (2) for this ePoster. You can copy these and share them or include them in your own dissemination material about your work.
Engaging with the viewers of your ePosters/stacks
By default each stack has a chat channel that allows viewers (and the author) to post questions, comments and answers that attach to the stack. The chat channel is a single discussion thread.
Viewers of your stack can view and contribute to the chat by tapping on the chat icon when they are viewing your stack. They will be asked to sign-in if they are not already signed in. If they do not have an account then they can sign-in using one of the social media routes or by creating a new Learning Toolbox account. If the viewer is signed in, then the counter on the chat icon shows the number of unread chat messages.
Viewers (and the author) of the stack can receive notifications on their mobile device when a new chat message is added to one of their favourite stacks. To enable this they must have installed the Learning Toolbox app on their mobile device and accepted notifications when it was installed. They must also have favourited the stack.
This chat discussion is public – viewable by anyone who looks at the stack. The author can choose to turn off the chat channel if they do not wish to allow discussion around the stack. This is done in the stack editor.
- You can see a simple report on the views of your stack by clicking on the Stack Tools button when you open your stack.
2. This takes you to the simple statistics report for your stack, where you can see the monthly views of your stack.
3. And the number of people who have subscribed to your stack (by making it a favourite).