Concerns with and Bugs in TH331 Perspectives on Creation: Five Views

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Oct 31 2017 9:49 AM

Faithlife,

I originally ordered this course on pre-pub when it was marketed as six views, and I almost cancelled my order when I got an email stating the following, just three weeks before the scheduled ship date for the course.

James B. Jordan’s contribution has been moved from being a unit in the main course to being material to promote further study in the Activities resource. Therefore, the title of the course has changed from TH331 Perspectives on Creation: Six Views on Its Meaning and Significance to TH331 Perspectives on Creation: Five Views on Its Meaning and Significance.

We have also added videos by John Mark N. Reynolds, coeditor of and contributor to Three Views on Creation and Evolution in the Zondervan Counterpoints series. This means the overall length for the course will remain the same.

We believe that these adjustments will provide a better learning experience for you. We are planning to ship the course in October and should be able to announce a specific ship date soon.

But rather than cancel then, I decided to wait and see what I thought of the revised course.  In general, I'm OK with the main speakers, but have a concern about how the added videos for Reynolds were handled and am reporting a couple of bugs regarding the links to his videos.

MY CONCERN:  Based on the email, I assumed Reynolds videos would be visible and accessible from the TOC for the Video portion of the course.  But this is not the case.  Instead, they are scattered throughout the Activities portion of the course--a person doesn't even know they exist if just watching the videos in the main video section of the course.  A second issue is that if the videos are discovered in the Activities section of the course, viewing them is only possible via links to Faithlife TV.  A third issue (for me) is that there are only three such video links--I guess I was expecting more.  This whole approach has me thinking about returning the course, so I'm wondering if the videos can be incorporated directly into the course so the Faithlife TV links aren't required, and if entries for the videos can be added to the TOC in the video portion of the course so they can be seen/accessed from there.

BUGS:  Of the three links to Faithlife TV in the Activities section for Reynolds videos, the only link that works is for the video dealing with Genre and that one starts with him in the middle of a sentence.  I assume this video is an excerpt pulled from some other Faithlife TV resource, but it would be nice if it didn't start mid-sentence.   Neither of the other two links initiate any video--one establishes a link to Faithlife TV, but then displays a message that the video doesn't exist.  Nothing at all happens when selecting the last of the three links.

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Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 31 2017 10:06 AM

Rick I agree with your concerns. They had this same issue with the Trinity course where they placed videos in the activities section. Not everyone will go there and you can't download them. If I can't watch a course fully away from wifi then I don't feel like I own it. I hope they fix this someday but I'm doubtful. 

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 31 2017 10:21 AM

This is problematic. I'm accustomed to watching the video portions on Apple TV, but these particular Activity videos don't show up there.

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Miles Custis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 31 2017 10:52 AM

I apologize if we didn't make it clear that the additional videos by Dr. Reynolds were being added to the Activities resource to match the videos by Dr. Jordan. By adding these videos to the Activities resource and not the main course, we mean to indicate that they are not part of the main course. Instead, they are additional, supplemental videos meant to add to the learning experience. Just as with the challenges and links to guides and tools found in the Activities resource, the videos are meant to be thought of as additional assignments of sorts. Instead of asking you to perform a task in Logos and reflect on it as we do in the challenges, we are providing additional videos for you to reflect on. Jordan's and Reynolds' content in this course (and Bird's and Harrower's in the Trinity course) seemed especially suited for this type of reflection.

In both this course and the Trinity course, these videos found in the Activities resource were filmed to be included with the course. They are original to the course and are not part of any separate Faithlife TV resource.

As for the links not working, the only link that doesn't work for me is the one to Dr. Reynolds' video titled "Tension, Trial and Error, and the Better Mistakes". We will get that link fixed and update the course. Is anyone else having problems with other links to any of the videos by Dr. Reynolds or Jordan?

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Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 31 2017 12:07 PM

Thank you Miles.  I would still appreciate a way to make these downloadable if possible.  I'm not so concerned where you put them but not being able to download them makes it an issue for me.  Usually I have good wifi but if I'm on the road somewhere these videos aren't accessible.

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 31 2017 3:42 PM

Miles Custis:

I apologize if we didn't make it clear that the additional videos by Dr. Reynolds were being added to the Activities resource to match the videos by Dr. Jordan. By adding these videos to the Activities resource and not the main course, we mean to indicate that they are not part of the main course. Instead, they are additional, supplemental videos meant to add to the learning experience. Just as with the challenges and links to guides and tools found in the Activities resource, the videos are meant to be thought of as additional assignments of sorts. Instead of asking you to perform a task in Logos and reflect on it as we do in the challenges, we are providing additional videos for you to reflect on. Jordan's and Reynolds' content in this course (and Bird's and Harrower's in the Trinity course) seemed especially suited for this type of reflection.

In both this course and the Trinity course, these videos found in the Activities resource were filmed to be included with the course. They are original to the course and are not part of any separate Faithlife TV resource.

As for the links not working, the only link that doesn't work for me is the one to Dr. Reynolds' video titled "Tension, Trial and Error, and the Better Mistakes". We will get that link fixed and update the course. Is anyone else having problems with other links to any of the videos by Dr. Reynolds or Jordan?

Thanks for the reply Miles!

So using the link, you ARE able to actually watch Reynolds' first video (Approach for Christians Searching for Truth)?  That link takes me to Faithlife TV, but Faithlife TV then just displays a two line message:  Line 1 reads "Video not available" and Line 2 reads "Back to browse".

I'm also wondering if for you, Faithlife TV starts Reynolds' second video (Genre and Ancient Interpretation) in the middle of a sentence as it does for me.  Since it starts mid-sentence for me, I have no way of knowing if I'm just missing part of the first sentence or if more than that is missing.

Good to know you have the same problem with Reynolds' third video (Tension, Trial and Error, and the Better Mistakes).

Regarding the location of Reynolds' videos, I think what set my expectation that they would be included in the main Video section of the course is the part of Faithlife's email that read: "We have also added videos by John Mark N. Reynolds, coeditor of and contributor to Three Views on Creation and Evolution in the Zondervan Counterpoints series. This means the overall length for the course will remain the same."  I've always been under the impression that the time length specified for these courses was the amount of video time provided in the main video section of the course.  I'm pretty sure that's been the case for the courses I've purchased to date.  Is that not the case?  Do the hours of video listed at the bottom of these course descriptions now include video inserted in the Activities section of the courses?

One last thing.  Can these videos in the Activities section be accessed directly from Faithlife TV when going through the course there, or can they only be accessed through the links in the course when on a computer?  If they can be accessed directly from Faithlife TV, how is that done?  I ask because I don't see a way to view them when looking at the course on Faithlife TV.

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 2 2017 8:50 AM

Bump!

I still have the problems with the Reynolds' videos that require links to Faithlife TV.

  • Link 1 -- Links to Faithlife TV which then says no video is available.
  • Link 2 -- Links to Faithlife TV but starts the video in, the middle of a sentence, so is missing content prior to that point.
  • Link 3 -- Nothing happens.  No link at all to Faithlife TV.

I'm seriously thinking about returning this course and don't think I'll purchase any others that require linking to videos outside of Logos.  I don't want to have to depend on a computer AND the internet AND Logos AND Faithlife TV, in order to utilize a Mobile Ed course--but that's the situation when content has to be streamed from Faithlife TV.  I'm also puzzled as to why Faithlife went this direction of using Faithlife TV at all rather than keeping the videos within Logos.

I might check with Sales to see if they will extend the return policy time period for me on this course at least until the links are fixed, but I'm not liking this approach for ME courses.  Sad

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Miles Custis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 2 2017 10:26 AM

I'm sorry you're still having problems with the links. I wasn't able to reproduce the issue with the first link, but I looked into and found that there was an issue with the way it was uploaded. That's been resolved now, and you should be able to watch the video. Please let me know if it's still not working for you.

We did edit out some brief introductory material from the second video. I sent you a message on Tuesday with a fuller explanation of this on Faithlife Messages.

As I mentioned, the third link is broken. We will be updating the course to fix it, but in the meantime, you can find the third Reynolds video here: https://faithlifetv.com/media/assets/1865526

When we started creating Activities resources we included links to various video tutorials showing how to use features and tools of Logos for challenges related to the course topic. These videos have always been external links that had to be streamed. This allows up to update these tutorials quickly and easily when future versions of Logos are released.

For TH361 (the Trinity course) and then TH331, we thought that including different types of videos in the Activities resource would be a helpful way to expand the type of activities we can offer in that resource. For consistency with the other videos in the Activities resource, we delivered them in the same way. My hope is that people see this approach as bringing additional value to a course by providing another way to interact with and reflect on the course material. If the frustration at not being able to download these additional videos outweighs the benefit of having them in the first place, then we can rethink including them. The links should work though, and we'll make sure they do.

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 2 2017 11:14 AM

Miles Custis:
If the frustration at not being able to download these additional videos outweighs the benefit of having them in the first place, then we can rethink including them.

Not including them doesn't seem like a beneficial solution. I bought TH361 (and would have already bought TH331 if finances weren't tight), and wouldn't be happy if FL ended up removing that additional content from either course.

As for streaming, I have to use my cell phone to watch this additional content when I'm in a location without Wi-Fi access. I'd prefer to be able to download those activities videos too (to be able to watch them on my laptop instead of a 5" screen), but am grateful that I can access them.

Miles Custis:
My hope is that people see this approach as bringing additional value to a course by providing another way to interact with and reflect on the course material.

It would be nice if we could watch these additional videos as part of the Faithlife TV course, instead of being limited to only accessing them via the Courses tool activities.

I hope FL will make these activities videos more accessible, rather than simply removing them. Thanks for your consideration.

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 3 2017 9:33 AM

Miles Custis:

I'm sorry you're still having problems with the links. I wasn't able to reproduce the issue with the first link, but I looked into and found that there was an issue with the way it was uploaded. That's been resolved now, and you should be able to watch the video. Please let me know if it's still not working for you.

We did edit out some brief introductory material from the second video. I sent you a message on Tuesday with a fuller explanation of this on Faithlife Messages.

As I mentioned, the third link is broken. We will be updating the course to fix it, but in the meantime, you can find the third Reynolds video here: https://faithlifetv.com/media/assets/1865526

When we started creating Activities resources we included links to various video tutorials showing how to use features and tools of Logos for challenges related to the course topic. These videos have always been external links that had to be streamed. This allows up to update these tutorials quickly and easily when future versions of Logos are released.

For TH361 (the Trinity course) and then TH331, we thought that including different types of videos in the Activities resource would be a helpful way to expand the type of activities we can offer in that resource. For consistency with the other videos in the Activities resource, we delivered them in the same way. My hope is that people see this approach as bringing additional value to a course by providing another way to interact with and reflect on the course material. If the frustration at not being able to download these additional videos outweighs the benefit of having them in the first place, then we can rethink including them. The links should work though, and we'll make sure they do.

Thanks again for your posts, Miles.  They are appreciated.  Smile

1)  The link to the first video is working for me now.  Thanks!

2)  Thanks for explaining that Faithlife edited out some of John Reynolds material in the second video.  I do think though that it would much more professional (and eliminate customer doubts/confusion) if Faithlife worked with John to modify the starting point so the video is not starting mid-sentence.

3)  Thank you for the link to Reynolds third video in your post.  Hopefully the link provided in the course will be corrected soon.

4)  Regarding your attempt to contact me via Faithlife Messages, I don't know what that is or how to access it.  All previous communications from Faithlife have been through either the forum or through my email.  Can you tell me how to access Faithlife Messages?

5)  I would like to strongly reiterate that I don't want any video content in ME courses to only be available via Faithlife TV.  I want them to be self contained within Logos.  I'm not opposed to having links to video in the Activities section of ME courses, but I think there should also be links for them in the TOC of the main video section of the course and I think they should be downloadable.  As it stands now, Faithlife has placed videos in the course that I can only watch via streaming through Faithlife TV.  And yet, if I go to Faithlife TV to watch the main course videos there, there are no links to the videos Faithlife has placed in the Activities section of the course.  I.e. I HAVE to use Faithlife TV to view some of the course content, but I  CAN'T view that same content directly from Faithlife TV.  That just doesn't make sense to me. 

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Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 3 2017 11:58 AM

I'm with you Rick (#5).  I like the extra videos and I don't want FL to take them away but sticking them in as links that you cannot download really saddens me.  As I've mentioned before, I'm not always near wifi (and in the church basement the signal is weak) so the ability to show a video clip here and there is really lessend (for me at least) when I can't donwload them.  I do hope they change it but it seems so far they are reluctant to do so.  Technical issues I guess...

And though I haven't tried it yet, I wonder how we would watch the activities videos on the TV through the FL app.  I sometimes watch my course through the app on my AppleTV but if they aren't connected to the course I would guess they wouldn't show up at all under the app?  I'll have to try that later

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 3 2017 12:37 PM

Rick Ausdahl:
I HAVE to use Faithlife TV to view some of the course content, but I  CAN'T view that same content directly from Faithlife TV.  That just doesn't make sense to me.

Yes I think changing that one small thing would make a big difference (in convenience and accessibility).

I don't mind if I can't download a Logos tutorial, but I would appreciate the option to download these additional perspective videos about Genesis and/or the Trinity.

Mattillo:
I sometimes watch my course through the app on my AppleTV but if they aren't connected to the course I would guess they wouldn't show up at all under the app?

The activities videos aren't showing up now on the Apple TV app, but I think it's just a limitation of FL not including them in the course metadata that the app uses to know which videos to include.

While I understand that FL likes to keep the Logos tutorials updated to match future versions of the program, these particular "perspective" videos by different speakers probably won't ever get redone. Perhaps if FL would move them out of Activities into their own segments, that might solve the different issues raised in this thread.

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 13 2017 6:18 PM

I still don't like (REALLY don't like) the extra videos being incorporated in the Activities section of the course and linking to Faithlife TV, but I still want to say "Thanks" for fixing the links that weren't working.  Smile

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