Updating the Next Generation Digital Learning Environment for Better Student Learning Outcomes
Monday, July 3, 2017
a learning management system (LMS) is never the solution to every problem in education. Edtech is just one part of the whole learning ecosystem and student experience.
Therefore, the next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE), as envisioned by EDUCAUSE in 2015 … Looking at the NGDLE requirements from an LMS perspective, I view the NGDLE as being about five areas: interoperability; personalization; analytics, advising, and learning assessment; collaboration; accessibility and universal design.
- Content can easily be exchanged between systems.
- Users are able to leverage the tools they love, including discipline-specific apps.
- Learning data is available to trusted systems and people who need it.
- The learning environment is “future proof” so that it can adapt and extend as the ecosystem evolves.
- The learning environment reflects individual preferences.
- Departments, divisions, and institutions can be autonomous.
- Instructors teach the way they want and are not constrained by the software design.
- There are clear, individual learning paths.
- Students have choice in activity, expression, and engagement.
Analytics, Advising, and Learning Assessment
- Learning analytics helps to identify at-risk students, course progress, and adaptive learning pathways.
- The learning environment enables integrated planning and assessment of student performance.
- More data is made available, with greater context around the data.
- The learning environment supports platform and data standards.
- Individual spaces persist after courses and after graduation.
- Learners are encouraged as creators and consumers.
- Courses include public and private spaces.
Accessibility and Universal Design
- Accessibility is part of the design of the learning experience.
- The learning environment enables adaptive learning and supports different types of materials.
- Learning design includes measurement rubrics and quality control.
The core analogy used in the NGDLE paper is that each component of the learning environment is a Lego brick:
- The days of the LMS as a “walled garden” app that does everything is over.
- Today many kinds of amazing learning and collaboration tools (Lego bricks) should be accessible to educators.
- We have standards that let these tools (including an LMS) talk to each other. That is, all bricks share some properties that let them fit together.
- Students and teachers sign in once to this “ecosystem of bricks.”
- The bricks share results and data.
- These bricks fit together; they can be interchanged and swapped at will, with confidence that the learning experience will continue uninterrupted.
Any “next-gen” attempt to completely rework the pedagogical model and introduce a “mash-up of whatever” to fulfil this model would fall victim to the same criticisms levied at the LMS today: there is too little time and training to expect faculty to figure out the nuances of implementation on their own.
The Lego metaphor works only if we’re talking about “old school” Lego design — bricks of two, three, and four-post pieces that neatly fit together. Modern edtech is a lot more like the modern Lego. There are wheels and rocket launchers and belts and all kinds of amazing pieces that work well with each other, but only when they are configured properly. A user cannot simply stick together different pieces and assume they will work harmoniously in creating an environment through which each student can be successful.
As the NGDLE paper states: “Despite the high percentages of LMS adoption, relatively few instructors use its more advanced features — just 41% of faculty surveyed report using the LMS ‘to promote interaction outside the classroom.'”
But this is what the next generation LMS is good at: being a central nervous system — or learning hub — through which a variety of learning activities and tools are used. This is also where the LMS needs to go: bringing together and making sense of all the amazing innovations happening around it. This is much harder to do, perhaps even impossible, if all the pieces involved are just bricks without anything to orchestrate them or to weave them together into a meaningful, personal experience for achieving well-defined learning outcomes.
- Making a commitment to build easy, flexible, and smart technology
- Working with colleges and universities to remove barriers to adopting new tools in the ecosystem
- Standardizing the vetting of accessibility compliance (the Strategic Nonvisual Access Partner Program from the National Federation of the Blind is a great start)
- Advancing standards for data exchange while protecting individual privacy
- Building integrated components that work with the institutions using them — learning quickly about what is and is not working well and applying those lessons to the next generation of interoperability standards
- Letting people use the tools they love [SIC] and providing more ways for nontechnical individuals (including students) to easily integrate new features into learning activities
My note: something just refused to be accepted at SCSU
Technologists are often very focused on the technology, but the reality is that the more deeply and closely we understand the pedagogy and the people in the institutions — students, faculty, instructional support staff, administrators — the better suited we are to actually making the tech work for them.
Under the Hood of a Next Generation Digital Learning Environment in Progress
Monday, July 31, 2017
The challenge is that although 85 percent of faculty use a campus learning management system (LMS),1 a recent Blackboard report found that, out of 70,000 courses across 927 North American institutions, 53 percent of LMS usage was classified as supplemental(content-heavy, low interaction) and 24 percent as complementary (one-way communication via content/announcements/gradebook).2 Only 11 percent were characterized as social, 10 percent as evaluative (heavy use of assessment), and 2 percent as holistic (balanced use of all previous). Our FYE course required innovating beyond the supplemental course-level LMS to create a more holistic cohort-wide NGDLE in order to fully support the teaching, learning, and student success missions of the program.The key design goals for our NGDLE were to:
- Create a common platform that could deliver a standard curriculum and achieve parity in all course sections using existing systems and tools and readily available content
- Capture, store, and analyze any generated learner data to support learning assessment, continuous program improvement, and research
- Develop reports and actionable analytics for administrators, advisors, instructors, and students
more on LMS in this blog
more on learning outcomes in this IMS blog
Asynch Delivery and the LMS Still Dominate for Online Programs
By Dian Schaffhauser 05/22/17
a recent research project by Quality Matters and Eduventures, the “Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE)” offers a “baseline” examination of program development, quality measures and other structural issues.
95 percent of larger programs (those with 2,500 or more online program students) are “wholly asynchronous” while 1.5 percent are mainly or completely synchronous. About three-quarters (73 percent) of mid-sized programs (schools with between 500 and 2,499 online program students) and 62 percent of smaller programs are fully asynchronous.
The asynchronous nature of this kind of education may explain why threaded discussions turned up as the most commonly named teaching and learning technique, mentioned by 27.4 percent of respondents, closely followed by practice-based learning, listed by 27.3 percent of survey participants.
Blackboard and Instructure Canvas dominated. Audio- and videoconferencing come in a “distant second,” according to the researchers. The primary brands that surfaced for those functions were Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx, Zoom, Kaltura, Panopto, TechSmith Camtasia and Echo360.
While the LMS plays a significant role in online programming, the report pointed to a distinct lack of references to “much-hyped innovations,” such as adaptive learning, competency-based education systems, simulation or game-based learning tools. (my note: my mouth run dry of repeating every time people start becoming orgasmic about LMS, D2L in particular)
four in 10 require the use of instructional design support, three in 10 use a team approach for online course design and one in 10 outsources the work. Overall, some 80 percent of larger programs use instructional design expertise.
In the smallest programs, instructional design support is treated as a “faculty option” for 53 percent of institutions. Another 18 percent expect faculty to develop their online courses independently. For 13 percent of mid-sized programs, the faculty do their development work independently; another 64 percent may choose whether or not to bring in instructional design help. (my note: this is the SCSU ‘case’)
Among the many possible quality metrics suggested by the researchers, the five adopted most frequently for internal monitoring were:
- Student achievement of program objectives (83 percent);
- Student retention and graduation rates (77 percent);
- Program reputation (48 percent);
- Faculty training (47 percent); and
- Student engagement measures (41 percent).
8 Tips for Lecture Capture on a Shoestring
By Dian Schaffhauser 05/17/17
Whether you’re flipping your courses, creating videos to help your students understand specific concepts or recording lectures for exam review, these tips can help you optimize your production setup on a tight budget.
1) Speak Into the Microphone
2) Reconsider Whether You Want to be a Talking Head
3) Keep Your Recording Device Steady
4) Avoid Using the Camera Built Into Your Laptop
“online video platforms,”
TechSmith Relay, Panopto, Tegrity and Kaltura
6) Forget About Editing Your Videos
7) Remember Accessibility
Record your video and upload it to YouTube. YouTube will apply its machine transcription to the audio as a starting point. Then you can download the captions into your caption editor and improve on the captions from there. Afterward, you can delete the video from YouTube and add it to your institution’s platform.
lecture capture in this IMS blog
MnSCU is working on a system for media management available at this stage specifically for faculty:
From: Lesley Blicker [mailto:Lesley.Blicker@so.mnscu.edu]
Sent: Monday, August 19, 2013 4:44 PM
To: Desire2Learn Campus Trainers
Cc: Todd Digby
Subject: Recording of MediaSpace (Kaltura) Update – from Friday, Aug 16
Here is the recording from the session Todd Digby facilitated last Friday. https://mnscu.webex.com/mnscu/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=MC&rID=36606512&rKey=a145adbfd4947762
It’s the update of the Media Management System project, using Kaltura’s Media Space. The first 21 minutes (approx.) are of Todd showing how Media Space works, including how to upload caption files (if you have one), and just about everything there is to do in terms of uploading, recording, and managing files.
Starting at 21:50, Todd provides an update in the project status including when all faculty could expect to have access to MediaSpace. Thereafter, he addresses several questions from those in attendance.
If you want to see the questions that were asked, be sure to open the Chat window by clicking on the red box with the Chat bubble in the upper right hand corner of the screen.