Everyone knows and agrees that “Blackboard is Ugly” but Blackboard simply won’t die because having been in the market the longest they are in someways best (if minimally) adapted to provided the services that colleges need.
Freeware suffers from a lack of development support, and as Blackboard imitators age they too grow less intuitive complex and outdated in their presentations of information.
I do think there is a solution, and it comes from the early days of the internet, a concept largely abandon except in the world of mathematics where we still use LaTeX. That solution is MARK UP LANGUAGE
Since the early days of online instruction, the response of many new instructors has been to figure out how to transfer elements of their face-to-face class into the online format. In response, education technology companies have been quick to create products that attempt to replicate in-person teaching. Some examples include learning management systems, lecture capture tools, and early online meeting systems.
online proctoring systems, such as ProctorU or Proctorio, replicate a practice that isn’t effective in-person. Exams are only good for a few things: managing faculty workload and assessing low level skill and content knowledge. What they aren’t good at is demonstrating student learning or mastery of a topic. As authors Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt discuss in their book “Assessing the Online Learner: Resources and Strategies for Faculty,” online exams typically measure skills that require memorization of facts, whereas learning objectives are often written around one’s ability to create, evaluate and analyze course material.
Authentic assessments, rather than multiple choice or other online exams, is one alternative that could be explored. For example, in a chemistry course, students could make a video themselves doing a set problems and explain the process. This would allow instructors to better understand students’ thinking and identify areas that they are struggling in. Another example could be in a psychology course, where students could curate and evaluate a set of resources on a given topic to demonstrate their ability to find, and critically analyze online information. (see Bryan Alexander‘s take on video assignments here: https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=bryan+alexander+video+assignments
Despite its name, the Learning Management System (LMS) is not about learning. The LMS was originally the CMS—Course Management System.
The LMS succeeds as a core productivity tool for educators because it allows institutions to extend their academic capacity and transcend the constraints of time and space. However, the Learning Management System was never able to deliver on the promise of its new name because it was created for a completely different purpose: course management. Learning doesn’t happen within the digital space of the LMS; it happens beyond its borders.
Today’s generation of students is deeply social and collaborative. They rely on real-time online interaction, collaboration and sharing to feel supported, confident and successful. Having grown up on iPhone, Snapchat and Instagram, this generation expects seamless experiences that are deeply social and collaborative.
In the post-LMS world, learning technology is student-centric in its design because today’s students are vocal, creative and eager to share their blue sky ideals and ideas.
The post-LMS world is also social by nature. in the post-LMS world, learning technology is simple, modern and mobile.
LMS user experience can make or break your learning and development initiatives. We explain why the quality of your LMS user experience is vital to engaging employees and keeping the larger learning and development wheel going, absolutely seamlessly.
“It’s important to understand that UX isn’t just user-friendly interfaces and a smart look-and-feel. It also involves applying intelligent business rules that help simplify jobs and push engagement and productivity. These ideas are crucial for user adoption,”
Our survey polled 232 faculty members across the country about their use of technology in the classroom, their likes and dislikes, their predictions for the future and more. The majority of respondents (68 percent) come from public institutions, with 28 percent from private nonprofits and 4 percent working at for-profit schools. Seventy-two percent work at four-year colleges or universities; 26 percent are at community colleges (the remaining 2 percent designated their institutional level as “other”).
Respondents represent institutions of a range of sizes, with about one-third (32 percent) working in colleges or universities with 2,500 to 9,999 students. Just under half (45 percent) of respondents are from institutions with 10,000 students or more.
Our respondents are veterans of higher education: The largest group (47 percent) has more than 20 years of experience, with 81 percent logging at least 11 years in the field.
The top three most common school and college types among our respondents are education (22 percent), business/business administration (17 percent) and liberal arts (12 percent). But overall, respondents work in a wide range of disciplines, from engineering and medicine to humanities and fine arts. The top 10 states with the most survey respondents are New York, Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
Penn State, through a partnership between Penn State World Campus and the University Libraries, has made available more than 330 e-books for almost 300 courses offered through World Campus starting in the 2017-2018 academic year. The e-books are available to students through Canvas, the University’s learning management system, and are also searchable online in the University Libraries’ catalog.
The e-book licensing partnership between the Libraries and Penn State World Campus
Two of the leading learning management system companies are cutting ties after a six-year partnership — a split that Inside Higher Education reported was likely “messy.”
U.S.-based Blackboard and Australia’s Moodle separately announced the end to the partnership, which will mean that Blackboard won’t use the Moodle name in the future, but its Moodlerooms product will be maintained.
Beyond The Buzz Phrase: Social Learning And LMS Gamification In Real Life
When: Thursday 26 July 2018, 11:00 PM – 12:00 PM
Adobe’s Senior Learning Evangelist, Katrina Marie Baker in our webinar, and find out how you can easily transform your learning by taking a deep dive into the 2 smartest learning breakthroughs of the decade: Social Learning & Gamification 🚀
During this session, you will:
• Learn how to blend social learning into existing courses using an LMS
• Discover how gamification can be aligned with your business objectives
• Come upon the latest learning tech tips to help you drive engagement
• See examples of how gamification and social learning can be both employed in Captivate Prime LMS
Are social learning and gamification the new fashion that will dominate the future of eLearning? Let’s find out together!
Here’s how to evaluate the potential for mobile solutions
Before they set foot in their first class, incoming college students face a maze of requirements and resources that will be critical to their success. So-called “student supports” abound. Yet forty percent of first-year studentsdon’t return the following year, and a growing number report information overload as they navigate campus life amid newfound independence.
The nine in 10 undergraduates who own smartphones are probably familiar with the xkcd about it. College-aged Americans check their devices more than 150 times per day. So it should be no surprise that a growing body of research suggests that mobile solutions can play a critical role in enhancing the student experience.
1. Is the mobile app native?
We’ve all had the frustrating experience of using a smartphone to navigate a page that was designed for a computer. But when designing native mobile apps, developers start with the small screen, which leads to simpler, cleaner platforms that get rid of the clutter of the desktop browsing experience.
As smartphones overtake laptops and desktops as the most popular way for young people to get online, native design is critical for universities to embrace.
2. Is there a simple content management system?
It’s also critical to explore whether mobile apps integrate with an institution’s existing LMS, CMS, and academic platforms. The most effective apps will allow you to draw upon and translate existing content and resources directly into the mobile experience. My note: this is why it is worth experimenting with alternatives to LMS, such as Facebook Groups: they allow ready-to-use SIMPLE mobile interface.
3. Does it allow you to take targeted action?
At-risk or disengaged students often require more targeted communication and engagement which, if used effectively, can prevent them falling into those categories in the first place.
Unlike web-based tools, mobile apps should not only communicate information, but also generate insights and reports, highlighting key information into how students use the platform.
4. Does it offer communication and social networking opportunities?
Teenagers who grew up with chatbots and Snapchat expect instant communication to be part of any online interaction. Instead of making students toggle between the student affairs office and conversations with advisors, mobile platforms that offer in-app messaging can streamline the experience and keep users engaged.
Over the past 10 years, new learning management systems (LMSs) have sprung on the scene to rival the Blackboards and Moodles of old. On the EdSurge Product Index alone, 56 products self-identify and fall into the LMS category. And with certain established companies like Pearson pulling out of the LMS ranks, where do you start?
As University of Central Florida’s Associate Vice President of Distributed Learning, Tom Cavanagh, wrote in an article for EDUCAUSE, “every institute has a unique set of instructional and infrastructure circumstances to consider when deciding on an LMS,” but at the same time, “all institutions face certain common requirements”—whether a small charter school, a private university or a large public school district.
The LMS Checklist
#1: Is the platform straightforward and user-friendly?
#2: Who do we want to have access to this platform, and can we adjust what they can see?
#3: Can the instructor and student(s) talk to and communicate with each other easily?
“Students and faculty live a significant portion of their daily lives online in social media spaces,” writes University of Central Florida’s Tom Cavanagh in his article on the LMS selection process. “Are your students and faculty interested in these sorts of interplatform connections?”
#5: Does this platform plug in with all of the other platforms we have?
“Given the pace of change and the plethora of options with educational technology, it’s very difficult for any LMS vendor to keep up with stand-alone tools that will always outperform built-in tools,” explains Michael Truong, executive director of innovative teaching and technology at Azusa Pacific University. According to Truong, “no LMS will be able to compete directly with tools like Piazza (discussion forum), Socrative (quizzing), EdPuzzle (video annotation), etc.”
As a result, Truong says, “The best way to ‘prepare’ for future technological changes is to go with an LMS that plays well with external tools.”