When Your LMS Can't Do it All


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Panel presentation slides from EDUCAUSE 2011 conference presentations with colleagues on finding solutions to instructional problems online.

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  • Central IT has concerns about the use of systems and tools that are not provided by institution. Faculty members should balance the risks they are taking with the enhanced capabilities and pedagogical advantages of tools they find in the consumer market.
  • An important FERPA provision is that in most cases an institution must have a student’s permission before disclosing any of their educational records. Institutional LMS is deployed with built-in FERPA defaults. Will a Web 2.0 or cloud service publicly reveal student educational records? Do you and your students read and/or understand the implications of the privacy agreements that are inherent in most consumer social media and Web 2.0 tools? Do you and your students truly understand what it being kept“ private” to the class and what is generally visible on the Internet? Can a configuration change by one student on their personal profile accidentally expose class conversations, etc., that the others are assuming are private?
  • The institutional LMS make use of existing campus IDs and passwords and conforms to campus IT policies that the students have already accepted one way or another when they got their campus accounts. Will using a non-campus service require students to enter into a contract with a 3 rd party. Do you want to require or even just imply to your students that you are requiring them to do so? Do you and your students read and/or understand the implications of the licensing agreements that are inherent in most consumer social media and Web 2.0 tools? What if a student doesn’t want to agree to a license with a non-campus services, e.g., Second Life. Are they disadvantaging themselves or risking their grade by holding back?
  • The institutional LMS is probably integrated with the course registration system so that students who enroll in or add or drop the class are automatically added or removed from the appropriate course sections. Use of a 3 rd party tool may require the instructor to manage student accounts for functions like document sharing or chat rooms. Are you willing to do that manually for a small course? A large course? Will you even be made aware of a student who quietly adds a class part way into the semester so that you know to add them in a timely fashion?
  • Central IT is very careful about when it makes upgrades or changes to enterprise systems. Usually the cardinal rule is to not change anything mid-semester except to fix a grievous problem. Providers of consumer tools make changes and upgrades according to their product roadmaps and timetables. The look and feel and features and privacy settings of a non-campus tool could change mid-semester.
  • Official, campus enterprise systems, such as an LMS, have support structures built around them. In the event of a difficulty the Help Desk or the Learning Technology Center are probably readily via a number of venues. Finding assistance with consumer tools has both pros and cons. There may be lots of people on the Internet with who have knowledge in the tool, on the other hand maybe no one on the Internet can tell you why Skype won’t run wirelessly in the classroom you’re using.
  • When Your LMS Can't Do it All

    1. 1. What to do when your LMS can’t do it all Byron Brown Susan Simkowski David Stack Anastasia Trekles (Optional survey card for DC attendees)
    2. 2. We are not here to… <ul><li>Disparage any particular learning management system (LMS) </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate abandoning the use of a campus-wide LMS </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes, the LMS alone isn’t enough. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Challenges for today’s session <ul><li>Looking for live interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Both in-person and streaming formats </li></ul><ul><li>Two of our four presenters are not able to attend in-person, but we have technology to the rescue… </li></ul><ul><li>(fingers crossed) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Prof. Susan Simkowski University of Arkansas Fort Smith
    5. 5. My motivation for looking beyond LMS: <ul><li>Restricted access for instructor </li></ul><ul><li>No/limited video capability </li></ul><ul><li>Desire to meet the students’ where they are </li></ul><ul><li>Want alternative, free tools </li></ul>
    6. 7. What would you have recommended to the presenter?
    7. 8. Here is what I did <ul><li>Engrade.com as a repository & threaded discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Wordpress & blogspot (“I-reporter” type assignments for MMJ/backpack journalism) </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook & Twitter </li></ul>
    8. 9. Prof. Anastasia Trekles Purdue University Calumet
    9. 10. My motivation for looking beyond LMS: <ul><li>Instructional designers are taught to never use technology just for technology’s sake, but to use it judiciously </li></ul><ul><li>In teaching instructional design and technology to graduate students, I must model this </li></ul><ul><li>We should also attempt to “meet students where they are” </li></ul><ul><li>Forcing activities to fit within the LMS structure just because it is what is available limits creativity, engagement, and lesson effectiveness, e.g., </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LMS discussion forums inadequate for collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LMS chat room doesn’t support sharing documents or screens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LMS threaded discussions are “clunky” </li></ul></ul>This portion of the presentation is on screencast: http://www.screencast.com/t/DnUjzEhrT 00:00 – 03:40
    10. 11. My motivation for looking beyond LMS: <ul><li>I have three activities that required me to consider going beyond the LMS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A group writing project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students facilitate synchronous presentations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students share thoughts and links around a central topic </li></ul></ul>
    11. 13. What would you have recommended to the presenter?
    12. 14. Here is what I did <ul><li>Many of my courses require collaboration, but basing all activities on discussion forums - almost exclusively - was not appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>So, I have implemented several outside services to encourage engagement and to facilitate certain lessons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikispaces (wiki) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adobe Connect (webinar/chat) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress (blogs) </li></ul></ul>This portion of the presentation is on screencast: http://www.screencast.com/t/DnUjzEhrT 03:40 – 14:07
    13. 15. Here is what I did <ul><li>Example 1 : one of my courses requires the group construction of a research-based survey </li></ul><ul><li>BlackBoard Vista has no tool for this beyond discussion boards, so I use Wikispaces to allow true collaborative writing </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for true tracking of participation (for me) as well as easier editing and sharing ideas (for students) </li></ul><ul><li>http://edci575.wikispaces.com </li></ul>
    14. 16. Here is what I did <ul><li>Example 2 : another activity requires students to present and facilitate a live online discussion </li></ul><ul><li>BlackBoard Vista has a chat room, but it does not allow for sharing documents or screens </li></ul><ul><li>Enter Adobe Connect, which our school has a license for and makes for much richer synchronous experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Example presentation: https://gomeet.itap.purdue.edu/p10221215/ </li></ul>
    15. 17. Here is what I did <ul><li>Example 3 : in many courses, students are asked to share their thoughts about a topic, which might include references and links </li></ul><ul><li>Sure, we could use discussion forums, but in some cases the threaded discussion is too “clunky” </li></ul><ul><li>Why not HotSeat? This is a creation by Purdue that meets students “where they are” – on Twitter and Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Simple social networking interface, easy to use, and allows for near real-time interaction </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.purdue.edu/hotseat/splash.html </li></ul>
    16. 18. Prof. Byron Brown Michigan State University
    17. 19. My motivation for looking beyond LMS: <ul><li>Part of my duties as campus coordinator of instructional tech support </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty requests for alternatives/additions </li></ul>This portion of the presentation is on screencast: http://www.screencast.com/t/WpoTmeaHn 00:00 - 00:48
    18. 21. What would you have recommended to the presenter?
    19. 22. Here is what MSU did, and what you might do. <ul><li>Support one or more additional LMS’s. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LON-CAPA and Moodle at MSU </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Support near-LMS alternatives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Apps, Ning, WordPress… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide faculty and staff training & devel. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seminars, technology fairs, and training. </li></ul></ul>This portion of the presentation is on screencast: http://www.screencast.com/t/WpoTmeaHn 00:49 – 04:47
    20. 23. Deputy CIO David Stack University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    21. 24. Central IT’s Concerns: FERPA <ul><li>Will a Web 2.0 or cloud service publicly reveal student educational records? </li></ul>Institutional LMS is deployed with built-in FERPA defaults
    22. 25. Central IT’s Concerns: Licenses <ul><li>Will a non LMS service require students to agree to a 3 rd party contract? </li></ul>Institutional LMS uses campus IDs, passwords and policies.
    23. 26. Central IT’s Concerns: Rosters <ul><li>Do you want to manage student enrollment in a non-campus tool? </li></ul>Institutional LMS automatically adds and drops students from the tool.
    24. 27. Central IT’s Concerns: Consistency <ul><li>Upgrades and changes to consumer tools can happen at any time. </li></ul>Upgrades to the institutional LMS happen at times of minimum impact.
    25. 28. Central IT’s Concerns: Support <ul><li>There may be little or no campus support for non-campus tools. </li></ul>Structures are in place to support use of the institutional LMS.
    26. 29. What do we see on the survey cards from the DC attendees?
    27. 30. Additional Resources <ul><li>Anastasia Trekles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recorded Presentation: http://www.screencast.com/t/DnUjzEhrT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikispaces Example: http://edci575.wikispaces.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adobe Connect Example: https://gomeet.itap.purdue.edu/p10221215/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purdue Hotseat Example: http://www.purdue.edu/hotseat/splash.html </li></ul></ul>
    28. 31. Additional Resources <ul><li>Byron Brown Recorded Presentation http://www.screencast.com/t/WpoTmeaHn </li></ul><ul><li>The Thinking LMS – University of Phoenix builds their own LMS with social media features: www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/10/18/phoenix </li></ul>
    29. 32. Additional Resources <ul><li>Results (n=1,700) of 2010 Survey of UW-System faculty satisfaction with LMSs : http://learnuw.wisconsin.edu/survey/ Reasons why about 14% don’t use an LMS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>26% Not see need/Dislike technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>14% Use different or own technology solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12% Too much time/Not enough time to learn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>11% Not a teacher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>11% Not know about the D2L (LMS) technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10% Not typical, e.g. teaching groups of students in classroom environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7% Not appropriate for teaching style </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5% Specific comment about D2L LMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6% Other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3% Not know how to use/want more training </li></ul></ul>
    30. 33. What to do when your LMS can’t do it all Byron Brown, [email_address] Susan Simkowski, [email_address] David Stack, [email_address] Anastasia Trekles, [email_address] eli2011.pathable.com/talks/14771
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