Learning Platforms: Common Threads & Future Directions
Common Threads & Future Directions
Universities are under enormous pressures to adapt to rapidly changing
circumstances and expectations. The core question they are called to
answer is, What is the value of higher education?
Our graduates face an uncertain future. Average loan debt for
class of 2012 was nearly $30,000. According to the Federal
Reserve Bank of NY, there is ~ $1.6T outstanding student loan
This has led to calls for greater transparency, affordability, & access.
And all of this is happening while w are also witnessing the “unbundling of
There is a renewed focus on teaching, learning, and outcomes.
Experimentation in teaching methods, sharing among faculty, and
new research to inform us is a good thing.
There is much discussion about an emerging trend across the
higher ed landscape: Agile approaches to institutional change.
The chameleon is an ancient species that can adapt to changing
environments. Most importantly, each eye can operate independently,
allowing the it to observe two different objects simultaneously. We
need to keep one eye on our traditions, values and what makes
universities special, and one eye on the changes happening around us.
Institutions successful at managing
change are able to correctly identify
passing trends versus those that truly
impact the mission.
The average age of an LMS is 8 years.
15% of institutions report they expect to replace within 3 years.
Basic features Collaboration
User satisfaction is highest for basic features;
lowest for collaboration and engagement.
While LMS have evolved over time, they generally
have the same capabilities that they had back in the
late 1990s. They’re a good place to store content in
such a way that only enrolled students have access.
They offer convenient ways to deliver quizzes,
facilitate assignments, and publish grades. Different
ways to facilitate classroom communication are built
in. They help meet FERPA, copyright compliance, and
LMS have not changed
much since the late ‘90s.
If you were teaching in 1994, how were you teaching? Posting
grades on a sheet of paper on your door? Were your class
communications all face to face? Students turning in typed papers?"
Think about how your shopping, banking, and entertainment may
have changed since then. Juxtapose that with your teaching…
LMSs haven’t changed because higher ed teaching practices haven’t
changed much. We’ve adapted in ways necessary. Tools developed ﬁt
the need. Our work in the classroom has remained relatively stable.
Perhaps until recently…
Experimentation, sharing, clickers, active learning are all relatively
new & mainstream. How can we experiment using the LMS in ways
that are informed by research?
2010 20142014 2014
All of these books emphasize the notion of making connections.
Knowledge must be stored in memory so that it can be used and
connected to new ideas and situations.
1. Prior knowledge
2. Organization of knowledge
3. Spaced practice
All new learning requires a foundation of prior knowledge. Good teachers
help make students’ prior knowledge explicit, address misconceptions, &
help students connect new knowledge to prior knowledge.
As experts, you have more dense, richly interconnected networks of
knowledge structures than novices do. What is obvious to you may be
completely hidden to students. Good teachers use techniques that make
organization explicit and help learners recognize meaningful patterns.
… is about helping students recall and remember new knowledge over
spaced intervals of time so that they can continue to build effective
knowledge structures and make new connections. Recall should
involve cognitive effort, and when paired with feedback, spaced
practice strengthens retention more than testing alone does.
…is thinking about our thinking to correctly assess what we know
and what we can do to improve. "
1. Recognize competence when we see it in others."
2. Become better judges about what we know and don’t know."
3. Adopt learning strategies that get results."
4. Find objective ways to track our progress.
How could we use
the LMS or other
edtechs in support of
the principle provided?
1 m 10 m Share 1
- Pre-class session quizzes
(online, scantron) with
- Teach only what was missed.
- Post slides before class
- Use graphic organizers
- Create interactive syllabus
- Give Topics meaningful titles
- Pop quizzes & student-
- Student-created study guides
- Provide access to previous
- Use wiki for ongoing
- Have students reﬂect upon
and annotate own writing
- Ask students to connect new
learning to earlier content
You inspired me! Great ideas
& discussion. Let’s look at
where we are headed with