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LMS overload

October 11, 2016

I am overloading on lms lingo, lms language, lms intention, lms infiltration.

What is a lms?  that is even in flux.  an lms is a leaning management system.  A place where people can take their courses on-line.  On-line?  yes, where they log into a device and access their courses.  A course has content, activity and lots of information to help the student, and confuse the student for that matter.  There are a brain numbing number of lms’s out there.  Some are open source (free), think Moodle, others are not, you have to pay to just simply have a presence in the lms.  Think Blackboard.  Lms’s are changing the way traditional brick and mortar schools approach well schooling.  At their minimum, they provide a place for teachers to put things for their classes.  Homework assignments, readings, expectations, general information that people can read.  Beyond that hopefully are some things to do, some activities that the learners engage in.  Quizzes, forums and assignments are typical types of activities that lms’s provide.  When I think of Moodle, I think the big three (assignment, quiz, forum).  These are activities that the students engage in, participate with, are active in.  You get the idea.  We hear so much about engagement and involvement.  Creating an active, not passive experience for our students.  I see this as a continual change in the learning space.  An attempt buy school administrators to continue to push the envelop of blended learning.  Blended learning is the hybrid of a traditional classroom, where the teacher stands in front of the students and teaches and a online space where activities and content and engagement also takes place.

Another trend that I see in LMS dome and blended learning is in how the experience is organized in the on-line space.  There is a real emphasis on making things simpler, more clear, less cluttered.  Schoology, for example, emphasizes the teacher and information that is most pertinent to the teacher.  Information is stream lined and make accessible to the teacher.  The teacher does not have to poke around and go looking for things.  Things like student progress or students in trouble, falling behind, not logged in, not engaging in the learning space.  This information pushes its way to the front of the lms so teachers and coaches and others who have a vested interest in the students performance can see students when they are in trouble.  Support the little precious.  To be very specific, when the teacher logs in for example, messages, forum posts, submitted assignments that may need grading or quiz submissions are *pushed to the teacher.  The teacher, from their home page or portal space can see this information in a concise manner.  This helps the teacher to stay on top of the students and their progress.

Define blended learning

me:  an online class that supplements a traditional classroom.  Teachers and students meet in the traditional way, with the on-line portion of the class to enhance the learning.

Wikipedia:

learning systems that combine face-to-face instruction with computer mediated instruction

I am going to do a little brain dump of terms that relate to the lms in different ways

Words that describe an LMS

system, notification, quiz, forum, collaboration, blended, comprehensive, data driven, push, message, public facing, private facing, open source, upgrading, coach, teacher, roles, activity, measurement, scores, survey, test, upload, contribution, protocol, download, assess, contributed, scorm – compliance, shared, ownership, content, packaging, exchange, compliant, share space,  talking, sharing, spark, ownership, heart – collaboration, sharing, learning from each other,  teachers, students, coaches, parents, administrators, stake holders, e-learning, tools, flipped classroom, comprehensive, assessment, testing.

Sentences that describe what an LMS does

  • provides a place for teachers to put their content.
  • a place where student and teachers can log into and access learning content.
  • Allows learners to access materials remotely, on their own, at their own pace.
  • Include assessment tools like quizzes and tests.
  • Allows learners to upload assignments, like documents as homework, where teachers can grade and provide feedback.
  • Provides collaborative activities for learners to work together, like forums or wikis.

Define a flipped classroom

Let me talk about the flipped classroom for a moment – my understanding is its a concept, not a tool.  Flipping the classroom means that classroom time is spend on *homework while lecture is consumed outside of class.  Flip the concept.  Have the student consume, watch video lectures or assignment readings or whatever OUTSIDE of class.  When the students come to class, the time is spend on implementing or practicing or doing.  Good habits are reinforced, bad habits or understandings are corrected and the time is best spent.

The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions.

How about outcome based or performance based learning.  This is a huge concept that basically says I will assess your understanding of something with this tool or method.  It has a lot of merit, because it provides data that can be used in reporting and support or denial of certain approaches or techniques.  It provides a consistent method of test and assessment of the concepts.

How about assessment based learning

I know – that is a little vague.  Let me say it another way.  Where I live, in NY – there is a big emphasis on standards and assessment of those standards.  For example – the state school commission says “you must do this and achieve these results”.  Schools across the state then adopt their teaching and curriculum to that end and give assessment in a way that can be measured and reported to support that state wide edict.  Still too vague?  I know.  Let me try once more.  Someone important in the state educational hierarchy says “students need to score a 90% on this test for your district to get this $ from the state taxpayer”.  Now the district, since there is $ attached, and that effects jobs and positions at their school, are falsely motivated to teach to a certain test of standard.  Teachers focus on how to take a test, students focus on how to respond to the type of test, strategies are created around how to best perform on this test with teachers, students and parents around the state getting very nervous about it.

A dedicated space to share ideas.  A fun collaborative place for students to hang out and be creative.

 

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