A few highlights regarding the LMS from #ccourses

2 min read

This first week of is flying by and I've been trying to hold on. I've found myself nodding along with the last section of George Kroner’s post The Nuances of LMS vs. Open. The LMS of today most certainly won’t be the LMS of tomorrow.

Make sure to follow that with Phill Hill’s post on Opening Up the LMS Walled Garden.

“New web services and social media made the legacy LMS look like what it was: A slow-moving cruise ship that locked passengers in their cabins.”

I love it.

“the long-term trend is moving in this direction of LMS and Open tool coexistence.”

I certainly concur with Phil here. There are a variety of contexts within courses and across disciplines. Some will be a little more closed, while others let it all hang out. The systems will become more flexible, and many issues will need to be addressed along the way.

Tannis Morgan’s response to D'arcy Norman’s LMS/Open Binary really resonates with me. Some great points I came away with were:

“give more focus to tools that can provide a much more meaningful online experience”

“innovation for the right reasons”

“doing the right thing for the students, even if it’s not as easy.”

The question posed at the end hits close to home.

“At the end of the day, the question has to be asked–is innovation a nice-to-have, or is it essential to the sustainability of the institution, who exists to provide a meaningful learning experience for students that is different from the bigger institutions?”

I certainly have a desire for things to be more open with the LMS at our institution, and I think we are relatively well-positioned. We use Moodle to run our courses and it's pretty locked down, but most of that has to do with configuration established initially, when the LMS was still in the margin.

It would be timely to re-consider some of those assumptions from the past as we contemplate future directions, interoperability with external services, and most importantly, meeting the expectations and needs of the modern student in a connected world.

My real “why”

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The resource I'm developing alongside my journey through connectedcourses.net is an introduction to the various technologies that are available to instructors on our campus, both within and external to the institutional online learning environment. (We use Moodle).

My real “why” is to empower instructors and support students as they go along their journeys. To guide them to the various options available in a just-in-time manner. To facilitate the communication and the expression of ideas through a variety of mediums. Jump in at any point, and dive only as deep as you may have want or need.

I'm astounded by the quality of ideas and material that are pouring out of . It's melting my mind a bit. And with current workloads... it’s going to be a struggle to keep up.

But here I am. We press on. To teach is to learn, to learn is to grow, and to grow gives meaning to life.*

*Somebody may have said that, I don't know. A quick DuckDuckGo search didn't produce an exact match, but lead me to this page, which has some really great quotes on teaching.

Of course, you should also check out for some fantastic contributions from the connected courses community and beyond.

Checking the connection

1 min read

I'm not exactly sure how I stumbled across Connected Courses initially, but I've found myself returning to it again and again.

At first I wasn't sure if I would or should participate, but after lurking around the pre-course orientation, I've found myself charmed and in the presence of very good company discussing topics that I'm keenly interested in. Quick examples are Maha Bali's post on The "why" of Faculty Development and D'arcy Norman's post On the False Binary of LMS Vs Open. Great stuff that I will have to re-visit.

I'd really like to thank the organizers and everyone involved for the realization of such a great opportunity!

And so now I'm off to get my house in order. You may be familiar with the saying, something about the cobbler's children...