When we teach online, the classrooms around which many of us are used to centering our courses are gone. So where do we go? Decades ago, some of the first people to ask this question created an answer that has largely stuck: Get ye to the Learning Management System (more about the history of the LMS)! A learning management system (LMS) is a platform from which teachers can stage, deliver, and manage our courses; Blackboard Learn, Moodle and Canvas are all LMSs. As with classrooms, each LMS has affordances and drawbacks. This week, we’ll be looking at what an LMS can and can’t do for you, and what your options are for teaching online outside the walls of the LMS.

Read + Discuss

  • Beyond the LMS, a keynote turned blog post from Audrey Watters.
  • Hybrid Platforms, Tools, and Resources, an academic article from Kathryn Linder, Linda Bruenjes, and Sarah Smith that discusses platforms and openness (you’ll need to login to UAF’s library database to access this one)

This week, we’ll be using these articles to begin asking questions that will get us thinking about which LMS will be appropriate for our own course. Do these articles make you question any practices you’ve used in the past? Which factors do you think are the most important to consider when choosing where/how to stage your online course? Post your thoughts and reactions in the Slack #reading-group channel.

Build Something:

We will all work on the same build this week:

BUILD: Identify content and interaction needs and any other requirements in your course that may influence your choice of LMS. eCampus instructional designers have developed a bank of questions to help you make this kind of decision. Write down your needs either as a brief narrative or visualize them in a drawing/diagram. Opening the questions will create your own copy of the document, which you can share in the case-studies channel.