504 Week 3 – Trials and Tribulations within my LMS build.

Well, its nice to have the D2L presentations done and start putting all of that great learning into practice.  My head has been swimming with all the information provided, and I’m slowly synthesizing it all into a workable D2L LMS.  Working on this project has really brought home to me how important design can be in communicating ideas, and making the information provided user friendly.  Joe Sparano’s quote “Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” has been ringing in my ears as I move around modules and activities in the D2L environment.  It occurs to me that during my past VIU courses I haven’t really thought about how the content has been organized and presented to us students.  I know I will not look at it the same way after having the opportunity to “look under the hood” and see how everything fits together.

Working on my course has been at times both frustrating and rewarding.  I tend to learn best by just jumping in and figuring the tools out as I go.  It was great to have the presentations fresh in my mind as I explored, but feel that most of my true learning came from making mistakes and fixing them as I went.  At this point I think most of D2L site is there, I just need to go through it all and make sure it is working!  Feels good to know that each subsequent D2L build will be faster and smoother!

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7 responses to “504 Week 3 – Trials and Tribulations within my LMS build.”

  1. Jean Kloppenburg says :

    Ben,
    I can relate to your statement that more than anything you learn more from making mistakes and fixing them. I find that I am fixing more mistakes and realizing there is more to course building than I imagined. The courses we have taken in OLTD have been so well laid out for us that I never paid much attention t to the amount of forethought that had to be done before constructing a course. I love the quote, “good design is transparent”. I only hope with extended practice and exposure to learning management systems, I will achieve constructing a well-designed, “transparent” online course. Right now, I am in the difficult stage of taking two steps forward and three steps back! Thank you for sharing your thoughts into LMS building and best of luck in your D2L builds!\
    Jean

  2. Psychology 12 says :

    Hey Ben–did you receive my blog comment? I don’t see it on your blog.
    By the way, I love your daily photo journal–you have a good eye for composition.
    Michelle

  3. Psychology 12 says :

    Hi Ben (I am going to post this again)…

    You (and Joe) illuminate a key feature of course design—that good design is “transparent.” This statement reminded me of my first creative endeavor with an online course working with WebCT, which was quite the steep learning curve. It really brings home the fact that your course needs to be clearly organized, user friendly and appealing for students. Since then, I’ve conscientiously attempted to apply these principles to every course I design—with varying levels of success. During the LMS build, I too learned the most from “jumping-in” and discovering the tools—revising, and reworking as I went.

    Enjoy the process!

    Michelle

  4. Jane Jacek says :

    Hi Ben,

    You echo my thoughts in relation to working through D2L. I enjoyed jumping in, figuring out by doing and correcting mistakes as I went along. As teachers, I feel, it is important that we are aware of the value of learning through our mistakes, as you have stated,”… feel that most of my true learning came from making mistakes and fixing them as I went.” This is what we want our students to understand, that it is ok to make mistakes because it is through correcting our mistakes that we also learn. When working with my students, if I am unsure of an answer or have made a mistake I let them know and then in their presence work to solve or correct it. I hope they are then transferring this to their own learning, the willingness to take a risk and make errors, and then correct them. In my math course, the expectation is that students do their corrections, so that they can learn from their mistakes. It is important for students to know that a willingness to try, even if you may not be correct, is important. As a famous person once said, I believe, it is better to err than not try at all.

    Your post has reminded me of the value, and trials and tribulations, of being a lifelong learner.

    Thanks!
    Jane J.

  5. Michael M. says :

    Hi Ben

    I can so relate to your comment “my true learning came from making mistakes and fixing them.” At the beginning of the LMS course build, I felt confused and overwhelmed. Although I hit that frustration barrier several times, I learned a lot by overcoming my frustration. Although I spent twice as much time as I thought I would, I was very happy with the content and the layout of my finished product. I think many educators will choose not to use a LMS because of the necessary technical skills, the time required to build a course in a LMS and the frustration barrier. This week, after investigating several non-LMS tools, I have found that there are many useful tools that I could use to enhance my teaching. I certainly like “Kidblog” that Tracy Cameron added to the non-LMS wiki. In fact I have already sent up a blogging site for my students. Two more interesting site I have found are “Haiku” and “Twiddla.”

    Your post has reinforced that we can learn a lot through our mistakes… Cheers, Michael

  6. Laura Mann says :

    I love that you bring up the issue of design in your post this week. You mention that “good” (transparent) design communicates ideas and provides for a user-friendly experience. I would also suggest that a course designed well using a LMS or non-LMS also engages the learner and inspires him/her to dive deeply and personally into the learning content. What elements of design do you think are most important?

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