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Building an LMS (or virtual learning experience) - part 1 of 3
It's not about the technology, it's about the learning...
This is an entreatment I have oft repeated; focus on the verbs around learning rather than the nouns of technology. As I rebuild a virtual learning experience I am asking myself "How can I make this best for my students"
I'm building out some moodle courses - my hope is my students will be use this resource to independently learn about different topics within high school computing. I curate material for them and ask them to learn it. But the key differentiator here is assessment. Anyone can watch a video, but to what extent do they understand it? By using forums, H5P assessment, and built-in moodle quizzes I can evaluate student understanding (and students can evaluate their understandings). I'm still looking for a way to embed jupyter notebooks and auto-graders for code.
...but whatever plugins and features I include all need to direct learning toward encouraging student interaction and collaboration, providing support and resources, and organizing content and activities.
The key points here are:
- Have clear learning goals: It's important to have a clear understanding of the learning goals and objectives for the virtual learning experience, and to design the experience around those goals. This might involve creating a lesson plan or course outline that outlines the topics and activities for each unit or module.
- Use a variety of teaching methods: Virtual learning requires a different approach than in-person teaching, so it's important to use a variety of teaching methods to keep students engaged. This might involve using video lectures, interactive activities, and small group discussions.
I have to think "to what extent will this course be an independent learning experience"?
Giving students as much of a choice as possible is important, freeing me to focus on helping my students to solve problems - where there is the biggest bang for the buck for my students.