Bill MacKenty

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Building an LMS (or virtual learning experience) - part 1 of 3

Posted in Teaching Diary on 19 - December 2022 at 09:22 AM (one year ago). 927 views.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.