Posts Tagged ‘LMS’

Introducing the Desire2Learn Tool Guide for Teachers

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

We’ve now implemented Desire2Learn (D2L) as our LMS at Deakin University, and have been delivering all our units (courses) in the system since Trimester 3, 2011. There was an investment in developing a professional development program for academic staff to assist in the transition to the new system that had a focus on learning about D2L and the migration of course material. Attention was also paid to learning design and how the D2L tool set and functions might be used to best support the curriculum.  I also thought that a Desire2Learn Tool Guide for Teachers (like the Moodle Tool Guide developed by Joyce Seitzinger in 2010) would be useful in helping academic staff decide which tool to use for a particular learning activity and to consider what level of thinking is used (for a tool & activity) according to the revised Bloom’s taxonomy. 

I started work on this guide in 2011, and when Joyce stared working at Deakin Uni during the year, I was happy to work together with her to finish this version. We’ve chosen the most used D2L tools and mapped them in a matrix to give advice about how useful they are for specific learning activities and using colours indicated how well they fit to that task. We presented the new Desire2Learn Tool Guide for Teachers at the recent inaugural Desire2Learn Asia-Pac Teaching and Learning conference and hope that people find it useful. You can download an A3 Poster version (pdf) below. 

D2L ToolGuideforTeachers
Desire2Learn Tool Guide for Teachers Sep2012

We have also created a Deakin version of the Desire2Learn Tool Guide that contains references to the Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes and 12 Aspects of Cloud Learning that we see as important in supporting 21st Century Learning and developing work-ready graduates. We have released under a creative commons license that is non-commercial, share alike with attribution. It is intended that this might become part of the suite of professional development tools available to support online learning and teaching using Desire2Learn. Looking forward to your feedback. 

PS. Joyce’s original guide has been translated into over a dozen languages and has also been adapted for a different LMS – see the BlackBoard Tool Guide for Tutors & the BlackBoard 9.1 Tool Guide

the storm before the calm (has passed)

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

The last few weeks have been the storm before the calm. My university has chosen D2L to replace our Blackboard LMS (WebCT Vista) and we’ve been busy implementing for Trimester 2. As usual lots to sort out, configuration, training, educational development, meetings, negotiations, hand holding, requesting, testing and trialling. This week we went live with a limited number of units/subjects and for my Faculty this means around 100 staff and nearly 4,000 students – we’re all set for when teaching starts next week. There’ll be some evaluation of the processes and how it’s all gone once things have settled down and teaching’s well underway. All good and exciting work, but it’s been a wild ride that’s been a storm at times, and now I’m ready for some calm.

Storm in Colorado
Storms in Colorado (photo credit Jerry W. Lewis)

So, for some calm I’m heading over to Denver, Colorado on Friday where I’ll be attending the Fusion 2011 Desire2Learn users conference. I’m looking forward to it as it will be the first D2L conference I’ve attended, I’ve never been to Denver before, and the weather’s going to be much warmer than I’ve been experiencing lately (and I hope it’s calmer than the photo I found to illustrate this post).

I’m also looking forward to meeting other D2L users and having an opportunity to share our stories while doing some networking. The D2L staff will also have my attention as we get to know each other and establish our partnership as client and vendor. Amongst other things, I’ll be learning as much as I can about the ePortfolio tool and how others are using D2L for blended learning.  I’ll also be giving a presentation with a colleague in which we will provide two perspectives (learning systems and an academic) of the implementation process so far. I’ll be sharing some insights via twitter of course (@colwar) and intend to supplement them here with some blog posts.

Now to pack my bags – I hope there’s some good company & movies on the plane.

we are changing our LMS – exciting and daunting at the same time…

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Another busy week so far and the highlight was that we were able to announce (internally) that our university has chosen Desire@Learn as it’s new Learning Management System. While we haven’t announced anything publicly, D2L made this announcement last week. It’s all very exciting as we’ve been using the same system for the last six years (Blackboard Vista) and it has come to the end of its life and we needed to find another platform to support our learning and teaching program. Our short list of potential systems were BlackBoard Learn (v.9), Desire2learn, and Moodle. Personally I thought that the open source route with Moodle and the Mahara ePortfolio would have adequately suited our needs, but the decision’s been made, and D2L it is. Lots of implementation planning underway with configuration, integration, training, migration, trails & pilots all leading toward a phased rollout from Trimester 1, 2011. So, the job is ahead of us and I’m keen to see us make use of some of the available functionality of D2L like their competencies, analytics and learning design tools, as well as the ePortfolio. I’m expecting lots of challenges as well as an excellent adventure over the coming 18 months…

speech bubble

Photo credit: Marc Wathieu

On another matter, I tweeted this during the week,

“@colwar interesting the difference a simple explanatory conversation can make to clear up misconceptions. (let’s have more of them)”.

It was in response to a situation were I was able to explain how a certain new technology worked and give some people have a better understanding of how the technology functioned. I suppose I’m wondering why people don’t seek out good advice and want to know more about something, rather than rely on someone else to make a decision without explaining letting stakeholders know why. Maybe we all just need to make space (and/or go out of our way) to have more conversations and share the knowledge we have. I believe the spent spent doing that would easily cover the delays encountered vacillating around in the unknown.

ascilite09 conference reflections #4 – Day Three

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Wednesday already & the final day of ascilite09. Another gorgeous morning in Auckland (the weather has been perfect), and some people slow to turn up for proceedings after the dinner/dance last night.

We began with short plenary session where Matthew Riddle reported on his Blackboard research grant where he asked student to record their ‘day experience’ using mobile technology. Some interesting initial findings that students spend a lot of time at home, and when on campus would like better access to the internet and to powerpoints for laptops in meeting places – particularly after hours. (watch this space)

I then attended a session on eportfolios that explored the benefits & value of the use of a space where students can be reflective learners, collect artifacts, demonstrate acquisition of graduate attributes and professional competencies, complete assessable tasks and developing showcases or representations of their learning to particular contexts. We were challenged to think about the questions that could be asked of staff & students before going ahead with an eportfolio implementation plan. I understand that there needs to be some clear articulation of purpose and context when talking about eportfolios so that people understand how they are to used in a particular way in a particular place/space.

I went to the symposium, ‘Thinking about a new LMS: Comparing different institutional models and approaches’ where we heard representatives from four institutions discuss their evaluation and implementation of a new LMS – all of them went for Moodle. All very interesting as the university where I work has just about completed the evaluation process and about to decide on a new LMS platform. What was useful, was hearing about the planning and implementation phase of these projects and the lessons learned. Lots of great do’s & don’ts and tips & tricks for getting the best outcome for an implementation. There were no papers or presentations available for this session but each institution took a different approach to evaluation and implementation – one complete institution-wide with all courses converted, and another staged implementation with staff having to rebuild their units. Main take-home points for me: communication is key, get buy-in from academic staff, have some departmental champions, have a committed executive sponsor, ensure everyone knows where they are heading, and communicate (in as many ways as possible). You might be interested in Mark Smithers’ blog post Public LMS Evaluations, where he has compiled a list of publicly available LMS reviews.

After another delicious lunch, James Clay gave the final keynote and asked us all to think about what the ‘mobile’ means in mobile learning. He outlined the advantages & disadvantages of (mobile) technology and wondered how well education is coping with the changes in work, culture, & society. It was an engaging presentation that asked lots of questions and challenged us to think about how we respond to this change and what we might do to prepare our students for the future. It was great to see James have the Twitter backchannel displayed during his talk. He used keynotetweet to have tweets from his Keynote slides posted to the #ascilite09 hashtag so that those not present, could follow his slide points in Twitter. Nice!

You can access the archive of tweets with the #ascilite09 hashtag at Twapper Keeper, and you can also access the programme and papers of the conference online.

The handover to ascilite 2010 was made and the host for next year is University of technology Sydney. Hopefully see you there!