Apr 12 2010

Course Site

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I created my course site for use in my grade 11 Marketing class. I’ve designed online courses before, so the task did not seem intimidating at first glance, nor at most times along the way until the last requirement.

Selective release has given me a lot of problems. I eventually discovered the term could mean a great number of things, among which are release at a certain date or release when you meet certain criteria. I applied both these conditions in the course. Some of the activities are hidden manually, for release at a certain date (Chap 3 and 4). Some are hidden by design to release as they are needed to accompany the notes (quiz). Conditional release is applied to discussions where groups were created and each group can only see their own answer. This last feature is one I could use in my class wiki. As it stands now, the wiki I modeled this Moodle course on asks students to respond to discussion questions to increase the amount of class participation and improve communication skills. However, most of the students do not use original thought in that they read a few responses and simply agree by restating another student’s answer. Making other groups invisible to the class would certainly cut down on this practice and encourage group work and more productive discussion.

Improvements on my previous course designs was a major goal in Etec 565. I knew I had some interesting content, so the most important task was to make this version in keeping with the web 2.0 approach to communication and learning. In early course designs, it seemed more an uploading of digital resources linked to assignments that easily worked with the constraints of distance and self-directed study. Discussions were possible but not likely in the first iteration as I was dealing with the administration of the course and keeping attendance statistics as a priority to creating a rich learning environment. Put bluntly, we wanted the students to get this last chance credit and we would do it with all available means.

In Etec 540, I learned that the author must imagine the audience. Yet as I designed my earlier courses, I was often pushed by the administrators to consider creating lessons that could stand alone in a Learning Object Repository. There was no connection to the future audience beyond making sure to be explicit in our instructions and use language that would suit our learners. Feedback would be impossible as we would not get to see the assembled components for almost 2 years.

This LMS uses as many of the affordances of web 2.0 as I can imagine with my current limited knowledge. I have just begun to open the door to discussion forums, wikis and computerized testing (and feedback!).  It is my hope that I will be able to use many of the activities and discussions that have been created for this course to enrich my current f2f class or as a jumping off point for future course design.

Please view my Moodle course site.bmi3c logo

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