Creating your LMS course will not be easy it will take much thought and analyzing before beginning. For instance, what type of learning style would you like the format to be? Are you wanting your students to have a freer range on how they submit their assignments, do you want them to collaborate more as a class, do you want them to learn strictly from videos and discussion board interactions? Therefore, when approaching the idea and thought process going into creating and selecting a LMS format/design I had to first look at the different ways that our program would connect to instructional design theories. There are a few learning theories that constitute online learning such as, constructivism and connectivism.
What Learning Style & Instructional Design Models Fit Your Campus or Program?
Constructivist believe that meaning or understanding is achieved by assimilating information, relating it to our existing knowledge, and cognitively processing it, Social constructivists believe that this process works best through discussion and social interaction, allowing us to test and challenge our own understandings with those of others (Bates, 2015). Connectivists such as Siemens and Downes tend to be somewhat vague about the role of teachers or instructors, as the focus of connectivism is more on individual participants, networks and the flow of information and the new forms of knowledge that result. The main purpose of a teacher appears to be to provide the initial learning environment and context that brings learners together, and to help learners construct their own personal learning environments that enable them to connect to ‘successful’ networks, with the assumption that learning will automatically occur as a result, through exposure to the flow of information and the individual’s autonomous reflection on its meaning. There is no need for formal institutions to support this kind of learning, especially since such learning often depends heavily on social media readily available to all participants (Bates, 2015).
Due to the nature of our program I believe that our program would be best fit for the constructivist model. Connectivist would allow our students too much freedom without guidance. In health careers, we can allow freedom for them to grow and make mistakes through simulation. Ultimately, the students would need guidance to make sure they are provided the correct knowledge to treat patients with the adequate care and the skills needed to save lives. Under the constructivist model you will see instructional design theories such as, learning through exploration, authentic assessment methods, problem-oriented-activities, “rich” environments, and visual formats and mental models. After reviewing the different design models under the constructivist model, I took a more learning through exploration, as well as a rich environments design approach.
Roblyer, Edwards & Havriluk argued that the “rich” environments approach is the most constructivist approaches advocate what Perkins (1991) terms “richer learning environments” as opposed to the “minimalist” classroom environment, which depends on the teacher, textbooks and prepared materials. They also argued, while constructivists differ among themselves about how much guidance a teacher should provide, all agree that there should be some flexibility in achieving desired goals. Most constructivist approaches emphasize exploration over “getting the right answer (Dabbagh, 2002)”. Although, we would like to allow our students somewhat the freedom to learn at their own pace we, also must be cautious and be their advocates in their learning. Our program will still provide textbooks as guides, as well as the proper materials to help them pass their national boards. We cannot give them all the freedom without remembering the why? Why are they in school? To become the best Respiratory Therapist. And without having the proper knowledge, skills, or mind set they will not become the best.
Thus ‘constructivist’ teachers place a strong emphasis on learners developing personal meaning through reflection, analysis and the gradual building of layers or depths of knowledge through conscious and ongoing mental processing. Reflection, seminars, discussion forums, small group work, and projects are key methods used to support constructivist learning in campus-based teaching, and online collaborative learning, and communities of practice are important constructivist methods in online learning (Bates, 2015). The students will be reflecting through their discussions throughout each unit on the assigned course work. With a longer time to create the course we would be able to develop more collaborative learning through group work for small projects. This will also give you the time to help with the time it takes to review their E-portfolio submission and reflect on their learning.
When we chose the course that need to be reconstructed it took much preparation and at the time, we were not sure if we were ready for a fully online course. I set our UbD goals as if it was a face-to-face course. Therefore, we would need to go back and reconstruct our goals a little bit to make it work for this course. Or, possibly think of it as a hybrid course in the future. Our main purpose on the UbD plan was to help our students connect key concepts of Cardiopulmonary A&P to the clinical setting and be able to progress on to Cardiopulmonary Disease in the Spring. Therefore, I believe that the course created on schoology will help this goal be completed. I planned for the students to be assessed based on multi choice exams. They are provided tools to look up on quizlet, as well, as review videos on you tube to help them identify key concepts.
According to, Knezek many of the innovative teachers that are trying to teach digitally or innovatively are with little or lack of support (Knezek, 2009). This may be because of the year that this statement was given or the fact that this is still true. Many teachers or instructors lack the support of their districts or campuses either through funding or administratively to provide their students with LMS or other resources to engage their students. Although, our students are paying for their education still does not mean they are limited in their learning online. They still do not get to choose how or what they learn with. Our campus as well. Online learning is a must. There is not a grade, age, or campus that should not incorporate some type of online learning. Our children at the age of two are using phones, tablets, and watching you tube. We must teach them the way they know how. Not a student usually past the age of 12 doesn’t have a phone. So, it is much easier to connect with them about assignments, group projects, and messages through their phone or lap tops. Especially, college age students we must engage them and pull them in from the realities of life. Some of our students work full time jobs, have families, or cannot commute to a school. Online learning is perfect for them. When choosing the right LMS for your school take in consideration the budget, your students online connection, and how often you are going to be using it.
I believe that creating a course from scratch in a new LMS that I am not familiar with was a changing experience. This course has showed me how much I need to change going forward when presenting my course to my students. This could not have come at a better time, while working with colleagues to implement blackboard ultra as a pilot group. We too are working on the same ideas. Both, of these concepts together quality matters and developing this course through schoology has put a lot of insight into how I will work on the course I am to pilot in the Fall. There are many things I have not thought of when I create a course for my students. I develop it and think well they are adults they can figure it out. Instead of thinking this would look better and easier for them to find and in turn would save me time because there would be less questions. I feel though five weeks was not enough time for me to develop the course I would have like to. We do the course by semesters in fifteen to sixteen weeks. Therefore, I believe I would have like to implement my E-portfolio portion into this course as well as, more discussion topics and case studies. I am not sure that I could ever make any of my courses fully online since they are part of a health career program that requires a hand on; face to face experience. But I do believe a hybrid option is in the future and I am not opposed to that. I really appreciate that this course was a part of the dll program it has gave me much to think about in the next few weeks to come while building my ultra-courses. This whole course has also, started to make me either re-think my innovation plan or a plan to take it slower. I think I might have to make some sort of changes to it before full implementation takes place.
Bates, A.W. (2015) Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing
teaching and learning (Chapter 1). Retrieved from
Dabbagh, N. (2002). Basic principles. Instructional design knowledge base.
Knezek, Don. (2009) Perspectives: teachers skills in a digital age.