Learning and the LMS

as I’m preparing my summer school courses, I’m reading extensive theory on online course design. I’m reading educational blogs on tech tools to engage learners, and support good learning. I’m reading books on incorporating textbooks in online courses. I’m browsing pre-created materials by book publishers to support the integration and use of their textbooks. In all these I’m seeing and reading that *everyone* supports a new view of education where the focus is no longer on content and content regurgitation, but instead on application and use of the knowledge gained from the reading – Project focused instead of Quiz focused. i wholeheartedly support this view of learning. as an employee of a department during my grad school days I evaluated transcripts and accreditation. I wasn’t expected to memorize schools and rules, instead I was expected to know how to research schools based on ministry of education, department of education, and university created websites, books, and materials to determine acceptability of courses and degrees. I needed to know how to find a breadth of information and apply it to the problem of transcript evaluation. How I researched was the required skill, not the information. This new approach to classrooms, in theory emphasizes a similar idea………and yet…….as I design my online course I explored the LMS provided by the book publisher. this LMS opens an empty shell and first asks you to create an assignment. The course is then designed around this assignment. While an assignment is better than a test, this product focused approach to learning within the classroom feels more like studying to take a text than it feels like researching as part of my everyday job. my question for today: how do we use product-focused LMS to support good learning? I don’t think there is one right answer, but I think it’s a question online instructors need to continue to ask themselves as they design, implement, teach and redesign online courses.

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