Documentation:Learning Environment/Student Survey Results/OL Student Advisory Committee Feedback

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Student Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Minutes of a meeting of the Student Advisory Committee held in the B.C. Centre for Open Learning building at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C.

Brian Lamb, Director of Innovation, was asked to lead the discussion based on the survey results gathered for a project intended to modernize the learning management system (LMS) at TRU. DISCUSSION TOPIC: Learning Management Systems

Based on the Open Learning student survey results, the top priorities of features in a LMS were easy navigation, ability to print and save content, links to exam scheduling and academic/social supports, ability to access courses through mobile devices and ability to upload files and videos. Do you agree? Please elaborate.

  • The ability to print and save content is a priority for me as I don’t always have access to the internet or sitting in front of a computer. Printing and saving would be beneficial as a lot of the courses have overlapping learning outcomes so I would like to be able to save them for future reference when taking other courses. Links to the exam scheduling would be handy to have in advance instead of waiting for the notification letter. Ability to access my course from an iPad would also be beneficial. Students are not always at home so the multiple access options would be great. I would like to be able to have access to my previously marked assignments and the OLFM comments. Printing from Blackboard is not that easy – it involves saving and printing from a screen shot. I personally would find that beneficial to be able to reference and review my previous learning.
  • I would really like to have a single sign on. I have trouble keeping track of multiple usernames and passwords.
  • I agree with the ability to print the course guide. In the MBA, each course has the exact same format and I appreciate that the look and feel is the same for each course. The icons are the same in each course. When I upload the text images they don’t always upload easily and that takes away from the learning. I would like course access through multiple devices.
  • Blackboard is a LMS. I felt the survey results were spot on. I have done both online and print courses. The print courses have a logical sequence in the package that was easier to digest than the online courses where you have to go back and forth into Blackboard often in addition to supplemental textbooks. In my opinion it could be more unified. If I was a brand new student to distance learning the navigation would be confusing.
  • I agree with most of the survey results. Could there be an exam scheduler that tells you if there is space available in the session or the other dates available? Yes, that is another project being reviewed. The response time of OLFMs vary with online courses. I would like there to be a specific response time to emails or way to prompt the OLFMs in real time such as chat line or call to their office.

Did you notice any responses in the survey that did not ring true with your experience?

  • Nothing was missing. The only thing I didn’t agree with whole heartedly is texting the OLFM. I am not comfortable with that especially when not knowing what their working schedule is. Everything else was spot on. I think having more video conferencing of lectures will appeal to those who are visual learners. Have options for different learning styles. The survey responses are really good.
  • I agree with not texting OLFMs. Having real time texting is not realistic.
  • I would add Groupware as an option to the communication channels for group work.
    • Everything was on point with the exception of the concern with students publicly publishing course work. I find it extremely helpful and am not concerned about plagiarism if students have control over the publication.
  • I would have concerns with that especially with group work being published when it relates to work experiences.
  • The age demographics of the survey respondents may impact the outcomes.
  • I am not seeing how having less technology would work for Open Learning. Perhaps they meant that they want technology to be less complicated.
  • Due to symptoms from a brain injury I have not been able to use technology. As the developers are moving away from print courses I have to apply for special funding to have online courses converted to print. Some people can’t read online textbooks and may have to drop out if the text is out of print. It is important to have options.

Any final thoughts or comments?

  • We covered everything. I have nothing else to add.
  • No other comments.
  • No comment.
  • All good.
  • We covered a lot and the feedback can hopefully help others.