Documentation:Learning Environment/What Do We Need to Find Out?

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What Do We Need to Find Out?

Throughout the information gathering sessions, many questions have come up. We are working on answering those questions as we move through the project.

Many of the questions fall into similar categories and we will do our best to continually update this page as we continue to gather additional information:

Student Focused

  • How do students want the course designed?
  • What tools do students like and what tools are they going to actually use?
  • How do we engage the student?
  • Do Open Learning students want to interact? Or do they prefer individual work?
  • What Are students' needs (functionality-wise)?
  • What does not work well in Blackboard?
  • How are students dealing with different types of course delivery?
  • What are needs of diverse student group (ex. Aboriginal students)
OL and Campus students were surveyed and a focus group of campus students was conducted. Student Survey Results
  • How effective is the technology/learning activities we are currently using?
  • How does the learner access the material?
  • What access do students have to technology?
  • Do students want time sensitive feedback regarding specific content activity/assignments?
  • Why do students go inactive? Is it technology driven?
Previous Course Evaluation and Exit Surveys were reviewed.OL Student Course Evaluation and Exit Surveys Results

OLFM Focused

  • What are the needs of OLFMs (functionality-wise)?
  • Do different courses (subject, size and delivery format) have different needs?
  • What does not work well in Blackboard?
Information gathering sessions with several Senior OLFMs were conducted. OLFM Information Gathering Session Results
A Presentation was delivered at the OLFM Workshop (May 2015) where OLFMs provided feedback on possible features/solutions. OLFM Workshop Feedback
Previous BB survey results will also be reviewed. We are in the progress of connecting with Campus Faculty as well.

LMS Options

  • What are others' experiences with online student environments?
  • What are the current viable options and the pros and cons of each?
LMS Pros Cons
  • Organizable lessons and course pages
  • Threaded discussions
  • Content migration and imports
  • Immediate feedback - Assessments can be automatically grades and points added to grade center
  • Already used by OLFM and current OL students
  • Not cloud-based
  • No social networking interface
  • Removes instructor ability to review results before being posted - Assessments can be automatically grades and points added to grade center
  • Customizable
  • Open source
  • Mobile apps available
  • Tailorable and robust educational tool options
  • Comprehensive assignment/gradebook system
  • Organizable lessons and course pages
  • Threaded discussions
  • Content migration and imports
  • Already used on campus
  • requires server space
  • Requires technical expertise to fully utilize it
  • Interface can feel clunky with lots of text
  • High learning curve
  • Requires a lot of tech dept set-up and support to implement effectively
  • Not cloud-based
  • No social networking interface
  • Self-hosted
  • Organized, intuitive interface
  • Grades spreadsheet view helpful for faculty
  • Very granular permissions || Example
Instructure Canvas
  • Can we learn from others institutions?
  • What are other institutions using and why?
  • What are some already innovative courses/content out there?
  • What are some best practices of introducing a new system – emerging practices
We recently had an information sharing session with D'Arcy from the University of Calgary, in which lessons learned were shared. We will continue to research other institutions experiences as we move forward.
  • What percentage of post-secondary institutions use Moodle in Canada?
    • has an inventory of registered Moodle sites, which is updated and monitored regularly. When a site becomes inactive, it is removed from the list.
    • Under the Canada site list, it shows 1173 active sites as of 14Apr15
      • Confirmed with Moodle that the information found on is the best they have. They don’t know 1/10 of all sites that are out there because people tend to not report back to them when they use their software – largely due to the fact that it is free.
        • Of the 1173 sites, 47 of them are PSI sites, either a University, University College, College or Trade School – note: some institutions have more than one site
          • There are 37 PSIs that have Moodle sites:
Alberta – 7
British Columbia – 9
Manitoba – 1
New Brunswick – 2
Nova Scotia – 2
Ontario – 3
Quebec – 11
Saskatchewan – 2
Full list of PSIs and Moodle sites in excel spreadsheet: O:\Open Learning Share\2-METRICS MANAGEMENT\7_Learning Environment\List of CA moodle sites.xlsx

Looking Forward

  • What course delivery format will we be using in the future?
We currently do not know what the future will look like. However, we are know we need to develop a system that can support change in this area
  • What training will be required?
  • What training do they need for faculty staff and students to be effective
Yes, training will be required. What that training looks like will need to be determined as we move forward.
  • How much modification will be needed?
  • How much different will the next system be?
TBD. One of the main objectives of this process is to find these things out.
  • How will any proposal interact with Banner?
  • Have we included everyone in our feedback?
We are including opportunities for engagement from OL students, OLFMs, Campus Faculty, Campus students, Student Union, OL staff, Centre for Student Engagement and Learning Innovation, IT, etc,. If you feel we are missing people who should be involved please let Tanya or Brian now.
  • What is the cost? (transition, continuing, research, etc.)?
  • Are the needs of campus the same as OL?
Information gathering sessions with OL and Campus are still in progress. Please refer to the Student and OLFM focused answers above.

Looking at the Bigger Picture

  • What influence does openness have on Open Learning and students ability to learn?
  • Should content be open?
  • Should system be both open and closed?
  • What influences does openness of information have on a learning environment? How does it influence what activities student do to learn?
  • Do students need to interact despite not wanting to?
  • How doe we encourage deeper approaches to learning and using high level skills for tasks which require them?
  • How do we remove the barrier between faculty and students (no non-verbal communication)?
  • How do we keep 1st year students engaged?
All of these questions are being considered in the system design as we work through setting the groundwork for interoperability.

More Questions

  • Who is going to be using it (market…backgrounds, countries)?
  • Do we have a change management plan in place?
  • Why would we switch?
  • Do we need to upgrade Blackboard?
  • Can we change blackboard to accommodate needs?
  • Are there features in blackboard we can use but just don’t know about?
  • Who wants the change?