Week three: Virtual Learning Environments

This is all about Virtual Learning Environments, digital tools and Open Educational Resources.

I noticed that I am automatically doing some of the online things they are teaching without understanding the underpinning reasons – for example, I had directed people to forums for questions, so that the answers are seen, and other students can offer their comments. I am learning to be clearer with students on the purpose of the discussion forums. We already have much of our course on a VLE (Moodle) and that has much of the functionality I need. I have used wikis, as collaborative writing, quizzes as learning experiences, and submission points for assessments are our norm. I added progress bars to allow the learner to know if they have done all of the work and allow me to monitor their progress.

I’ve used Google Drive for a long time, for various purposes. The Hangout module of Google has been my longest using IM, and in fact I was mid-conversation with Australian friends when I started this blog post! I’ve explored using Prezi but kept running out of time to play with it – I must put a day aside to do so. It sounds as though it is about the storytelling and so might be a really good case study tool. Audacity sounds interesting, the audio file app, but I can record the lesson using Planet E-Stream, which also captures the screen – including my PowerPoint if I am using one. It is good to know they listen three times if you provide recorded resources, and makes me think I will record more of my lectures. The benefit of the current apocalypse is that all of my lectures will be recorded by the end of this! I was planning to use Padlet soon, but have not got around to it yet. I hadn’t heard of Thinglink before, so that is rather interesting to me – it may be very useful for anatomy and physiology lessons in particular. One that wasn’t mentioned much was Socrative which I put here purely so that I have the link.

I am aware that we assume students do have laptops or smartphones but actually some may not and we do need to think about that, and how to balance those needs.

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are commonly used in my class, and I am getting better at making sure I have the correct copyright, by using particular sites and editing my search terms. For my own benefit, these include:

I did notice one participant in this course shared this course, which might be added to my To Do List.

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