Many faculty and staff have attended our workshops on the Course Hub, Moodle and WordPress. To help people get started on their sites, we have scheduled a number of work sessions:
- 10:00-11:00 am Weds, Sept 7th, Library 105
- 10:00-12:00 pm Thurs, Sept 8th, Library 105
- 2:00-4:00 pm Thurs, Sept 8th, Library 105
- 10:00-12:00 pm Fri, Sept 9th, Library 105
These work sessions are an opportunity to work on your sites with support staff. For more information on all workshops, see: Workshops
Dear Language Schools Faculty,
As you know, the current summer is the final semester in which you will be able to add new content to Segue. (After the end of this summer, Segue will become “Read-only”.) Middlebury is in the process of transitioning away from Segue to other courseware. In preparation for this, LIS is offering a series of training workshops for Language School faculty. Moodle and WordPress will be covered in the sessions. We will discuss background and theory (when to use what, how to transfer content, etc.), as well as offer hands-on training.
Several workshops will be offered in the Davis Family Library 105.
Week of July 4
Week of July 11
Week of July 25
Please use the signup sheet linked below. Exact times are listed on the signup sheet. There are 19 computers in the lab.
Beginning next fall with the 2011-12 academic year, Segue will be replaced by a collection of platforms connected by the Course Hub. The Course Hub will become the definitive starting point for all online course resources and will provide links to other platforms including WordPress, ERES and soon Moodle, our new learning management system (LMS).
To help with the transition of sites from Segue to one of these new platforms, Curricular Technology (CT) team will be organizing workshops throughout the summer for faculty and staff. The first series of workshops will begin next week:
Curricular Technology Platforms Overview
1:00 – 2:00 pm, Tues, June 21, Library 105
2-3:30 pm, Weds, June 22, Library 105
1-2:30 pm, Fri, June 24, Library 105
Moodle has been selected as the primary learning management system (LMS) for Middlebury College. Other LMS platforms considered were Sakai and Blackboard. The Curricular Technology (CT) team researched these three LMS platforms extensively and organized a pilot program that involved over 20 faculty and more than 300 students.
Surveys of pilot participants indicated that more faculty and students who completed the survey considered Moodle the most useful and easy to use of the LMS platforms piloted. The CT team used an template developed by the Longsight Group (see: Longsight > LMS Selection Criteria) to do its own evaluation and came to similar conclusions.
Moodle has been in use at Middlebury since 2007, primarily for online assessment. Beginning in the Fall of 2011, Moodle will be fully integrated into the new Course Hub platform which will become the definitive starting point for all new online course resources.
The Curricular Technology team has been researching learning management systems (LMS) for use at Middlebury, using findings from its focus group sessions, surveys and technology usage analysis collected over the last year to determine what features would be most useful in an LMS. The team also researched which LMS platforms other institutions were using, focusing on those institutions most similar to Middlebury.
From the above research, the team has found 3 LMS that are viable candidates for use at Middlebury and would now like to make these available to faculty to pilot over the winter and spring semesters. The LMS platforms being considered are:
For more information about these pilots and how to participate, come to an LMS Pilot Information Session, here are dates/times:
- 3 – 4 pm, Monday, Dec 6th, Library 105
- 3 – 4 pm, Tuesday, Dec 7th, Library 105
LMS platforms are designed to help use the web for both teaching and learning, with tools for grading, assignments, online discussion and so on. Below are descriptions of some of these tools.
Assignment Submission Module
Our focus groups and surveys revealed issues with many of the tools and techniques currently used for collecting and grading assignments. Most LMS platforms have “modules” for assignment submission that greatly simplify this process, allowing faculty to create assignments with due dates that students can easily access and upload completed assignments to. These modules are configured to allow students to see that their assignment has been successfully submitted and to allow faculty to see all submitted assignments and be able to grade and give feedback on these from within the LMS itself.
LMS platforms allow faculty to “grade” many of the activities students do within the LMS including assignments and discussion posts. Typically this grading functionality can be applied to specific assignments, discussion topics and quizzes and the LMS provides tools for aggregating all graded items into a single view that can be used as the basis for evaluating student performance. Most LMS can be configured to show students only their own grades (and not those of their peers) to help them keep track of how well they are doing in a given course.
Middlebury has long provided various tools for online discussion including Segue, WordPress and MediaWiki. LMS platforms also have tools for online discussion with options to grading individual discussion posts by students. While this sort of functionality is not something that our surveys and focus groups indicated a strong need for, having it available to use may result in new teaching practices.
Most LMS include calendars that can be used for scheduling class events, assignments and exams.
Blog, Wikis and more
LMS platforms also include popular tools such as those for blogging, wikis and podcasts, similar to what has been available via Segue, WordPress and MediaWiki.
The Curricular Technology Team has proposed an alternative to Segue that has been approved for development. Based on our analysis of existing course and curricular resources as well as findings from focus groups and surveys, we recognized that no single platform would meet the teaching, learning and research needs of all of the College and its affiliates. Thus we recommended the development of a “course hub” architecture that would enable faculty to create collections of resources for a given course in a single location referred to as a “hub.”
We recommended course hub sites be automatically created for all courses with basic course information such as the course title, description, instructor profile, schedule and location. These sites would include basic functionality for adding additional content such as a syllabus and links with an emphasis on ease of use and simplicity.
These sites would also include links to “connected” platforms allowing users to create additional resources using popular tools such as WordPress and MediaWiki that would be automatically linked back to the hub site.
The Curricular Technology team is now working on evaluating other platforms to connect to the course hub, focusing on learning management systems (LMS) and better tools for online discussion, collaboration, assignment submission and grading.