Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Does your learning management system need constant attention?
I'm a little fuzzy from being off on maternity leave for a couple months, but I'm back in the saddle again with no time for "easing back in" to my job! I delivered a presentation on the new features of Blackboard version 8 to my GateWay faculty on Monday and Tuesday. We had great participation with most people excited about the new features of the system. However, I did have one thought provoking point brought up during the session. The general idea of this point was this: How are faculty expected to keep up with a learning management system when we are doing DRASTIC upgrades every May? It's funny because I was just complaining at a meeting with my VP and boss that it's hard to focus on instructional design (my real job) when this learning management system needs constant attention. Soooooooo, I guess there are two real complaints here, one being from an instructional stand point and another being from a support stand point. I am a firm believer that we can no longer do anything in this world without basic technologies and students with degrees should be fairly saavy, leaving it up to each instructor to use and require these technologies. (Another) However, I couldn't help but to feel for this faculty member who is sick and tired of annual training over a learning management system. I'm sure she would love for a May to pass quietly by without hearing anything of a version upgrade. Luckily I was able to look at the positive side of this version upgrade in order to offer these simple thoughts: (1) you don't have to use the new tools and (2) the grade center feature was soooooooooooooooooo needed. It's worth the 1.5 hours of training. She happily concured and we both went on our marry ways.