OER course winding down

Posted on April 1, 2015


… semester is winding *up* and it’s busy in here.   I am utterly stumped by what we’re supposed to do with our “Moodle Shell course,” but figure it’s time to actually build my lessons.

Integrating OER and interactive online stuff into an online course is challenging, though.   If I send people over to mathplayground.com, it’s not “open” so even if I could download it or replicate it on my end, it would be a breach of law and ethics.   I wonder if snagging a screen shot is built into any of these online course platforms; it’s certainly not a skill that shoudl be a requirement for my course.   I’m thinking that if students go to http://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/math-trainer-multiply.html that yea, they’ll learn the tiems tables and I can assess it in the course, but it would be nice to have a way to know just how much they had practiced…

In all its Skinnerian glory, I’m afraid that ‘gamification’ drives up student engagement.   I can even imagine adults practicing their multiplication tables.   This takes actual programming, though, and I haven’t seen OER that had that interactivity.   I *think* it could be done in Moodle or BrightSpace or Canvas … I have to figure out which platform to try to figure out 😉   I had hoped I might get facile w/ Moodle in the OER course but the dabbling we did in the face-to-face didn’t do the job, and the “shell” is full of instructions that make absolutely no sense.   The pages that are supposed to outline how to plan a lesson tell me what things are in terms I don’t already know.   For example:

  • There are 4 format types to choose from when editing text in the content description box. If you wish to have the usual rich text editing icons, choose HTML format. (Note – once you have selected an option, you cannot then go back and change your mind!) However, if you DO choose HTML format, be warned that the student will not see the changes (such as bold or different colours) in the button.

Might I ask, what button?   WHat are the other format types?   If you’re trying to be nice to a person who doesn’t know enough to decide, then be nice enough to tell me what you even *mean* by “format type.”   What changes won’t students see? What is a content description box anyway?

I’m told that this is what it was like when our college moved to BrightSpace/D2L (“Cobra”) from Angel.   Happily, our Distance and Virtual Learning (now Peedit or “PRofessional Development and INstructional Technology”) people have since made sweet little videos explaining the THings You’ll Want To Do, except not for badges yet and… IMHO badges are gonna be important.

And I *think* the best thing to prioritize now is designing What I Want My Course To Be, including Everything, now that I have a much better idea of What Everything Is.

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