Learning about Learning Management System

Selecting the perfect Learning Management System (LMS) is essential to ensure the success of the e-learning aspect of our class. However, deciding which LMS to use may be difficult, and many factors come into play. We have to have a clear sense of what we are trying to achieve with the LMS to come up with the right selection. Exploring stakeholders’ perspectives may help us in deciding which LMS to use.

From student perspectives, we learned that the students would use the LMS to help them access learning materials, so they need an LMS that is organized, clear, simple, and easy to use. From faculty members perspectives, they will use LMS to deliver the content of their class, so to the content structure should be flexible and not restrictive. Faculty members will also need learning analytics that will be able to track learner progression to identify learning gaps and improve students’ learning experience. From administrator perspectives, a perfect LMS has to be affordable, concordance with other schools within the university, and manageable.

To conclude, the perfect learning management system will have to cater to the needs of these three different stakeholders. By identifying the needs of people who will use the LMS and assessing the support that we need in managing the LMS, we could select the appropriate LMS that will enhance students’ learning.

Media Development

Choosing the right media for teaching could be frustrating, and this week session taught us the importance of considering its’ pedagogical aspects when deciding what media that we are going to use to enhance our students’ learning experience. After a careful analysis of media use in education, for our capstone project, we think that a combination of text and video would help us best in assisting students in learning. We use video because we want to explain the concept of a clinical learning environment and we also want to illustrate a phenomenon in the student-teacher relationship. We use text because we feel that content in written language will help us in providing abstraction and generalization of the learning environment and student-teacher relationship concept.

Competency-Based Education

This Monday in class we had a fascinating discussion on competency-based education. Competency-based education allows students to advance their skills at their own pace despite its’ learning environment. This method will help educators in achieving personalized learning experience for students. If we are designing for equity, we could use competency-based education to help all students succeed.

Reflecting on my capstone project, I am quite uncertain whether this competency-based education could be implemented in online faculty development. Moreover, what are the incentives that will make them interested in this type of online faculty development? What would make them want to complete the learning environment module if this is not a requirement? Will giving them badges motivate them?

Designing Authentic Assessment

Earlier this week, we learned that it is vital to incorporate authentic assessment into our design for the capstone project. We are thinking to create an authentic assessment that will be able to see how our targeted learners perform real-world tasks and demonstrate meaningful application of the knowledge. Our learners will need to demonstrate an understanding of positive relationship building with medical students in the clinical learning environment. However, we think that this will be difficult in an online faculty development module and we are now wondering what the best method to assess this competency is.

Defining the Problem

This week, we have the opportunity to present our project to the Clinical Affiliate Liaison Group (CALG) of Harvard Medical School. We will use this opportunity to gather information from the leadership stakeholders on one problem in the Primary Clinical Experience (PCE) learning environment at Harvard Medical School. Using one single data is not enough to reframe the problem. Thus, we need to gather more data from multiple stakeholders to find the core problem that we are trying to solve.

We understand that we are still in the early stage of our project, and we acknowledge that it is essential to follow the stepwise design approach. We hope that the feedback that we will get from tomorrow’s presentation will help us in designing a human-centered learning experience.

Learning about Design

This week’s class made me reflect on the way how I understand how people learn and the way I know about learning design. It is fascinating to realize that these two aspects are related to each other. Moreover, this week I visited again backward design that I previously learned in a different course. Upon reflecting on what is the ultimate goal of my capstone project, it allowed me to pinpoint on what domain or competencies that I would want the learners to master after my capstone project. I also need to know what are the evidence that will be able to show whether the learners have already learned those competencies or not. The outcome of our project should be measured, so students will understand what are the expectations and operate within the model that the designer intends.

Learning about Learning

This week we had the opportunity to learn about learning theories.  It is fascinating to learn that there are proven and scientific theories that could help and guide us in designing learning. Some people are born with extraordinary teaching skills eventhough they do not learn any teaching theory. But this condition is rare, and only a few people who are born with it. I believe that I am a person that was not born with this skill, and by having a thorough understanding about these learning theories will help me understand how our learners learn, and what particular teaching styles that work for them. Learning about learning theories can guide us in making decision in the classroom and help us when we face an instructional problem.  I also learned that these theories are not always mutually exclusive, and can be used in combination based on one’s particular educational situation.


Understanding Our Learners

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. – HP Lovecrafts’  The Call of  Cthulhu

Earlier this week, we were asked to read HP Lovecraft’s’ The Call of Cthulhu as our first assignment, and it completely blew my mind. The premise of the story and the Frog and Fish video taught us about the importance of knowing our learners. Preconceived notions that the students have may affect what they believe and what they learn. These beliefs will probably impede effective communication and interfere with students’ learning.

I also learned that the students are not the only ones who are responsible for their learning; educators need to be responsible for students’ learning as well. When designing a learning experience, educators need to identify the learners and bridge the assumptions that they may have to ensure learning transfer. As I looked back to my capstone project, I realized that this is a challenge that I need to work on. My targets are adult learners who I assumed already understand a little about the learning environment, but they probably do not, or they probably have a piece of preconception in this field. I need further exploration of students’ background, interest, and knowledge before I start designing an educational activity for them.