Michael C. Warren

Technology and Education

EDLD 5370 Reflection on EDLD 5368 Instructional Design Course Assignments

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Looking back at the assignments for EDLD 5368 Instructional Design, I focused much of my attention in this course to the development of an online assignment through the website schoology.com. This course content management system was new both to Lamar educators as well as to us.  One of my biggest concerns that I can see school systems having is that student data is stored on a website that is hosted elsewhere and out of their control.  While our school district has taken the first leap in allow some data to be hosted with an external source, as we have moved our web hosting to eChalk where students have unique logins, and our pdas and student information is also posted through eduphoria’s SchoolObjects product.  Overtime I see that we will move our classrooms to web based scenarios.

One of the difficulties our school will run into is the cost of online course management solutions.  Such solutions as Blackboard can cost in the range of $10,000. While other solutions like Moodle are relatively free, but they are open source and may cause a risk in data.  For a while I worked with Moodle hosted on my personal server with students using to take tests and turn in assignments.  What I found is that it did take a large amount of time to initally get things up and running.  I was surprised that most teachers were not interested in moving to an automated based system in which students could log in and take a test and have it grade it instantly.

From what I have learned from my initial perspective to now is that while technology offers many new opportunities to learning, it is not easily implemented. Is it the lack of knowledge by teachers as to how to implement it, or is it just not wishing to change methods?  In either case it seems an online system that can be initiated over and over again, year after year would be the smart choice.

In using Schoology, I thought the site had some benefits, but lacked in a number of areas that was offered in Moodle. Looking at the service now, I can that it has grown significantly itself since we used it in our course.  It was good to work with students and fellow cohorts in testing out the Schoology service. We each created assignments and had others test them and provided feedback.

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