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THIS PAGE IS RETIRED

This page is no longer active, however is still available for review as an archive of previous work and thought.

DRAFT

The content below is taken from Eileen's first pass at the faculty survey via Google Docs Form . Let's continue to build out this survey in the space below.

DRAFT

New Learning Platform Needs Assessment - For Faculty

As of January 2013, Blackboard Vista 8 will no longer be supported by Blackboard. A multi-campus committee has been formed to create a Request For Information (RFI) document for the next generation Learning Platform (LP). Because you are familiar with how to use Blackboard we need your help to understand what features and functionality are important in the selection of the next platform. The results of this survey will be used to determine the requirements for the next learning platform. Please take a couple of minutes to answer this anonymous survey.Thank you!


* Required

  1. - Please define terms below on your campus. -
    What type of course do you teach?* (select all that apply)
    1. fully online courses
    2. web-enhanced courses
    3. blended courses
    4. non-credit/workforce development courses
  2. How long have you used Blackboard or another Learning Platform?* (select one)
    1. 1 -2 semesters
    2. 3 - 5 semesters
    3. 6+ semesters
    4. I have not used a Learning Management System.
  3. - SCALE (1 = not important - 5 = very important) -
    What aspects of a Learning Platform interface do you consider most important?*
    1. is easy to learn and use
    2. is easy to upload/update files and pages.
    3. has consistent look and feel throughout.
    4. includes a “student view”.
    5. is customizable to my teaching style (can we change this to a "variety of teaching styles" rather than "my")
    6. able to add tools from the Web
    7. course home page can have a customizable (web-design like) look. (not sure exactly what this means)
    8. Other: ________________
  4. - SCALE (1 = not important - 5 = very important) -
    What do you consider most important to the administration of your course?*
    1. interface and tools are intuitive and easy to use and learn
    2. able to work quickly and efficiently
    3. ability to track students in a variety of ways
    4. works with e-packs and other publisher content
    5. able to develop course materials and teach collaboratively
    6. new web-based tools (such as wikis, google docs, gadgets, etc.) can be added easily
    7. tools all integrate well (gradebook, assignments, assessments, etc.)
    8. all tools have a similar look and feel
    9. works with Respondus or other Test Generators
    10. works on multiple platforms - mac, pc, linx, etc. (admin item)
    11. options for different reporting formats (admin item)
    12. easy to export or migrate course (admin item)
    13. speed of log-on and basic operations (same as #2 and should be removed)
    14. faculty and student views are same (what does this mean? As a faculty member wouldn't you want a faculty view for course admin but then be able to access the student view so you can preview changes? Why would you want them the same? Maybe we should reword or remove this one)
    15. course level content can be pushed to section level (admin item)
    16. students can add tools to the to the course
    17. Other (text box here)
  5. - SCALE (1 = not important - 5 = very important) -
    What tools do you value MOST for teaching?*
    1. synchronous chat tool
    2. discussion/graded discussion tool
    3. blog tool
    4. wiki tool
    5. assignment tool
    6. testing/quiz tool
    7. announcement tool
    8. email tool
    9. online gradebook
    10. group tool
    11. peer review features
    12. selective release
    13. optional exchange of content
  6. Is there anything else you would like the Learning Platform Committee to know?
    (text box here)

13 Comments

  1. Q5
    If someone was "shopping" for a new LMS for me as a faculty member, I would want to share fairly explict information about what teaching tools are most used and most critical from my perspective  (and maybe those are different questions?).  Q5 is getting to that, I think.  But- if I were answering this question, I would have to leave it blank and explain that more than 3 are "cannot live without", and thus I cannot answer the question.    For example- I could not use any LMS that did not provide b,c,d and h and I am not sure what h is, although I assume it would include assessments, assignments, and a gradebook all of which are critical tools.  But- I would also like to weigh in and share my feelings about the importance ofthe other items on the list.  On this question, in particular, I think it would be good to allow a scale to rate  each "tool" and I think h needs to be more explicit. 

    I think there should also be a space for comments about each tool.  (For example, I would want to add a comment about which aspects of some tools were the impt features-- as not all tools with the same function will be comparable.)  This would be optional of course- but I think that would be useful feedback.

    Q4
    Perhaps add an "other" here as well.

  2. For question #5 above, here are my thoughts:

    I removed/moved most of the items that were originally here and replaced them with the following list of teaching tools, which, as a faculty member, I find to be most relevant to teaching. I think that we need to present this as a “select all” and perhaps rate these; and not limit people to the top 3 or 4.

    1. synchronous chat tool
    2. discussion/graded discussion tool
    3. blog tool
    4. wiki tool
    5. assignment tool
    6. assessment tool
    7. announcement tool
    8. email tool
    9. online gradebook
    10. group tool
    11. peer review features
    12. selective release
    13. publish materials openly (what does this mean?)

  3. I feel that #6 is a bit leading as written. I’m not sure who would say that they would *not* like the newest technology available. I think what we are trying to say here is something like:

    6. How would you describe your basic philosophy with regards to a Learning Platform:

    1. I  prefer a learning platform which is based on open source software in which tools are non-integrated and Web-based (google docs, wikispaces, blogger, etc.).
    2. I  prefer a more structured learning platform with tools that are integrated, and have a similar look and feel.

  4. Q4
    I have edited and added some things to question 4 from above. My comments are in bold.

    4. What do you consider most important to the administration of your course? (select all that apply)

    (I don't think we can limit these. We need to either rate them on a scale of importance or do a select all that apply - I would favor a rating scale)

    1. interface and tools are intuitive and easy to use and learn
    2. able to work quickly and efficiently
    3. ability to track students in a variety of ways
    4. works with e-packs and other publisher content
    5. able to develop course materials and teach collaboratively
    6. new web-based tools (such as wikis, google docs, gadgets, etc.) can be added easily
    7. tools all integrate well (gradebook, assignments, assessments, etc.)
    8. all tools have a similar look and feel
    9. works with Respondus or other Test Generators
    10. works on multiple platforms - mac, pc, linx, etc. (admin item)
    11. options for different reporting formats (admin item)
    12. easy to export or migrate course (admin item)
    13. speed of log-on and basic operations (same as #2 and should be removed)
    14. faculty and student views are same (what does this mean? As a faculty member wouldn't you want a faculty view for course admin but then be able to access the student view so you can preview changes? Why would you want them the same? Maybe we should reword or remove this one)
    15. course level content can be pushed to section level (admin item)
    16. students can add tools to the to the course
    17. Other ________________

  5. I would like to see us add the following question.

    What type of course do you teach:
    Undergraduate courses
    Graduate Courses
    Both

    I think it is important to know whether each respondee teaches Undergraduate or Graduate level courses.

    1. For the Worcester campus the demographics of interest would be by school--Which school do you teach for:
      -Graduate School of Nursing
      -Gradiate School of Biomedical Sciences
      -School of Medicine
      -Graduate Medical Education
      -Continuing Education

  6. For question 3, like with other questions either "select all" or a rating scale would work better. Also, I think the wording needs to be more clear:

    3. What aspects of a Learning Platform interface do you consider most important?

    1. is easy to learn and use
    2. is easy to upload/update files and pages.
    3. has consistent look and feel throughout.
    4. includes a “student view”.
    5. is customizable to my teaching style (can we change this to a "variety of teaching styles" rather than "my")
    6. able to add tools from the Web
    7. course home page can have a customizable (web-design like) look. (not sure exactly what this means)
    8. Other: ________________

  7. In the paragraph at the beginning of the survey that describes the purpose, we should add an explanation about what will be done with the survey results. The participants will need to know if the survey’s results will be used to justify changes or reconfirmation of the current LMS.

  8. Regarding Question 1: at Amherst the "mode of teaching" in the student information system (for both CPE/UmassOnline and residential courses) is classified based on the required elements of the course. This helped us get past confusion about terms like "web-enhanced" and "blended"

    * Online (no required face-to-face)
    * Online plus In-Person (some required face-to-face)
    * Blended (roughly equal work required both face-to-face and online)
    * In-Person plus Online (some required online)
    * In-Person (no required online)

    This lets online students know if a class requires some face-to-face (like University Without Walls) and lets residential students know if a face-to-face course requires online activities (such as courses that require viewing of recorded lectures or require OWL work). I'd recommend allowing "In-person (no required)" as an option in case some of the respondents are at a campus that uses UmassOnline as a vehicle for both its online and face-to-face courses. Knowing how many opt out of requiring online activities in their face-to-face classes could be useful information for prioritizing certain features.

  9. Question 5: Some alternatives that focus on the learning activity, not specifying the tools

    "When teaching my online class, I want to:"

    * Post announcements about the class.
    * Post my handouts, presentations, and other written course materials.
    * Post links to materials in repositories and libraries.
    * Post links to external tools that offer features I need.
    * Post audio or video course content (recorded lectures, other media).
    * Facilitate written student interaction (bulletin board, discussion).
    * Facilitate live written student interaction (text chat).
    * Facilitate live audio or video student interaction (audio or video).
    * Facilitate reflective student work (blogs, portfolios).
    * Facilitate peer review of student work.
    * Facilitate collaborative student work (group documents, presentations, wikis).
    * Deliver online surveys, quizzes or exams.
    * Deliver online software or simulations.
    * Deliver comments, grades, and feedback to individual students.
    * Release content to students based on date, time, group affiliation, etc.
    * Create and manage groups of students.

  10. Question 3: The answers to this question could give us a sense of the instructors' preference for a single all-in-one solution vs. a group of tools. It will also give us a sense of their tolerance for cutting-edge technologies vs. stable tried-and-true technologies.

    Suggestion:

    "Overall, I want to teach in an online environment that:"

    * has many tools and features, so that I can adapt it to my teaching style.
    * has a simple interface, with just a few well-designed tools.
    * is a single platform with everything I and my students need in one place.
    * is an open platform which can easily link to or incorporate external tools.
    * is customizable, so that I can control the design and organization of my course.
    * makes it easy to use the latest tools for online teaching.
    * is stable, even if it means not having access to the latest bells and whistles.

    The following options seem to be easy "yes" answers to any question about interfaces, so I'd leave them out:

    * User Interface is well designed - able to do tasks quickly and efficiently
    * User Interface is cross platform - works on multiple platforms - mac, pc, linx, etc.
    * User Interface is fast - log-on and basic operations happen quickly

  11. Question 4:  "What do you consider most important to the administration of your course? * (select only 5 )"

    This seems to be a mix of two themes:

    4a: Do they want to build their own courses and content? or do they prefer to build off previous work by themselves or others? How much do they want to be able to swap content with other instructors and on other systems?

    4b: Do they want a grading tool that is built in to the system? or do they use their own tool (Excel)? How much do they value giving feedback over giving simple letter grades?

    Therefore I'd suggest:

    4a: "When designing my online course I want to:"

    * Control which tools are available for my students to use.
    * Be able to control all visual aspects of the course (colors, fonts, icons, etc.)
    * Import course content from publishers, test generators, etc.
    * Export whole courses in a format that can be used and imported elsewhere.
    * Reuse my previous courses as templates for my future classes.
    * Export course content (quizzes, modules) in a format that can be used and imported elsewhere.
    * Use templates and other content that is provided by the department or other instructors.
    * Create templates and other content that can be used by other instructors.
    * Be able to see exactly what my students see.
    * Allow students to contribute content & edit pages in the course site.
    * Allow other staff/instructors contribute content & edit pages in the course site.

    4b: "When managing student grades and evaluations, I want to:"

    * View a variety of reports of student data & tracking.
    * See an individual student's activity on the site.
    * See summaries of all student activity on the site.
    * Enter and calculate grades directly in the system.
    * Release grades and comments to students.
    * Associate comments with individual assignments and discussion items.
    * Mark up submissions from students.
    * Check student submissions for originality.
    * Import grades and data from other systems.
    * Export grades and data for use in other systems.

  12. I promised to post official SLOAN-C definitions for question #1, sorry for the delay:

    Web-enhanced: Course that uses web-based technology to facilitate what is essentially a face-to-face course. Uses a course management system (CMS) or web pages to post the syllabus and
    assignments, for example. Proportion of content delivered online: 1 to 29%

    Blended: Course that blends online and face-to-face delivery. Substantial proportion of the content is delivered online, typically uses online discussions, and typically has some face-to-face
    meetings. Proportion of content delivered online: 30 to 79%

    Online: A course where most or all of the content is delivered online. Typically have no face-to-face meetings. Proportion of content delivered online: 80+%

    Source: SLOAN-C report Online Nation - Five Years of Growth in Online Learning, Allen & Seaman 2007.