Apr 16
Using LEARN for Learning

In my face to face courses, I have always used LEARN extensively to support my teaching. But, like all of us, I'm learning new things. Here are two little tweaks I have tried with LEARN:

Woman at computer.jpgIn my fully online asynchronous course, I have a module under Content for each week. To ensure students still progress through the material together, I set a date restriction for each module. Automatically the next week's lessons are released each week. However, I learned from my colleague Shannon Derksen in Teacher Education that students can still see the content that's restricted by date, they just can't open any of it. I think even seeing it all is overwhelming to students. So, Shannon taught me an extra tip. I also choose “hide from users" for future modules. It does mean a manual switch each week to change the module to “visible" but I think it protects my students from information overload. The only new resources they see each week is what is required for that week. 

In this normally face to face course I'm teaching, the students used to do a paper (and colored pencil crayon!) brainstorming activity. Instead, I set up the activity using the Quiz function in LEARN. Students use that space to record their brainstorming for each question. It was easy for me to review and provide feedback, even though no marks were attached. And, after the deadline I ensured the “quiz" is open and there is no end date set. This way students can go back and access the questions and their answers using “submission views".

What about you? Have you learned some new features in LEARN over the past month? Have you used LEARN in new ways over the past month? Sign in above and then comment below.



FF@4 is a face to face check in via Webex for faculty and those who work with students. We meet each Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM. Just like participating in the blog, FF@4 is voluntary. Join on a day that is convenient for you and when the topic is interesting to you.

Today's FF@4 we'll be further brainstorming tips and tricks in LEARN. Here is the link to today's meeting. You are most welcome to join!

UPDATE: Sorry to those colleagues who tried to join today's FF@4. There appears to be a significant Webex issue that is impacting users ability to join meetings at the moment. Unfortunately today's FF@4 will be canceled.


I've also used the "hide fr...

I've also used the "hide from user" function for my dropbox, to ensure students do not submit to the wrong one, and to reduce the shock or overwhelm factor (by the end of the term, there may be 15+ dropbox folders!)

I'm definitely going to use your quiz idea Janine!

For one of my final exams we are using dropbox, since Learn quiz is not as user friendly for long answer (scrolling is an issue).  The exam instructions and exam document is attached to the folder.  It will open at 8:30 and close at 10:30 (special user access for those students with accommodations).  I'm excited to try it.  Each instructor has also put their Webex link in the exam document so students can access WebEx for exam questions as they are writing if needed.
Picture Placeholder: Lindsay Mulholland
  • Lindsay Mulholland
 on 4/16/2020 11:09 AM

These are good tips, Janine...

These are good tips, Janine, when you are past the LEARN newbie stage. It is a small effort that can have a big impact on the students' day-to-day experience in LEARN to reduce overwhelm. I think it would also be good if students can access an outline/schedule of all the work expected for the term at a glance so students can see the big picture, and can determine where they are in the timeline. When I am in the student role, having less day-to-day exposure to content but also access to a timeline when I want it would be a good user experience.
Picture Placeholder: Roberta J Anderson
  • Roberta J Anderson
 on 4/16/2020 11:45 AM

Lindsay, thanks for sharing...

Lindsay, thanks for sharing that tip! I didn't know you could hide dropboxes too. You're right -  assessment overload is just as overwhelming as information overload in the content modules. I appreciate your point too Roberta. Maybe moving the Instructional Schedule from our outlines could be an option? I know you're talking about a big picture timeline, but I also think it's important for us to use the calendar function in LEARN. The significance for students is that LEARN can show all the calendars at once which helps students with planning for important dates and deadlines in multiple courses.
Picture Placeholder: Janine Carmichael
  • Janine Carmichael
 on 4/16/2020 12:10 PM

The course I am currently t...

The course I am currently teaching through LEARN is highly interactive and usually provided in class.  While needing to acknowledge students would be engaging in the course work at different times of the week (asynchronous), I didn't want to lose the learning that comes from interaction.  I enrolled 2-3 students in groups and created closed discussion forums so the students can chat back and forth, developing their ideas together throughout the week.  The small, closed groups allow a realistic amount of interaction to occur (I didn't want to overload the students with too many ideas that would occur in a large/full class discussion). It also provides me with an opportunity to see how students are developing their ideas together, and I can ensure all students are participating.  If a group seems stuck or gets off track, I can offer a question or some encouragement to reignite the conversation.  The discussions have been rich and the vast majority of students are responding to their group mates' comments in a short amount of time. 
Picture Placeholder: Tara  Mullen
  • Tara Mullen
 on 4/16/2020 12:15 PM

Great ideas. Thanks for sha...

Great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

For the minimalists out there...I've found LEARN to be quite busy--visually, so I really like the custom NavBar option, which allows you to delete, rearrange, and rename all of the tabs that students see.
Picture Placeholder: Kevin Boon
  • Kevin Boon
 on 4/16/2020 1:58 PM

Intelligent Agents - send a...

Intelligent Agents - send automated emails to students based on whatever criteria you want. I've currently got ones for weekly check ins, no submission to certain dropboxes after the deadline is passed, and no view of certain content topics. Fewer things for me to remember to do!

Edit: You don't have to send the email reminders only to students - you can send yourself a list of students who meet certain criteria too! Super handy tool.
Picture Placeholder: Jocelyne Olson
  • Jocelyne Olson
 on 4/16/2020 2:05 PM