[DG: Teaching & Learning] [DG: User Experience] Interesting blog post on CMS user interfaces
jacques.raynauld at hec.ca
Tue Nov 3 05:51:29 PST 2009
I also agree. It is a very interesting article. I have always been
struck by the Moodle first page template that naturally leads to a week
or theme interpretation by users. I think it is one of the important
factor that explains Moodle popularity. This is the kind of need we
wanted to adress in Sakai/Open Syllabus ... but in a more semantic way
-------- Message original --------
Sujet : Re: [DG: User Experience] Interesting blog post on CMS user
De : harriet at caret.cam.ac.uk
Pour : Michael Korcuska <mkorcuska at sakaifoundation.org>
Copie à : "pedagogy at collab.sakaiproject.org Learning"
<pedagogy at collab.sakaiproject.org>, Sakai UX
<sakai-ux at collab.sakaiproject.org>
Date : 2009-11-03 04:58
> Very interesting - thanks Michael!
> There were a couple of paras that struck me particularly as relating to the
> possibilities for the new Sakai 3:
> "The buttons link to pages that simply provide a place to upload a document,
> which is exactly what most instructors do: upload word--processed files of their
> classroom materials. They are encouraged to "plug in" their content under the
> appropriate category instead of envisioning a translation of their individual
> pedagogical style into an online environment. Blackboard "tends to encourage a
> linear pathway through the content" , and its default is to support easy
> uploading and text entry to achieve that goal.
> The construction of the course syllabus is a familiar beginning point for most
> instructors, yet few CMSs consider this. It would be natural and useful for
> novice instructors to see a blank schedule into which they could create each
> week's or unit's activities, rather than a selection of pre--set buttons or
> links. Most professors think in terms of the semester, and how their
> pedagogical goals can be achieved within the context of time, rather than
> space. Some think in terms of topics they want to cover. Blackboard/WebCT's
> default organization accepts neither of these approaches in its initial
> interface. It forces the instructor to think in terms of content types instead,
> breaking the natural structure of the semester, or of a list of topics. Again,
> we know that the setup can be customized with relative ease, by going to the
> Control Panel and selecting Manage Course Menu, then using Modify buttons. You
> could change all the course menu buttons into "Week 1", "Week 2", or organize
> by topic instead of content type. But few professors try that, or they assume
> that they can't do it. Blackboard can be highly intimidating to learn, and may
> "seriously hinder" choices the faculty member makes while using the tool .
> Faculty are led by the interface of a CMS not only because they do not
> immediately see an alternative, but because the familiar signposts (the
> Syllabus button) imply a single way of completing the task (upload a document).
> Only the Moodle system provides a default setup that looks like a calendar-style
> syllabus ..."
> I'd agree very strongly with this statement about pedagogies, and the initial
> presentation of potential course structures, rather than tools, to the
> lecturer, seems to be something that Sakai 3 has the potential to support
> "Although it is an oversimplification, it is useful to separate course
> management systems into two types: Opt--In and Opt--Out. In an Opt--Out system
> (such as Blackboard) all the features are available by default and must be
> excluded to avoid confusing students. Opt--Out systems are most likely to
> overwhelm Web novices, because they present an array of tools, and the tendency
> is to reduce cognitive load by using the defaults. In an Opt--In system (such as
> Moodle), the instructor selects each activity and presentation factor from a
> menu list, effectively designing much of the interface for students. Fewer
> defaults are pre--set, forcing the instructor to think holistically about the
> class structure. Features such as chat, polls, and interactive lessons as
> options presented with the same weight as more traditional text--based
> resources. Thus there is less of an implication that presentation is key, and
> more of an implication that interactivity is important. In an Opt--In
> environment, the instructor makes choices about context on a macro level, and
> choices about features and tools on a micro level. This makes it possible to
> explore pedagogical options more freely"
> Again, perhaps a future strength of Sakai 3?
> Quoting Michael Korcuska <mkorcuska at sakaifoundation.org>:
>> It's worth a read....
>> Michael Korcuska
>> Executive Director, Sakai Foundation
>> mkorcuska at sakaifoundation.org
>> phone: +1 510-859-4247 (google voice)
>> skype: mkorcuska
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