Beyond the LMS
As I think about my teaching for next year, what kind of relationship do I want with my students. The fact that I even ask such a question suggests that I do want some kind of relationship, rather than a more “at arms’ length” association.
So, within our institutional framework, how do I foster a good relationship. For many, the primary point of contact with students—outside of the classroom—is through Canvas (the University’s LMS … learning management system). I have been thinking how to organise my course within Canvas to support/build a relationship with students, but, alas Canvas as we currently use it doesn’t seem to be up to the job.
The more I think about it, the less I think I need Canvas as my point of contact with students. If I want a relationship with students, something dialogue based, then the use of something centralised, like Canvas, seems like a mis-fit. What I need is something that better supports a dialogue. Something like …
Email, twitter, etc. Something that is inherently two-way in nature.
What would this look like? Well it would be more event driven. I imagine something based around the following four events (in no particular order):
- Student enrols in the course
- Student un-enrols in the course
- Student is allocated grades/marks for an assignment
- Student completes the course.
For each of these events I could generate the appropriate email:
- Enrolment – pack of information about the course, any needed content, calendar (ICS) information, etc.
- Un-enrolment – thanks and a request for ‘diagnostic’ information as to why they unenrolled.
- Grade allocation: Details of the grade, personalised feedback on the assessment, details of their standing in the class as a result of the assessment (e.g., a summary of their grades), some guidance for their overall improvement, etc.
- Completion: Final grades, ranking within class, course evaluation etc.
I think that would work. What do you think?