Today, we hear from Sally Spencer as part of our Faculty Share series. Dr. Spencer is an Associate Professor of Special Education at CSU Northridge.
Please speak to the importance of the LMS in your teaching.
I use the LMS extensively. I organize my class around it, and require students to use it for multiple functions. I always tell them that Moodle will have the most up to date information, and to follow updates on Moodle rather than be too dependent on the syllabus. It is a lifeline for me in organizing and managing my class.
How do you use the LMS? What are the LMS features you use and find crucial?
I post assignments there, have students turn in work there, use it for on-line elements, post links to videos and readings, and organize my class sessions on Moodle.
I most often use the grade book feature, assignments, grouping, wikis, discussion boards, quizzes, and forums.
Do you use the LMS to teach all your courses, or a few?
All. I can’t honestly imagine teaching a course without an LMS now.
Do you access the LMS using a mobile device? If so, for what purposes?
Yes, I will often check things on my cell phone or my iPad. I don’t do major revisions there, but will tweak small things or post an update on the forum from my mobile devices.
To your knowledge, do your students access your LMS course(s) on a mobile device? Do you have a sense of how that is working for them?
I teach in the My CSUN Tablet Initiative, so I know that many of them use iPads to access Moodle. I have seen them using cell phones to do that, too. It works for most things, but one of my frustrations is that they can’t post assignments to Moodle from an iPad. That is annoying.
Have you tried using the gradebook in any way other than keeping grades? Are there other features for which you find new uses?
I only use the gradebook for grades. I have used the book feature for my syllabus (although I’m not doing that currently) and I have used the glossary a couple of different ways: in one course I use it to post the Big Ideas from each class session, and in another I’ve used it to post pictures from the class. I find the Wikis very useful when students have to sign up for things, such as class presentations or meetings. I also use the quizzes for end of the year evaluations of the course content, to help me improve the content every semester.