But first, what does the term ‘flat-file CMS’ mean? In a nutshell, content is stored as individual text files rather than in a database.








They’re Not Learners, They’re People (via technkl.com)

They’re not learners, they’re people

While I’ve been using the term learner experience (LX) design myself for several years, I am finding it more and more problematic.

Too often people think of learner experience design separate from, or a subset of, user experience design, but this is misleading and certainly not what I have found the situation to be. Learner experience design also assumes the audience in question are just learners, which is not the case either (they are people with goals to accomplish).

So what’s an alternative? Perhaps “experience design for [domain]”. From my perspective it’s all about embedding the full-stack of UX into any domain in partnership with all the other essential aspects (skills, knowledge, challenges, etc.) of that particular domain.

UPDATE: Another alternative that comes to mind is “design for [domain] and experience” as this places the elements of the domain (i.e. learning in this case) and experience close together and on equal footing. It also once again avoids assuming that the audience in question are just learners.

Key learner experience design goals:

  • Engaging
  • Convenient
  • Organized
  • Relevant
  • Enjoyable

Key facilitator experience design goals (likely to supercede my earlier set of Desired Qualities of a Flipped-LMS):

  • Controllable (i.e. manageable)
  • Collaborative
  • Pliable (i.e. flexible)
  • Convenient
  • Enjoyable

I am excited to be presenting my approach of a Flipped-LMS at Simon Fraser University’s DEMOFest 2015 on November 24th.

Here is the description of my session:

Flipping the LMS: Benefits and Lessons Learned of Using an Alternative Front-end to Canvas

Let’s be honest, as course facilitators we want to deliver the best possible online learner experience but at the same time make our own experience as convenient as possible. LMSs, such as Canvas, provide some great pedagogical elements but often fall short when it comes to such things as streamlined course updates, content reuse, easy customization, and providing a truly open platform. The solution? Flip the LMS!

A flipped-LMS is an approach where an open platform, chosen by an instructor, provides an alternative (and preferably collaborative) front-end to their institutional LMS. In this presentation Paul will demonstrate how this approach can produce significant improvements to both the student and instructor experience. Elements from Paul’s personal toolkit to be highlighted will include Canvas (naturally), the open source flat-file CMS Grav, and GitHub Desktop.

Presentation Slides

A flipped-LMS approach is where an open platform, in the control of instructors and students, serves as an alternative front-end to the institutional LMS.

With this approach, instructors can create better outcomes and experiences for students and themselves today. Deep-links to any needed LMS elements (i.e. assignment submissions, discussion forums, grades, etc.) with flow-through for user authentication is the only back-end requirement.

Explore an example flipped-LMS implementation, created for my Simon Fraser University CMPT 363 course and built with the open source CMS Grav + Instructure’s Canvas LMS at http://paulhibbitts.net/cmpt-363-163/.

Desired qualities of a flipped-LMS approach:

  • Open (Platform + Data)
  • Collaborative
  • Choice (Instructor/Student)
  • Pliable
  • Networked

Definition:
A flipped-LMS is an approach where an open platform, chosen by an instructor, provides an alternative front-end to their institutional LMS. Deep links (i.e. direct links) are provided to any required LMS elements such as discussions, assignments, grades, etc.

A flipped-LMS also enables a”flip” of ownership of the course experience to the hands of instructors and students.

A live example of a flipped-LMS approach, using the CMS Grav and Canvas LMS, is at: http://paulhibbitts.net/cmpt-363-163/.

Flipped-LMS Approach Decision Flowchart

Figure 1. Basic flowchart to illustrate a flipped-LMS decision pathway (http://bit.ly/201zVj0)