The phrase “recommending body for the learning management system (LMS)” sounds pretty dull, but it’s an important group of folks on our campus. AppState self-hosts our learning management system, which means it’s all in-house, and we don’t depend on a company to provide this service. Therefore we have both the flexibility and challenge to shape our Moodle environment to address the needs of our many faculty and students. It’s a daunting task because currently, we have about 59,000 logins a week to AsULearn. We have a small team trying to determine the needs of a great many users, and we can’t do it alone.
There is a group of dedicated faculty and staff who work with our administrators of the LMS every semester to improve the AsULearn experience for our campus. This group is made up of AsULearn users from a variety of colleges and organizations and grew out of a need to gain more insight on the campus needs for AsULearn from our stakeholders.
The LMS Advisory Group works with AsUlearn team to set strategic priorities for Appalachian State's Learning Management System, as well as examine and evaluate different features in AsULearn. Every semester this group helps make some critical decisions about the direction of AsUlearn. It’s hard work to make these decisions for everyone on campus, and we’ve benefitted from having their voices and perspectives in our meetings.
So what’s this group done?
In the last few years the LMS Advisory group worked with the AsULearn team to implement many changes. Here are just a few of the highlights both big and small from the last several semesters:
Voiced the need for faculty to have longer access to academic courses in past terms
Assisted in the ongoing development of a Moodle environment open to faculty to use in broad projects open to non-ASU users named AsULearn Global
Elected to have the Quickmail block installed by default in all courses, making it easier to email students from inside AsULearn
Approved installing the Export Component Grades, a plugin that allows instructors to export the data/grades from a Rubric or Marking Guide for a given assignment into a spreadsheet
Piloted and enabled the "Workshop" module in AsULearn, which allows for student-peer review activities
Approved changing the default text editor in AsULearn
Moved to add the “one-stop spot” for changing all due dates in a course
Provided feedback for multiple upgrades to the Moodle LMS
Many in this group of faculty and staff have served in this group for multiple semesters, even years, without a lot of fanfare or rewards. As we enter the season of giving thanks, I’m reflecting on this key group of stakeholders on our campus.
Thank you all for your service.