LAMS: Learning Management System

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Learning Design using Learning Activity Management System (LAMS)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you consider the “Continuum of Shift” applied to learning management systems, at one end you have a content centric tool like Blackboard, then you find Moodle in the middle, and at the other activity centric end you have LAMS being used for interactive learning sequences and constructivist design in teaching. LAMS provides teachers with a highly intuitive visual authoring environment for creating sequences of learning activities. These activities can include a range of individual tasks, small group work and whole class activities based on both content and collaboration. I believe this is the most useful tool for developing strong pedagogy in learning design we have available. When I tell people in workshops “it is Learning Design, not for dummies, but time strapped academics”. I usually have their attention.

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I discovered this wonderful new software tool in 2005 and have been tracking its development since. In June 2011 I organized a visiting teacher from Macquarie University (home of LAMS) to run two workshops on LAMS and 50 academics were very interested. We could only accept 10 into a trial for the rest of 2011 and the results are coming in. There is a ground swell for use in 2012.

Please read the typical student feedback from the project so far.

Assoc. Prof. Mike Keller of the School of Agriculture Food and Wine reported back to his students: “Your responses indicated that the use of innovative teaching techniques was effective. Out of 57 comments that mentioned LAMS directly or indirectly, 44 were favorable and 13 were either unfavorable or equivocal. Overall, your participation in the trial and SELT responses to it gave me encouragement to use it again.”

Dr. Laura Hardefelt from the School of Animal and Veterinary Science developed an innovative learning sequence using scenario-based learning. Laura is intending to use 24 of these “virtual patients” in her course next year. Colleagues beta tested this. A representative comment was: “The student has to come up with problem lists and differentials based on the case and their own reading. This will begin the step from academia into action, translating theory into practice. This is an excellent bridging tool, well done.”

Ms Tanya Wittwer, Lecturer in Public Health, used LAMS with a practical class of 80 students. “The students were very positive about using the LAMS sequence, with the most common comment being that it provided an interactive experience and was easy to use. Many also said it was fun.” [/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section]