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Wish List - nanoHUB.org: Wish #67

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Michael McLennan

Obliterate learning modules from nanoHUB.org

We should remove all mention of learning modules on the upload side, and de-emphasize learning modules on the front page and other menus. Some day, we should convert all existing learning modules to a “series” of lectures. Some learning modules include a quiz, so we might have to drop that part and make other adjustments during the conversion.

Comments (12)

  1. Joseph M. Cychosz

    I think the fundamental idea is that the general contributor isn’t contributing learning modules. They are complex and require a detailed understanding of the deliverables before embarking on that journey.

    I wouldn’t convert to a series, but rather a “course” where the there are exercises, etc. A series is not necessarily a learning experience. A well done course is. The NCN Summer School stuff for 2009 will be a good model for what this should look like.

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  2. Gerhard Klimeck

    we should think about the consequences on the SCORM (sp?) compliance…. is this relevant. Should discuss with Krishna

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  3. Krishna Madhavan

    Actually – I think – you can call it whatever – but, there are some real problems that learning modules solve. For example, we are working with Dragica on her PNDiode module – but, because it is not designed as a learning module – navigation is really hard. I don’t think a series makes sense when you are trying to sequence this when there are exercises etc. built into the “series”. I don’t think it is pedagogically a good idea to lose the context that is provided by a learning module. If this is purely political – then it is a different issue. Look at Dragica’s PNDiode piece and you will see how not having a coherent flow for things can be a real problem. Also, if someone uploads a series of lectures increasing and building on knowledge continuously then learning modules are the way to go.

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    1. Krishna Madhavan

      BTW, if there is some other easier mechanism that allows us to not lose the context – of navigating through a number of sequential/incremental content+homeworks+simulations+solved problems+exercises – then, it would be worth exploring that option. I am not sure “courses” do this.

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    2. Joseph M. Cychosz

      What about deploy as a topics page with the components as a resource.

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    3. Joseph M. Cychosz

      Here’s the MD learning module deployed as a topic page

      https://nanohub.org/topics/LearningModulePlasticityMD

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      1. Krishna Madhavan

        No – the topic page does not work. When you click on a link in the page – you leave the topic page and go to the new page. This results in a lose of flow for students and they have to either hit the back button or return back in some other way…..so – this is not good for keeping students within the context of the topic.

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      2. Joseph M. Cychosz

        Krishna, good point. This I think can be solved by linking directly to the breeze/mp4 files from the topics page so you stay in context of the learning module in the same manner we do with the LM component. I see the roll of the resource infrastructure solely as the place holder for the parts.

        I do like the concept of learning modules. I don’t think they should be part of the general contribute process (not to say that i still can’t do contribute/learingmodule, just remove from the top level choices) I have yet to see a learning module that produces an educational experience (as the usage numbers would seem to indicate)

        So my suggestion is, define what a learning module should look like to be effective and then create/shape the technology to delivery it. From my PLATO experience, I would agree that effective learning modules need some form of sequencing that is user sensitive. You return to the learning module it asks if you would like to continue from where you left off. We may not be able to sequence into the specific breeze presentation, but we should at least be able to get to the last component in the sequence. The breeze components need to be lesson oriented. Right now the ones used in LMs are really more of a lecture format.

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  4. Joseph M. Cychosz

    Mike’s wording is a little more harsh than what I suggested. My suggestion is to not remove learning modules from nanoHUB but rather remove it from the advertised contribute process. People deploying a learning module need to work with us to successfully deploy. The LM’s that I have deployed have been deployed as individual components using the backend.

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    1. Krishna Madhavan

      i think – the wording is not a problem…I am just wondering what mechanisms exist to sequence content without losing context. If there is something we should explore and drop LMs. I am not wedded to this – but, we just need to think through what better mechanisms exist. I think – the tool powered curricula themselves have this problem of students losing context…..something to discuss about.

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  5. George B. Adams III

    This wish is part of the larger issue that we have 11 named types of resources, including the catch-all “Publications”, and even we don’t know what they are.

    We need to re-think the typing of resources and rename them so that the general population has a better understanding of what they are. For example, among current resource type names: tool — insider slang; an opaque or misleading term to most people (noted by Prof. Mihaela Vorvoreanu) online presentations — courses, series, and workshops often are comprised of online presentations notes — vague

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    1. Joseph M. Cychosz

      Discussion for resource naming moved to its own wish:

      http://nanohub.org/wishlist/general/1/wish/247

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