To understand why the traditional LMS sucks, first we need to understand how a student learns a concept.
When the students are given the opportunity to learn a concept themselves, it helps them truly understand the problem. And because students are more creative and open to possibilities, they often find a better and easier solution to the problems. It also gives them a sense of achievement that motivates them to do more.
“Learning is constructed by what activities the students carry out; learning is about what they do, not about what we teachers do.”
John Biggs, on Constructive Alignment
Why the traditional LMS don’t work as they are supposed to?
Most of the mainstream LMSs (Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard etc.) are designed primarily as teacher’s aid, as a repository for storing information, with a little thought given to the student’s experience. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out (except you may need one to use the software). It doesn’t seem like a very good choice, as 80–90% users of the software are the students. However, all this might make sense since students aren’t the one paying for the software.
Though the traditional LMSs support student activity, such as discussion boards, surveys, tests, wiki etc — they are only the add-ons that a teacher has to enable manually. And for most of the not-so-tech-savvy teachers, it doesn’t feel very comfortable using a complicated software, let alone enabling the features that are hidden somewhere in the abyss of countless LMS features.
This means the students must go somewhere else in order to actively engage in the learning process and itch their curiosity. In most of the cases, this place is called Social Media. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing to turn to social media — one can learn a great deal about the world, the places, the people, new skills, and other endless things on social media. The only problem is no teacher supervision, and even though learning is defined by what the student does, the teacher is the one who makes the students do the right things.
What Needs to be changed?
LMS of tomorrow ought to be designed in a way to help students throughout their learning journey. Adaptive learning and assessment, coupled with a strong collaborative environment, can help bring out the positive outcomes in both student’s and teacher’s performance.
What is illumnus?
illumnus is a classroom collaboration platform, where you can access your entire classroom, anytime and from anywhere. With just a push of a button, you can connect with everyone in the classroom, and start learning.
illumnus is the new email.
The primary mode of communication in any institution is via E-mail. Students want to communicate with teachers, and the traditional office hours do not meet their need. Moreover, the formality of email puts a communication barrier, and students tend to ignore their problems until it’s a matter of grave importance.
illumnus cuts through the *BS and opens a judgement-free line of communication. With its state-of-the-art chat-based platform, it’s like texting without having to require student’s cell number. There is also room for sharing your personality by sharing the audio-visual cue for better learning in the age of digital communication that goes beyond the written words.
illumnus works complimentary with traditional teaching.
illumnus enhances your traditional teaching style, in a way no LMS can. It enables you to communicate with your classroom; share the knowledge with help of stuff you find interesting; create channels for your personal projects; collaborate with your colleagues; and does everything a classroom require to be more efficient.
A virtual classroom can remove other hurdles too. Voiced participation from the students can sometimes be a bit difficult for a variety of reasons, form language barrier to anxiety. Having another outlet for class participation can create a more inclusive classroom.
illumnus supports an active learning environment.
Unlike most traditional LMSs, the moment a student posts a question or comment, the teacher can receive a notification. And while this does not mean that the teacher is obligated to respond immediately, at least they know to check in. Instructors are able to communicate observations and concerns in a way that more closely mimics a live classroom setting.
A seamless collaboration like never before.
illumnus gives freedom to the students to actively participate in the learning process by creating channels and collaborating with other students and teachers. So be it a science project or a play you are going to perform on the annual day, illumnus makes sure that you are always connected with your group and all the important information is always accessible, whether you are down the hall, across the country, or anywhere in the world.
an easy-to-use, state-of-the-art platform, with endless possibilities.
Unlike Moodle( or Canvas, or Blackboard), illumnus has a chat-based interface that connects classroom for shared learning. The app is so intuitive and easy to use, each and every function seems absolutely familiar to digital-native learners and doesn’t pose a steep learning curve to the non-traditional learners and not-so-tech-savvy teachers.
Though there is a tremendous scope on how illumnus can enhance the classroom learning experience, It surely gives us hope for a better and more effective classroom.