Learning Environment – Week 3 – Observations/Interviews of a Tech Learning Environment


Describe the educational environment you’ve picked to observe and its background. What are key possibilities for employing technologies in the setting (physical or virtual)? Tell us how you will observe it.


EDUC 333A – Paper One

Observations/Interviews of a Tech Learning Environment

Lucas Longo

The technology setting I am interested in investigating is the relationship between educators and the digital course content publication tools they use. I intend to observe how they work with the variety of tools at hand. What are the onuses and bonuses of such tools? What is missing or could be done better?

Online courses, MOOCS, and several other initiatives have been offering content digitally and promising access to education for all. One of the reasons I believe that there has been limited success is that the course material is generally not planned and produced specifically for such a context. It is not enough to record the live lectures, publish the slides and assign reading materials. The content has to be created in a new form so that it can be delivered in an appealing and effective manner.

The potential of improving these tools is that you would be able to capture more knowledge with a higher quality from more educators. If the process of creating the online content is easy and fun to do, more educators would “take the plunge” and share what they know more often. Learners would have potentially higher quality content delivered in a manner that is interesting, engaging, exploratory and effective.

My personal interest in the subject matter is integrating media editing tools into LMSs to make it easier to edit and manage multiple source materials such as video, slides, photos, links, tweets and so on. I also think that an essential part of the process is to provide the educator with some level of guidance and coaching during the process of creating their courses. The platform could provide templates, step-by-step ‘wizards’, access to similar lesson plans, quizzes and activities for inspiration and finally providing human feedback once the course is submitted for review. The gamification of lesson preparation, course creation or sharing of knowledge.

To observe this in action I intend to observe a subject matter expert who is preparing his course, creating the digital content and publishing it on an online tool. I am in touch with Edmodo, with whom I might intern next quarter, to observe educators in this process. Ideally I would have access to the existing training material they already offer their incoming teachers and be able to talk to the team responsible for designing the tool from the educator’s perspective.

Some potential interview questions are:

  1. How does the platform aid in the process of creating the content for your course?
  2. Do you see a necessity for the content editing tools be integrated with an LMS?
  3. What is you preferred method of teaching?
  4. Do you believe the tools you use provide a better learning experience for learners?