July 06, 2012 by Editorial Board
We have all had a chance to play around with Drexel Learn for the past two weeks, and it’s a great leap forward from the old Bb Vista. Learn promises a much more modern approach to a Learning Management System, and it works on the browsers that we live on that Vista just didn’t support. Being able to use Learn in multiple tabs on browsers like Safari, Firefox or Chrome is a huge plus, as is the addition of dedicated mobile apps on iOS, Android, WebOS, and Blackberry.
However, this transition has not come without problems. It is frustrating when professors appear not to have training on how to use the platform or get early access to the system to create their courses and upload materials before the course starts. When professors can’t answer our basic questions, it does not instill confidence that we will be able to complete our online course tasks successfully.
For students it’s great that an online orientation course is provided, but it is hard to navigate and it’s not engaging. Links to demonstration videos of things like quizzes and assessments are buried deep within the content and are not clearly marked.
It also would be nice if they were embedded in-line with the text, which is supposedly one of the new features of Learn. Even better if we could interact with practice tests so that we would know for sure how the interface functioned in a low pressure environment that doesn’t have a time constraint. While the demo videos have a interactive section, it just doesn’t cut it.
Overall, the transition and training for users could have gone a bit smoother. But we agree with the assessment of IRT’s Mike Scheuermann that as time goes on, Learn will become easier to use.
Bravo to IRT for finally getting us off Bb Vista, and hello to the future of e-learning at Drexel. It will just take some time to break ourselves of the habits that Vista has embedded in us. Hopefully that learning curve is a short one.