Utilizing Learning Management System (LMS) Tools to Foster Innovative Teaching

Utilizing Learning Management System (LMS) Tools to Foster Innovative Teaching

Sophia Palahicky (Royal Roads University, Canada) and Lauren Halcomb-Smith (Royal Roads University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9232-7.ch001

Abstract

Many post-secondary institutions utilize learning management systems (LMSs) to deliver online, blended, and face-to-face courses. LMSs have a wide variety of built-in functionality that can be used to facilitate innovative teaching. This chapter provides useful information, critical thinking questions, and insights that instructors can use to expand their adoption, knowledge, and usage of LMS tools to build upon innovative teaching practices. Three instructional approaches are discussed: case-based learning (CBL), scenario-based learning (SBL), and gamified learning. Additionally, specific examples are provided to demonstrate how LMS tools can be used to support CBL, SBL, and gamified learning. This chapter invites instructors to critically reflect on how they use LMSs and other educational technologies to carry out ineffective instructional strategies. Furthermore, it provides concrete examples of how LMS tools can help instructors improve their teaching practice and adopt creative instructional approaches with thoughtful use of technology grounded in sound pedagogical practices.
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Perceptions About Innovative Teaching

Students and faculty have different perceptions about what components are most important for innovative teaching. According to Jaskyte et al. (2009), the three major components of innovative teaching, based on students’ perceptions, include the instructor's personality, student–faculty interactions, and classroom culture (p.116). Jaskyte et al. note that students perceive interpersonal skills as the most important components, i.e. instructor’s personality, how they interact, and the “culture” (behaviours, attitudes, and beliefs) they foster in the learning environment. When asked to rank descriptors of innovative teaching, students ranked the following as the top five: 1) Engages students and responds to their feedback; 2) Is enthusiastic—conveys a genuine interest and fervor for the subject matter; 3) Encourages students to think outside the box; 4) Makes students excited about learning; and 5) Is open minded (Jaskyte et al., 2009, p. 114). On the other hand, faculty ranked the following as the top five descriptors to enable innovative teaching: 1) Gets students to learn how to construct knowledge themselves; 2) Is open to new ideas; 3) Is original—looks for new ways to present class material; 4) Is knowledge motivated, up to date on scholarship; and 5) Evaluates the effectiveness of her/his innovative teaching method.

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