At the end of May, I celebrated my three-year anniversary as a Kaltura Solutions Engineer on our Education team. By “celebrate,” I of course mean woke up to a few congratulatory messages on LinkedIn and maybe finished the day off with a nice craft brew. Ah, the delights of working remotely. Anyway, this occasion made me reflect upon how I ended up where I am today, and why I do what I do.
In the LMS trenches
Prior to joining Kaltura three years ago, I served as a Solutions Engineer at a major Ed Tech company (known primarily for its Learning Management System – “LMS”) for five years. During that time, I had the opportunity to work with current LMS users to help them dive deeper into their use of the LMS with the goal of improving their students’ learning experience.
Prior to joining the corporate world of ed tech, I spent nine years after graduation in the trenches of higher ed technology at my alma mater – CSU, Long Beach (Go Beach!). During that time, I worked directly with faculty and students, which gave me a unique perspective on how technology can benefit and frustrate.
Throughout my career both on campus and on the corporate side, I have been fortunate enough to work with an incredible number of intelligent, insightful, and innovative educators at many different schools, colleges, and universities. Many of these educators are quite tech savvy and adopt and evangelize the newest technologies available for teaching and learning. But even more of the educators I have interacted with are not as tech savvy (dare I use the word technophobe – nothing personal; I’m not judging), and JUST WANT THE THING TO WORK!
Anyway, this is a long-winded way of getting to my point. My point is that getting the most out of your LMS and digital teaching and learning tools is largely dependent upon your level of comfort with technology. With that in mind, perhaps you’ll allow me to share with you three ideas for getting the most out of your LMS.
Maybe you’re an instructor who uses your LMS platform for the most basic of functions (again, I’m not judging), perhaps posting announcements, some course content, attaching some files, and possibly even using discussion boards or other interactive tools. If that’s you, why not think about adding some basic video content to your course?
Ways to Use Video in Your LMS
Kaltura’s LMS integration allows you to easily embed videos in your course, even if you think you’re the least technically proficient person in your department. Try posting a video announcement by capturing a quick webcam video. Your students will dig it (although they will probably not use that term to express their pleasure with your attempt at using technology).
Video-based Student Interaction
If you think of yourself as a middle of the road user – maybe you accept assignments through your LMS platform, or even give some tests or quizzes online – you might think about introducing some video-based student interaction to your course.
Start a video discussion forum, or even have your students create a video blog post. It could be something basic, even just have them record something on their phone while they’re out and about and post it to a course blog. Let’s be honest; students are doing this anyway. It’s not a stretch to ask them to do it in class too. They may even enjoy it!
If you’re the ultimate early adopter I have an idea for you, too. You’re probably already doing the things I mentioned above, which is great. But have you tried using videos for assessment purposes?
Kaltura’s Interactive Video Quiz tool not only allows you the ability to add quiz question right into your videos, but it also allows you to send student performance data to your LMS grade book. How about that? Or, if you don’t want to use Kaltura’s Interactive Video Quiz tool, you could also try adding videos to quiz questions in your regular LMS quizzes. Or you could even allow video responses to online test questions.
There are plenty of ways to optimize your use of the teaching and learning tools that are available to you today. And no matter what your level of comfort with technology, there’s always a way to optimize the way you’re using your technology and to bring additional interest and engagement to your students.
I plan to continue what I’m doing for a good while, and look forward to working together with even more educators to help them bring additional effectiveness to their teaching process through technology.