December 5, 2013
The ITS CTools Team has introduced a new way for faculty to build, manage and use course sites. The feature, called Lesson Builder, provides sequencing capabilities that allow instructors to create sites with easy-to-follow navigation and instructions for students.
“Lesson Builder links directly to resources, assignments, tests, quizzes and media content and eliminates the need for students to navigate across a number of different tools in traditionally structured sites,” said Sean DeMonner, director of the Information and Technology Services Teaching and Learning group. “This design allows faculty to arrange site content in a modular format that guides students and makes lessons easier to understand.”
Lesson Builder was evaluated in a spring faculty workshop through the collaborative efforts of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, U-M Library, and ITS Teaching and Learning. Initial reactions were positive and a pilot was established that ran through the fall term.
Steven Skerlos, professor of mechanical engineering, was one of the faculty members who piloted Lesson Builder.
“Prior to Lesson Builder, it was necessary to send weekly emails reminding students of what was coming and where to collect electronic resources needed to accomplish the week’s work,” Skerlos said. “Lesson Builder provides a one-stop shop for students to access lesson plans, reduces faculty time sending reminder emails, and improves student engagement and awareness of tasks to come.”
Student response has also been favorable. More than two-thirds of the 77 students in pharmacy professor Gundy Sweet’s Evidence Based Medicine course agreed that Lesson Builder was an effective way to follow the material that was covered in the class, and 64 percent indicated they would like to see other professors use it in future courses.
To learn more about Lesson Builder and how to incorporate it into course sites, faculty members are encouraged to attend the CTools Introducing Lesson Builder Teach Tech class from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 19. For additional consultation regarding Lesson Builder, email firstname.lastname@example.org.