State of UX and community updates
This walkthrough shows a graphic novel course that we're really excited to be delivering this Fall (now). It showcases the current state of development of ELMSLN in the context of our Graphic Novel course. This is a unique oppurtunity for us as a learning design unit because we are embedded with the faculty in the physical classroom with their students. We've had a lot of hands on time with the faculty and will be debriefing with the students throughout the semester and improving the user experience based on their feedback as we go.
This shows not just the state of some of the system as I usually give a tour of, but a working course that's utilizing multiple, customized tools. This is the point of ELMS Learning Network in my mind, flexibility within a series of constraints (like hey, we want a space for students to visually submit and critique work), and then layering in customization to have the faculty own the experience.
This also digs into some of the more advanced aspects of the "embed anything, anywhere" initative, the short-code tokens and what we now call "Remixables"; Tokens that make webservice queries and contextually rewrite themselves. In plain English, a shortcode that will ask the Studio (or whatever) if the current user has submitted an assignment, if they have, it displays a link to it, if not, it populates a link for them to complete the assignment in the flow of instruction. This allows them to not have to break from the interaction flow, while still leveraging the advantages of a network based approach to the education experience.
It ends with me hinting at how exciting things are getting, because they are. I'm also excited to announce a bit of a team shake up that's led to expansion. Michael Collins (User Experience Lead / Front-end Dev), has taken a job in the College of Arts & Architecture (where I work) as the Faculty lead for a new, web based program. He will still be involved with ELMSLN but more in a pedagogical, faculty, and interface mock up role (when needed). He still remains a huge influence (visually, and direction) on the project.
Eberly College of Science has hired a Drupal developer to replace him in Michael Potter. Michael's write up is now in the team section of this site, but we've already seen rapid progress in the areas of accessibility and design consistency since he started just a few short weeks ago. Michael's expertise include front-end development, drupal site building, drupal development, drupal theming, git workflows, project management, and being passionate about his work and building cool things. We are excited to have him contributing as an ELMSLN core developer!
In other community news, adopter Rick Humphries has a presentation accepted to A.L.T. to talk about ELMSLN's philosophy of design and his experiences working with it. If you are attending ALT, be sure to check it out!