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Putting your unit into a learning management system

Putting your unit into a learning management system

Author: Katie Hou

In this lesson, you will learn tips for preparing instruction within a learning management system.

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Putting your unit unto a learning management system

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Hello, and thank you for joining me for putting your unit into a learning management system. By the end of today's tutorial, we will be able to answer the following essential questions. How can I develop instruction using Sophia? What are some tips and tricks to preparing instruction with an LMS? Remember, LMS stands for learning management system. And since you're already on here using Sophia, what a great opportunity to show you how you can actually use Sophia as the teacher, instead of the learner, to build units for your students.

We've been talking a lot about Understanding by Design, which if you, remember has three main steps. The first being that you isolate your essential questions, big ideas, key understandings for the unit. The second is that you then decide on what the summative assessment is going to be, as well as the formative assessments. And lastly, you build the learning activities. We are going to actually go through that step by step from stage one of Understanding by Design to stage three on the Sophia website.

So before you even get started, you need to click on Create a New tutorial within Sophia. Give you a tutorial a really great name so your students can easily find it. It might be something specific to you, maybe it has the name of your high school underscore your name, something like that, something that your students can find. And then you give your tutorial an image. And you want to make this a pretty engaging image so that your students can easily find it and click on it and be interested. There is also an option to select a subject, and so you can assign your tutorial to a specific subject. So if you are teaching computer science, you would go to the applied sciences, and then you can get even more specific than that and actually choose computer science. Then you press Create.

Once you are able to create, there is a place where you can insert your objectives and your essential questions. So stage one of Understanding by Design is that we want to figure out what those learning targets are. What I would do is type those learning targets in a Word document, so that you have it saved. And then when you go to insert, just choose Insert Text. That way, you can copy paste your learning objectives from your Word document into the Sophia mainframe.

And there are options on this website, once you type it in, to change the font the font size and really personalize it to you. So this is a good place to insert your objectives and learning targets. And you can give it a heading, as well. And it's also a good place for you to insert your essential questions. So these are all steps from stage one of Understanding by Design.

Next, you can insert quizzes. This is a good way to have some formative assessments. So here, you're able to enter in quiz questions. You're able to add answers. And then you're done with that section.

Next, you actually build the lesson. There are lots of options for building your lesson. You could do a screen cast, which is what you're watching right now. You could insert a PowerPoint. You could insert a movie. Remember that you can actually insert several things, so maybe you want to insert a PowerPoint. But then, there are some really great online resources that you also want to insert, maybe, for example, a TED talk. And you can still insert that here.

And then you can insert resources for differentiated instruction. And again, I would just suggest typing those resources up and then entering them as Insert Text, and then putting a heading there so that students know, OK, these are the objectives text, this is the essential questions text, and here are my resources. The use of these resources is a great way to support differentiated instruction and differentiation of the content.

So let's reflect. What do you think would be the biggest challenge to using Sophia or another LMS? Why? And are you willing to use an LMS to deliver instruction? Why or why not?

To review, today, we answered the essential questions, how can I develop instruction using Sophia? And what are some tips and tricks to preparing instruction with an LMS?

For more information on how to apply what you learned in this video, please view the Additional Resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The Additional Resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including a brief description of each resource. Thank you for joining me and happy teaching.

Notes on “Putting your Unit into a Learning Management System”


(00:00-00:29) Introduction

(00:30-00:56) UBD Review

(00:57-02:29) Getting Started and Entering Objectives and Essential Questions

(02:30-03:38) Formative Assessments, Build the Lesson, and Additional Resources for DI

(03:39-04:00) Reflection

(04:01-04:32) Conclusion

Additional Resources

Changing practice: Does the LMS matter?

This article offers considerations for educators when selecting a learning management system. The questions serve as points of reflection and collaborative dialogue when deciding on an LMS.

How to Read a Unit of Study

This blog post by Elizabeth Moore includes helpful advice on reading a unit of study. Moore provides five easy steps instructing teachers how to read a unit of study.