The goal of the Online Course Coach podcast is to interview people in different industries, so when I met Ryan Allen on a video shoot and learned of his background at the University level with eLearning and Learning Management Systems, I knew I had to get him on the show. Since I come from a family of educators (my parents are college professors), I had a great interest to hear of Ryan’s experiences in online courses at the collegiate level. He shared how they’ve grown in their Learning Management Systems (LMS), how they work with professors to put their courses online and some of the struggles he’s had in the process. We discuss open source LMS’ like Moodle and why they use a custom LMS for their online course content.
Ryan’s department helps professors by teaching them how to use software, get online and use the LMS, so the professors can more effectively teach their students. He works with the professor of crafting a course for online consumption, which usually means restructuring the in-class content to be more effective online. While some people don’t like online learning, Ryan gives a compelling reason for eLearning in all sectors, including in the university setting.
Ryan shares some of the tools and resources they use to help their professors build their eLearning courses. Many of these tools are the same ones that are used outside a university settings, which is good to hear that various screen capture tools can be versatile across industries. The good thing is that while many of the tools they use are robust and expensive, there are many tools they use that are free of very affordable and Ryan talks about them in the interview.
The University of Dayton has many types of online classes and Ryan shares some of the differences between an online course without instructor led training and one that has it. I find that the courses that we create for our clients have much better retention if there is a video of the instructor’s face, or if the students have access to the instructor through private chats, forums, weekly calls or other such ways. While it’s easier to create an online course to “set it and forget it”, the students actually learn best, when an instructor is involved in some way. What are some ways that you can be a part of your online training, so that students can have access to you and your experience? This could make all the difference in the success of your online course, tutorial videos and eLearning.
While most of the interviews on this podcast have been with business or entrepreneurial applications, it’s nice to hear how the masters of teaching (universities) have been doing it best both in person and online for hundreds of years. I enjoyed my time with Ryan and learned a lot through our conversation.
About Ryan Allen:
“Ryan Allen is the Associate Director of E-Learning Systems and Support in the University of Dayton’s Ryan C. Harris Learning Teaching Center. He has eleven years of experience working in the field of educational technology with a focus on distance education pedagogy and the use of Learning Management Systems. Ryan manages the development, training and support of the UD’s open source Learning Management System – Isidore. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business Administration from Heidelberg University. He is also a Project Management Professional.
Tools he uses to help the professors:
- Blackboard Collaborate to help him teach the professors
- Screencasting software (Snagit or Camtasia)
Find Ryan Here: University of Dayton
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