The virtual swing-doors on my final OU module opened today.
Some time next year I will graduate with a Masters in Open and Distance Education – and unlike my undergraduate degree of many years ago I will feel that I have worked for it, earned it and want the thing – I’ll even dress up for my first graduation ceremony.
I have been outside the course system for all of four months so it was with delight though surprise to find that our virtual learning environment (VLE) has changed yet again. I will have screen grabs somewhere of what it looked like in 2010 and 2011 – I believe I even have seen a screen grab of when I was doing this in 2001.
On the one hand we are getting some 3D shading to lift the ‘Learning Schedule’ off the page, but we also have a plethora of minute and meaningless icons. I can’t figure out what some of them are supposed to represent. Instead of going with recognisable images The OU appear to have tried to go one better but gone one worse – there is no point in replacing or even complementing a title or sub-heading with something that is incomprehensible nor recognised.
A load of stuff has migrated over to the left hand side of the screen – I know that research has long shown that this is where the eye first looks and expects this content to be.
The rest of it I’ll discover and re-discover in due course. I prefer the minimalist approach – if it isn’t vital don’t show it, rather offer options to call up extras instead of having them on the page regardless. Too many of these links I will NEVER use, except as an exercise in the first week. It’s too like entering a grand house knowing that it has far more rooms than you will ever enter and where you risk getting lost.
Less is more.
(They do, all these options are initially offered open – so you can see what they are about I guess, but can be closed. It does leave the screen looking like the IT Department have covered iut in pebble-dashed.
I am however starting to think that I’ll be able to do this almost entirely on an iPad (I don’t have my own laptop or desktop and this is cheaper).
An APP for writing on this platform would help – like I have writing in WordPress.