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Posted on by Kieran Mathieson (not verified).

I'm an assoc prof at Oakland University in Michigan, USA. Been teaching Drupal for a couple of years.

For a while, I've been studying learning science (research about how people learn, how to help them learn more effectively). CoreDogs.Com is a Drupal site for learning basic Web tech. It applies learning science principles to improve learning of those topics.

This short story...

http://coredogs.c om/article/tale-two-students

...explains the approach.

The current goal is to build Drupal tools to let other people write their own course kits (to use your term). The first version is at FlippedTextbook.Com. But I made a mistake in the branding of the individual works, and am now working on Dolfinity.Com. It gives authors more control over the identity of their work.

Dolfinity is not up yet. It uses the Domain Access module, but the admin workflow for DA doesn't scale well. I've been writing the Domain Reference Role suite for that. It's in my sandbox.

If you're interested, I'd like to work with you in creating a high quality Drupal course kit. For me, part of "quality" means following some learning science principles. Such as:

* Deep learning - emphasize concepts and problem solving. Not what buttons to click.

* Outcome-driven learning - create learning goals at the beginning of the project, goals about task (not tech) outcomes. The goals drive the creation of the course kit.

* Lots o' feedback - exercises and feedback from humans. See /article/feedback-system for an implementation.

* Clear writing, pedagogical agents, ... (lots more)

(Sorry if this seems too didactic, but these ideas are not widely known.)


* The "Oooo, but, but" principle...

There's X hours available for the course. There's X * 10 things that students need to know. There are good arguments for all of the X * 10.

If you put too much content into the course, then average students (plodders) won't have time to learn basic concepts and processes. The plodders are the most important - the better students look after themselves, maybe using optional material and exercises.

When you leave something out, someone will Oooo but but. They may get butface, a term coined by Buffy Summers.

There are things we disagree on, such as the use of existing material only. Novices benefit from a coherent guided experience using the principles above. After that, they can grab what's available, adding to a solid foundation.

I should stop typing and get to work on Dolfinity. You can contact me through my D.O page.


(Hmmm, that's odd. Comment preview is acting up... ARGH! Firefox crashed. Good start to the day. :-( )

[edited to remove email address for privacy]

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