Michael Nardell

List of 'educational functions' that underlie tools

Discussion created by Michael Nardell on Apr 23, 2019
Latest reply on Apr 23, 2019 by Kelley L. Meeusen

Would like help and guidance from people in the community on an idea I am working upon. I have been thinking about the underlying educational functions that motivate use of tools in a LMS, considering both 'built-in" and third-party tools. I have only been thinking about this for only a little while, and my background in instructional design and educational technology is tarnished by  time and lack of participation(I have become more involved in implementation rather than design). That being said, I have a list of about 20 'functions', some more central and general, others more peripheral and domain-specific. My list includes obvious choices like "Gradebook / Outcomes Management" and "Assessment Authoring and Delivery" but also some stuff a bit more obscure. I also attempt to draw-out abstract notions - for example instead of "Discussions", I am leaning toward  "Asynchronous Communication" as the underlying function. 


My interest is motivated by the power of abstraction - arguably it is simpler to only have to think about a smaller list of generally applicable notions rather than the hundreds of instances. Also worth noting that particular tools do not need to align with only one function; more likely a tool is a composite of several functions. All this being said, my work is only at a nascent and preliminary stage. I have to believe that this work has already been advanced by others in the field and I am not particularly interested in developing an idiomatic document. The power of such a list would be derived from its generally agreed-upon status. So I am reaching out for directions to existing work along these lines. Thanks for any advice and guidance.