Friday, January 25, 2013

5 ideas to improve Edmodo

As I've said in my previous post, I have only been using Edmodo for 4 weeks. These are 5 ideas that I thought would help to make the platform more effective, but then again, these are only ideas from me as a very early adopter, and my teaching and learning workflow could be different from others...or not. So here are my 5 ideas to improve Edmodo:

  1. Show more preview of the attached files: I thought having the ability to show a little more of the attached files is a good idea to have, akin to how one can browse through the pages of a .pdf document in the Finder window on a Mac-based system.
  2. Being able to simultaneously dictate posts: Currently I have to rework on another assignment post if I were to assign the same assignment to different classes, at different times of release. I know that we could just edit the original post, and add in the target groups or classes later on, but I thought being able to do these staggered timings at one go early on, and once only, would be a better and more efficient way of working.
  3. Reorganising small groups: Currently the small groups are pretty much fixed, and when one needs to regroup the class into other variations for a new assignment, the old group would not stay, unless one takes the effort to create a new cluster of small groups! This might make the organisation of the small groups function a little unwieldly, especally over time. I thought it is good to have some form of a memory-system in place, so that for each of the assignment assigned to a batch of smaller groups, the teacher/user can make references to which students are in the particular small groups, for a particular specific assignment. This could also be extended to the Turned-In submissions, as only the particular student who submitted on behalf of the group would have the Turned-In status on. I thought having the status for the rest of the group members at the same time would be a bette means of indication.
  4. Editable grading for students: Something small, but I thought it would be good for teacher/users to be able to edit the listing descriptors whenever they are marking the students' turned in assignments. Descriptors like 'A Rockstar' might be helpful in certain contexts...but might also not be helpful in others. Best if this could be linked to some sort of a user-defined rubrics too.
  5. A much better in-built chatting/private messaging tool: I thought having this tool built in into Edmodo would be helpful, akin to Facebook's Chat and Google+'s Hangout concepts. It would help students to make connections and give feedback more quickly, within the system, rather than having to alternate to another tool to do so.
Disclaimer: Although these are ideas/suggestions from me that I deemed to be non-existent yet, I might be wrong in certain areas, and there might just be turnarounds to the challenges that I face above, that I have not discovered just yet. I would definitely love to hear from any Edmodo users out there, for some of these turnarounds, if any. Or perhaps I might have been doing some aspects wrongly, hence the shortcomings above. But whatever it is, I do hope that some of these improvements are things that could be in the pipeline, and who knows, the list above might just get a little shorter once I am done with it by the end of the year!

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