In designing hybrid, blended or online learning experiences, it is important to consider what content management systems have to offer in terms of assessment. Keeping this in mind, I compared three content management systems (CMS) this week: Haiku, Google Classroom and Edmodo.
After analyzing and exploring the three potential systems, I have decided that the best option for my needs, designing a course to familiarize administrators with Google Apps for Education tools, is Google Classroom.
While it is clear that Haiku LMS and Edmodo have some important built-in functions like separate discussion forums and being able to view student analytics that Google Classroom lacks, I really appreciate the flexibility that comes with Google Classroom. I want to be able to emphasize the versatility of Google tools for assessment and using Google Classroom allows students to access materials all from the Google suite. While Edmodo and Haiku allow for Google tools to be used and posted as assessments and assignments, it would still require students to flip flop back and forth between their Google tools and the CMS.
I appreciate the ability to give heavy feedback in various ways, through Google Docs, the Class Stream, the assignment Comment box in the Google Classroom platform. While there is no traditional gradebook function, the assignments can be graded (or ungraded with feedback) and it is easy to see the progress of each student through their assignments in the Google folder and the tracker built in within Google Classroom.
For creating ePortfolios and for passing content on to different instructors, I think this is an excellent platform as you can share and maintain all the content via Google Drive. Surveys, quizzes and rubrics can all be created using Google Forms and linked to Classroom. There is no separate discussion forum within Google Classroom, but students as well as the teacher can interact in the Class Stream section. I would also just take advantage of the collaborative nature of Google Docs as a discussion forum within this platform.
If Google tools and being a Google Apps For Education district were not the focus for the course that I am offering, I would probably choose Haiku or Edmodo over Google Classroom because of their added functionalities. To address some of the shortfalls of Google Classroom as a content management system in general, I am jointly using a Weebly website along with Google Classroom for the course.