The Many Faces of An Online Course: Edit Mode

Regardless of the Learning Management System your institution uses, many of the recognizable names in this crowded field have various modes for authoring and viewing that can be turned on or off by a faculty or staff role to see, and edit, the course in different ways. The ability to put on a different set of eyes and view your course from various perspectives has many advantages, most importantly if you’re going through the course from a student’s point of view.

Edit Mode

Today we’re exploring what Blackboard calls “Edit Mode”.  While there is a lot of value in viewing a course from the students perspective, many actions simply cannot take place without Edit Mode”being turned on. At the University of New England, edit mode is a button found in the top right hand corner of your course.  It is only available to faculty and the appropriate staff. No, students, you’re not allowed to push back your assignment deadlines.

One of the tough things about Edit Mode is that while it is necessary to have on most of the time for Faculty and Support Staff, it also requires a degree of carefulness and responsibility. You could easily delete an entire unit from a live course, full of students who are currently trying to take that unit. Please don’t make any changes to your courses. That responsibility lies with the team of people who build and manage the course.

However, until there is something that is an effective in-between option, Edit Mode is needed to circumvent Adaptive Release. Adaptive Release is the system that, among other things, creates a path for students in our courses so that, where pedagogically relevant, they aren’t completing content out of order or too quickly (some courses use adaptive release to make sure students are all in the same discussion forum at the same time, for instance). A common cause for confusion is when, suddenly, the course looks different than it had just a moment or day before. Maybe some items are missing or maybe the whole course appears empty. In these instances, check your edit mode. sometimes it will switch off and you won’t notice until you’re panicking about that assignment that was just there last week.

Remember: For any heavy lifting, definitely reach out to your friendly neighborhood Instructional Designer!

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