Have you ever used Moodle? How about Blackboard? If you writhing in pain right now, say no more; I know you have you used at least one of them. If you don’t know what they are, they are course based software. Easy right? Some interaction, distribute files, and collect files. Pretty common stuff.
I should come clean. I’m a bit of a UI snob, and even more of a UX snob. Now that I have that out of the way, let me say that these two software applications are amongst the worst I have ever seen, if not the worst.
It’s bad enough that course instructors find it difficult to use, but think about the students for a minute. Imagine being fairly new to technology and trying to use software that is unituitive and hideous. Students cringe when they find out that they have to go to one of these sites to accomplish some task. They will opt out if given the chance.
So what’s a developer to do? Build a better tool of course. I’ve decided that I can’t and won’t subject my students to a frustrating experience interacting with me through some web interface. I’m in the planning stages of building a course management software tool. The key is that it isn’t being built for colleges. It’s being built for teachers and students. I plan on documenting my progress through this blog and what I learn while using it before handing out beta access to other teachers.