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Coursekit First Impressions
November 30, 2011 - 8:00pm

Audrey Watters' post inspired me to spend some time building a new Coursekit site.  

You can jump right in by going to the Coursekit page and hitting "CREATE A COURSEKIT".  

The ability to try out an LMS by quickly building a new course is a great thing. Blackboard and Instructure let you do this instantly from the web. I tried this with Desire2Learn  - filled out a web form, and got a message that said "Thank you for providing your information. We'll review your request and someone will be in touch with you shortly." (Very frustrating).

Signing up for a Coursekit site was particularly easy, as I could login with my Facebook credentials.   

My first impressions of Coursekit is that the interface looks clean, but that the platform does not seem quite ready yet for primetime. What I wanted to do was build out the course deliverables (readings and assignments) using the calendar. The problem is that I don't see a way to make an assignment that requires a blog entry in the "STREAM" tab. The assignment feature seems to only allow for a student to upload an external document, rather than complete a post in the STREAM.   

I can understand the lack of an assessment engine (for quizzing), and a true threaded discussion board (as the STREAM can do that), but it is hard to understand how the STREAM and the calendar are not better tied together. Coursekit also seems to be missing a search functionality, but in fairness this is an omission of all the LMS platforms.

You should go and build a quick course on Coursekit for yourself. To the credit of the Coursekit developers, building a quick course is truly fast. But lacking some basic functionality to build a course out with assignments for interaction from the calendar, it is hard for me to see the big advantage of Coursekit over Facebook Groups or other free social platforms.

Perhaps I am missing something (I hope so), as new entrants like Coursekit are very good for the LMS market. The more competition the better. And the direct to faculty business model, bypassing central IT and SIS integration, may work well for some faculty. It will be fascinating to observe both how the platform and the business model evolve.

Have you played with Coursekit?  What are your first impressions?

 

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