March 13, 2017
It’s at the top of the screen when students open their courses: a banner that says “I-Learn Training.” PathwayConnect’s online classes are hosted in a program called I-Learn, and students use it almost daily. As they start to explore their courses, maybe they start to wonder why we use I-Learn. What is it? And why is it so important?
Students should remember to have patience with themselves while learning to use the system. They can pray for help and understanding, and ask for help from missionaries or more experienced students.
I-Learn is the learning management system used by PathwayConnect and BYU-Idaho. Students interact with the system daily as they participate in their online courses. I-Learn has proven to be a powerful tool in taking online learning to the world. Here are four reasons to love I-Learn:
1. Ease of Use
When students are still new to I-Learn, they might be worried about how to navigate the site, but they can be sure that they will get the hang of it.
“It takes the students about three weeks to get used to I-Learn,” said Sister Angelene Gallini, an online instructor who has taught using the site since its earliest adoption at BYU-Idaho. Sister Rachel Birch, another online instructor, said: “The system has the appearance of social media. Since most students are familiar with social media, I feel like they get the hang of I-Learn quickly.”
2. Learning Tools and the Learning Model
Students in PathwayConnect quickly discover the importance of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model. The three-step formula — prepare, teach one another, and ponder and prove — is based in the gospel and has shaped the landscape of online learning in BYU-Idaho and PathwayConnect.
“The online platform fits well with the BYU-Idaho Learning Model,” said Sister Birch. “The discussion boards especially are simple to use, and they encourage discussion and peer teaching.”
PathwayConnect courses were developed with the Learning Model in mind, and I-Learn’s learning tools align well with the Learning Model in many ways. The content pages, shown to the right, help students to prepare for each week’s lessons. Discussion boards give them a chance to teach one another, building strong bonds of trust and a collaborative environments. The assignments and quizzes allow students to ponder and prove their learning and show progress in the course.
3. Potential for Growth
I-Learn can easily accommodate PathwayConnect’s growth. With such a dynamic system, the program’s continued expansion will be much smoother. In fact, PathwayConnect and BYU-Idaho combined have the largest enrollment out of any Church-owned university. I-Learn will allow both to grow and meet the needs of even more students around the world.
More and more often, students need access to courses on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Several mobile applications are offered for I-Learn to allow students to access their courses remotely. Students can check grades, assignments, calendar posts, and news through a phone app called Brightspace Pulse, and several other apps are available to organize readings and documents.
In addition to mobile accessibility, one of BYU-Idaho’s top priorities is to provide a website and I-Learn system that everyone can use. The colors and fonts used on each page are tested for readability, and all pictures have descriptive text. This attention to detail means the entire system is accessible to everyone — including students with vision and hearing impairments.
Through their time in PathwayConnect and BYU-Idaho, students will access I-Learn often. By exploring the system and becoming familiar with its interface, students will be much better prepared for their courses. Users of the system can even set up bookmarks and favorites in their browser, preparing to be more organized. As they become familiar with I-Learn, students will find the answer to the question: “What is I-Learn? And why is it important?”
What did you do to get used to navigating I-Learn? Share your advise with us and other students by leaving a comment below.