Ok, I get it, this doesn't always happen. Often we have to figure out how to fly while building the plane and this is what teachers are very familiar with. So what do you do beside screaming, crying, and wish the world was fairer to you? Here there are a few suggestions for keeping your mental and emotional sanity while get the handle of your new LMS.
- Before starting look around the Web for some good examples of courses created using the LSM of you choice. You can gather ideas and strategies for planning your own e-learning course. I have found some good examples searching Google for "Canvas course".
- Make a list of the MUST HAVE elements that should have in your course and start writing the text that you will add to the LMS using World documents. Having this content ready will save you a lot of time when you will start building your course.
- LMSs have a website with resources, forums, and troubleshooting guides that can help you in figuring out how to get started with the LSM you are using.these are the links to Moodle and Canvas resources sites.
- Fortunately out there there are a lot of people working on LMS and some of them are eager to share their knowledge making very helpful and instructive videos. Search YouTube or Vimeo and you will certainly find something that will help you getting started and troubleshooting some of the adversities you might encounter on your way. Here there is an example of video found on YouTube with the directions for getting started with Canvas.
- In Alaska most if not all school districts are using one LMS. Connect with other educators and asks for help with the particular feature you are working at. A good way for reaching out for educators in Alaska is through one of the Google+ communities such as ASTE Networks, Alaska Online Teachers, and AKTeach.
I am sure that each state has similar resources, however thanks to the WWW it does not make any difference where you are, today you can reach anybody around the world as easily as your extra neighbor!