Flipping learning with DIYLMS = Do it yourself Learning Management Systems

Edmodo code 83rwm5

our tag #DIYLMS12





This wiki is created as an experiential portal for a Workshop given at the TESOL Arabia Conference

Dubai Women's College, March 7, 2012


Below is the presentation I gave in Sharjah,  which I recorded after the fact, having tried unsuccessfully to do so at the time I gave the presentation (connectivity issues).  The Posterous blog at, referred to in the presentation, contained just one post, which I turned into this publication before Posterous was taken offline:

Stevens, Vance. (2012). Learner-centered Do-it-yourself Learning Management Systems. TESL-EJ, Volume 15, Number 4, pp. 1-14: Also at 


Learner-centered do-it-yourself Learning Management Systems: Practical aspects from Vance Stevens


You can follow along in the slides as you listen, here 





To help illustrate how I would actually conduct a course during the course of a semester, I have removed the material that was here from OFF the front page (where it contributes to clutter) and to its own page accessible from the sidebar, or via this link: Preparation




Paper-based handouts you should receive on-site



Virtual Handouts you find online



Program for the session, 14:15 to 15:45

Learning Zone Classroom A  (2nd floor)   Date: 7th March, 2012




CMS = Content

Management System

An example DIYCMS: 


LMS = CMS plus learning management

Examples of DIYLMS:


Characteristics of CMS/LMS


Brainstorm using an Etherpad clone


How we can emulate in Web 2.0 the features the participants think are important in DIYLMS?


Components can include


All of these tools are free and work in my own institutional settings in on HCT campuses in the UAE. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to experiment with some of the tools and evaluate their efficacy through their experience.


Activating DIYLMS




Let's pop into


Collaborative writing



PI is Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, where I was working in 2012. PIMoodle is a good example of what can go wrong with Moodle if it is a part of your DIYLMS. This actually applies to almost any free tool, whose provider can pull it down on short notice, as many do, but I entrusted a lot of my work to PI Moodle. PI was running Blackboard as an institutional LMS but the English and computing departments liked Moodle because they could get their SCORM exercises to work on it; whereas they were not able to do the same with Bb. So the computing dept kept Moodle running on a box in the corner of their server room until someone higher up at PI asked why they were doing that when the school was paying so much for Bb, so they were ordered to pull the plug.


They gave us notice of course, and one nice thing about Moodle is that users can get their courses off it in Zip files which they can upload to other Moodle servers. So I got a Moodle up at Bluehost which I use for, and uploaded my Moodle files there, and everything was working nicely until my Moodle got hacked and became non-functional. Bluehost help was not helpful except to show me what my Moodle code looked like after the hack. They took no responsibilty for allowing it to happen, nor were they able to restore it. I didn't have a zip backup then, and for me it was just a lesson learned.


I have written about this problem of loss of Web 2.0 sites here:
Stevens, V. (2020). The sky is falling: Are we nearing the end of Web 2.0?.TESL-EJ, 23(3), 1-14. Retrieved from Also available:



Tag games


In these exercises you create and share Google Docs with your teacher and one another.

Then you Publish them and TAG them in Delicious or Diigo.

Eventually they should show up here: 

(Delicious used to be a bookmarking site; these days the only reliable tag site appears to be Twitter)


Always check your proposed tag to see what comes up before you actually use it!

We'll have to use DIYLMS12; here's why ...


These links were here to illustrate that if you searched on TACON (TESOL Arabia Conference) or DIYLMS then you would get confounding hits.

Adding the number to the tag made these searches unique, which showed that no one else in the world was using that tag, in which case it would be a good tag for you to use. This concept applies equally well to whatever tagging service you are using. You can do the same test with Twitter to determine if your tag is already being used (in which case don't use it) or if no one has used it before (so THAT'S your tag!)


How the small pieces loosely join together: Tag Games


Aggregating content

To help illustrate how I would actually conduct a course during the course of a semester, I have removed the material that was here from OFF the front page (where it contributes to clutter) and to its own page accessible from the sidebar, or via this link: aggregation


Further reading


Stevens, V. (2012). DIYLMS: Learner-centered Do-it-yourself Learning Management System. In Dowling, S., Gunn, C., Raven, J., Gitsaki, C. (Eds.). Opening up Learning: HCT Educational Technology Series. HCT Press: Abu Dhabi; ISBN 978-9948-16-864-5), pp.103-112. Index on Wayback Machine: DIYLMS pp.0-11 available:;



PBworks reclaims URLs when they have not been revisited for a year.

This wiki was visited and altered by adding this text on November 9, 2020