All-You-Can-Eat-Education for $30 a Month

Online courses, OpenCourseWare, and MOOCs have fundamentally changed how we perceive affordable and accessible education. This inforgraphic highlights how startups like Khan Academy, BenchPrep, Udemy, and others are empowering students and educators by offering hundreds of courses online for almost next to nothing.

All-You-Can-Eat-Education for $30 a Month
Via: OnlineUniversities.com

Designing an Exemplary Online Course: Blackboard Announces Open Online Course to be Offered

Let's build a better education experience

Blackboard has announced a new open online course “Designing an Exemplary Course,” as part of the CourseSites Open Course Series. The course will run from September 26th – October 17th, 2012. Registration is free and opens Wednesday, September 19th.

Whether you are just getting started or are an advanced online educator, this course will provide you with a framework to help identify and apply best practices for designing engaging online courses.

You will learn from 11 instructors and instructional designers including distinguished Exemplary Course Program (ECP) Directors and several of the 2012 ECP winners. Using the Blackboard ECP Rubric as a guide, the course will focus on the four critical elements of a course: design, interaction and collaboration, assessment, and learner support.

You will have the opportunity to participate in weekly live, online sessions, learn with peers in focus groups, and complete optional assignments to aid your course development and improvement. A panel of course design experts will facilitate each group to provide you with valuable feedback.

The learning environment will offer learners the flexibility to choose their own learning outcomes and time commitments based on individual needs. To maximize benefits of participation, optional homework assignments will be provided each week to apply concepts to build out one’s own course structure and materials. The course will provide a framework for forming collaborative teams.

For more details or to sign-up to be notified when registration opens, click here.

Screencast Tours of EDUMOOC Google Group, Alerts & Reader

For those new to Google Reader, I’ve recorded this brief tour of the EDUMOOC Google Group with a few tips for keeping discussion threads organized.

Additionally, I’ve recorded this tutorial on how to setup Google Alerts for EDUMOOC and subscribe in a RSS feed reader, like Google Reader.

I personally plan to follow the #edumooc hashtag on Twitter as well as my Google Alerts in Google Reader as my primary means for following the EDUMOOC conversation. How do you plan to aggregate and filter contributions? Leave a comment with your steps!

Better yet…record a screencast demonstrating your process or workflow and share it with the rest of us!

~ Jason

Before Beginning #EDUMOOC: Tips for Participants

In just over 2 days, over 1,000 participants from three dozen countries have sign-up for participate in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) devoted to exploring Online Learning Today…and Tomorrow! There has been a lot of buzz over this latest MOOC, hashtag #EDUMOOC. For those who have never participated in a MOOC before, you’re in for a treat as this will be an online learning experience unlike any other.

If you are new to MOOCs, take a few minutes to view these brief videos by Dave Cormier that answer the questions “What is a MOOC?” and “What is ‘success’ in a MOOC?

I can’t stress enough the importance, as Dave described in his video, of defining for yourself how you will define ‘success’ in the learning experience and in being proactive in adding your contributions to the conversation, as well as reading others’ contributions and commenting. Here are my top 5 tips for others preparing to embark on #EDUMOOC:

  1. Setup a blog (if you don’t already have one) and post to it. While we do have a Google Group for this MOOC, if you are looking to build your personal learning network beyond the scope of this course, it’s helpful to have your own online home where your conversations (ie: your initial posts and replies) can persist long after the MOOC is over. So, if you’ve not already done so, setup a blog using a free tool like Blogger, WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr, etc. This may sound obvious, but once you setup your blog, go ahead and post to it…at least once per week during the MOOC. I personally plan to spend more time on Twitter than the Google Group or blogging, but will post my reflections and more lengthy conversation contributions to my blog and then post the link on Twitter. On my WordPress blog, I use the free WordTwit plugin that automatically tweets each new blog post I make.
  2. Give Twitter a try. You’ll find during this MOOC that there will be a variety of different locations where conversations will be taking place and Twitter will no doubt be one of the most active. If you’ve never tried Twitter before, now is your chance to give it a try! Sign-up for a free account at twitter.com and include in any of your course-related tweets the hashtag #edumooc. You can then search Twitter, either at twitter.com or on any of the Twitter apps, the course hashtag #edumooc to see the entire flow of “tweets” related to the course.

    A great place to learn more about Twitter is to take a look at the archived presentations and links for the session, Using Twitter for Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development in Higher Education that David Wicks, Skip Via, and I offered this past January where explored best practices for using Twitter in teaching, learning and professional development.

  3. Let people know of your posts!. When you post to your blog, be sure to let the rest of the EDUMOOC community know that you’ve made your contribution to your blog. The easiest way is to share a link to your post on Twitter, using the hashtag for the MOOC, #edumooc. You also can reply to the thread for the week in the Google Group with your contribution.
  4. Bookmark online resources of interest. When you come across online resources that others are sharing that are of interest to you, bookmark the links using a social bookmarking service. I personally use Diigo and have found it to be a fantastic way to create my own digital online locker of resources that I can then access in the future. When you bookmark an online resource, use the course tag edumooc.
  5. Set boundaries for yourself. The larger the MOOC, the easier it is to easily become overwhelmed with the amount of resources shared and volume of conversations that take place. Don’t feel like to have to keep up on everything that’s happening in the course. Set goals for yourself and give yourself permission to get out of the course what you need from the course. I personally plan to set aside 30 mins. per day to check Twitter and read through the previous day’s contributions to the Google Group to stay up-to-date on the conversations and to participate. Remember that the more you contribute, the more you will in turn find others engage with you.

Those are just a few of my tips…what other tips do you have for individuals preparing to participate in a MOOC? Leave a comment with your tips, or better yet, post your own on your blog and leave a comment here with a link to your list!

If you’ve signed-up for #EDUMOOC and stumbled across this blog post, leave a comment and say hello! MOOCs are all about connections and networking with others!! You can also fine me on Twitter @jrhode or Facebook at facebook.com/jasonrhodephd

**UPDATE 6/23 – I’ve recorded a couple of screencast tutorials and posted here with a few more details on how to get started with the Google Group, as well as setting up Google Alerts and subscribe to see what those who are blogging during #EDUMOOC are saying**

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Online Learning

In case you’ve missed the official announcement, the University of Illinois Springfield‘s Center for Online Learning, Research and Service is organizing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Online Learning Today…and Tomorrow!

It is free. It is non-commercial. It is an open opportunity to collaborate. Here are a few more of the details:

When: Registration is Free and Open now! The course runs 6/27 – 8/20, 2011

Resource site is now open…you can see where we are going, the course will evolve
Live Webinar panel discussions every Thursday 2p EDT, 1p CDT, Noon MDT, 11a PDT beginning with the first session on June 30

Where: http://sites.google.com/site/edumooc is the home/resource site. Discussions for those who register will be hosted by Google Group eduMOOC

Twitter hashtag is #edumooc

Diigo tag is edumooc to share additional resources

Why: To learn, collaborate and network with interesting and knowledgeable colleagues

Join us in building resources; discussing today and the future of online learning. Sign up today. It’s totally free – do as much or as little as you choose – no advertising – just collaboration, communication and networking with colleagues in online learning. Simply register with an email address at the site below and join in this worldwide collaborative event!

http://sites.google.com/site/edumooc