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Archive for February, 2013

Looking for MOOCs

There are a couple of different types of MOOCs – Broadcast, aka xMOOCs which are getting most of media buzz and Connectivist MOOCs or cMOOCs which are the “original” MOOCs. A cMOOC is based on the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) model and is the type of MOOC described in the YouTube Video below. Some have said that the xMOOCs are just an extension of the LMS. You can locate xMOOCs at Class Central and find and learn more about connectivist MOOCs here:


Colleges form consortium to offer online courses

I think the model described in this Wired Campus Blog post, 10 Highly Selective Colleges Form Consortium to Offer Online Courses makes a lot of sense.  Students already attending one of the institutions in the consortium will be able to select from a wider range of courses and class sizes will be limited to 20 students.  The article notes that the online classes might especially benefit students who are studying abroad.  In my opinion, consortiums like this involving multiple online courses from multiple institutions will only continue to grow. The universities involved in this consortium are partnering with 2U, an educational technology start-up that provides universities with the technologies and infrastructural support for converting their on-campus programs into online programs.

C-wired article about professor who leaves MOOC

This is an interesting Chronicle Wired article about a professor who leaves a Coursera MOOC over disagreements about how to best conduct the course.

Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching

I’m not sure if this professor has experience teaching online, but based on my limited MOOC experience as a participant, I think it is important that instructors teaching MOOCs have experience teaching in the online environment. I think that one of the reasons the E-Learning and Digital Cultures (#EDC) MOOC has been such a positive experience is that all of the instructors have extensive experience teaching online.  These University of Edinburgh instructors teach in an online degree program and the MOOC they are teaching is a longer version of the EDC course within that program.  They also invited their MA students to participate in the MOOC which I think is brilliant.

MOOC instructors should clearly understand how MOOCs are different than traditional online courses.  I think this example as well as the recent cancellation of the Fundamentals of Online Education course also makes the case that MOOCs should be not be taught by an individual instructor.

Word Clouds by Tagxedo

Just discovered a new word cloud tool called Tagxdeo. I’ve been using Wordle for years to create Word Clouds but Tagxedo includes some wonderful creative options. Check it out!

Web 2 Peace Cloud

Web 2.0 Peace Cloud

Using Quality Matters (QM) to Improve All Courses

I’ve very excited that we just purchased a subscription to Quality Matters (QM).  Quality Matter is a well-known leader in quality assurance for online education and offers a peer review process and rubric that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. The QM rubric includes 8 standards:

  • Course Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  • Assessment and Measurement
  • Instructional Materials
  • Learner Interaction and Engagement
  • Course Technology
  • Learner Support
  • Accessibility

The Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology (JoTLT) recently published an article about QM entitled, Using Quality Matters (QM) to Improve All Courses.

More MOOC News

One of the participants in the EDC MOOC shared a link to the upcoming “Learning Analytics and Knowledge” MOOC and after checking it out, I noticed all the open courses coming up on the Canvas Network. I know a lot of universities are moving to the Canvas LMS so I may  register for a CN course and see it for myself.  A couple of conflicting Coursera articles in the news this week:

American Council on Education Recommends 5 MOOCs for Credit (all Coursera)

MOOC Mess (MOOC suspended due to Tech Issues – Ironically the course is called “Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application.”

Connected Learning instead of E-learning?

In Diana Oblinger’s video welcome at the ELI meeting, she suggests that the term “eLearning” be replaced with an updated term which she calls “Connected Learning.” I do think we need a better term to describe online/distance learning but I’m not sure  if connected learning will catch on.

Below is link to Tuesday’s opening ELI General Session where Diana makes her pitch for “Connected Learning” as well as a great talk from Vincent Tinto from Syracuse University titled “Student Success Does Not Arise by Chance.”

Tuesday’s General Session Recording

ELI Annual Meeting Resources

Educause Learning Initiative’s (ELI) annual meeting is in Denver this week (Feb 4-6, 2013).  Below are some of the resources from the meeting.

Digital Poster Gallery (Tuesday)

ELI 2013: Online Educators’ Lessons Learned

Educause Event Planning Kit

2012 Horizon Report