Pages Navigation Menu

Building Your Own Online Class? – How To Choose the MOOC Platform

Posted by

by John Swope In 2012 and 2013, MOOCs took root in the higher education landscape. Today, most top universities offer some sort of MOOC. In 2014, we are starting to see organizations and even individuals build MOOCs. If you’ve ever considered building your own open online class, one of the first steps is determining which MOOC platform will best suit your needs. Luckily, you can build MOOC and MOOC-ish courses using one of several tools that are free and open for anyone to use. The following is a review of of some of those platforms, identifying their strengths and weaknesses and of the type of user each might be most appropriate for.   Udemy Udemy is one of the simpler online education platforms that allows individual instructors to build courses that they can either charge for or offer for...

Read More

MOOC Around The World, Part 6 – “MOOCish” Online Ed Resources

Posted by

Hello and welcome back to another part of the “MOOC around the world” series. Some of you might have a sense of déjà vu, but this is not a repetition of my other five parts, but indeed the sixth part of my MOOC journey. I know it’s like a never-ending story, but MOOCs mushroom faster than I can write and more parts might follow. 😉 For those who just joined the MOOC marathon, my original goal was to explore all the MOOC resources outside of the best-known platforms in the United States (Coursera, edX and Udacity) to draw attention to less familiar opportunities, both in English and in other languages. Here is a short review of the previous legs of the journey. Starting in Germany, I traveled through several European countries including the U.K., Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium,...

Read More

MOOC Around The World, Part 5 – Independent MOOCs for Independent Travelers

Posted by

Welcome back to our MOOC Around the World Series in which I’m trying to identify all the open online courses outside of the most familiar U.S. platforms. In parts one, two and three, I found plenty of classes to visit outside of North America entirely and in part four I surveyed all the classes I could find in Canada before finally turning my attention to American MOOCs that are on smaller platforms or entirely independent of any platform. If you’ve been reading along, you might have noticed a special kind of MOOC mixed in there — classes offered by organizations other than a university. In fact, the first MOOCs I took were independent in that sense, organized by groups of open education resource activists. Even though most of the media coverage of MOOCs summarize them as “elite university classes...

Read More

MOOC Around the World, Part 4 — Canadian and American MOOCs

Posted by

After my long trip through Europe, Australia, India and Latin America on my search for overlooked MOOC platforms, I returned home with luggage full of great experience and tons of information about interesting open classes from around the world. For those who didn’t have time to join me on earlier legs of the trip, my goal was to fill my travel journal with notes about classes outside of the major U.S. platforms. If if you thought MOOCs were limited to Coursera, edX and Udacity, not even close. They’re not even the first. So, wanting to see the wider MOOC world, in Part 1 I explored Germany, the U.K. and Ireland, in Part 2 I spent more time in continental Europe (including Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Portugal) and in Part 3 I racked up a lot of frequent...

Read More

The Ultimate Student Guide to Navigating the Writing MOOC

Posted by

So you are not a confident writer, but you want to take a MOOC that includes several papers. Can you survive? Or maybe you have college plans but writing is your biggest weakness. Can a writing MOOC help? As someone who has taught writing at the college level for more than 20 years, I have been asking myself similar questions. I have taught, and enjoyed teaching, hybrid courses. I routinely provide feedback electronically. But I was curious about whether writing can be scaled up to the MOOC level. So over the last few months, I registered for several courses in which writing is a major component, and I think I can say the answer to both questions is “Yes.” But a very qualified “Yes.” Pedagogically, writing instruction and assessment in MOOCs is not as advanced as the technology. The...

Read More

What is a Massive Open Online Course Anyway? MN+R Attempts a Definition

Posted by

Co-written by Juliana Marques and Robert McGuire If you are reading this, you are probably curious about Massive Open Online Courses, also known as MOOCs, a form of distance learning that some say is changing education as we know it. If you search Google for massive open online courses, you will get a massive number of results: more than two billion articles among Wikipedia, blogs, newspapers, discussion forums, databases . . . . All this content can be overwhelming, especially if you just want to have an overview of how MOOCs function. Even if you are already familiar with MOOCs, we hope this article will help you to better understand the main concepts behind the trend of open courses. There have been some excellent “What is a MOOC” articles already, including the now-classic video by Dave Cormier, who, along...

Read More

The Summer List: Professional Development MOOC Opportunities

Posted by

  With summer almost upon us, it’s that delicious time of year when many people prepare their summer reading list, selecting books that will motivate their personal and professional development. Now with the advent of MOOCs, massive open online courses, we have yet another enriching source to learn from. This summer someone wishing to hone existing skills or to learn something new has countless MOOCs available for free to choose from. To help you out, we’ve compiled a roster of several excellent courses available for  professional and personal growth. Though we don’t suggest we’ve found all the free online classes that will help with your professional development, the list below is a good place to start. What is professional development? “If It Is to be, It’s Up to Me” Before we go further, let’s clarify what professional development is....

Read More

MOOC around the world – Our Global List of Open Online Classes, Part 3

Posted by

Ready for the next leg of our around the world MOOC tour? If you’re just joining us, so far we’ve stopped in on as many MOOCs as we could find in Germany, England and Ireland and then, after a rest stop there, made a few thorough laps around the rest of Europe. But there are more open online classes out there. It’s a big world, after all. Our next destination would be a long trip in real life, but online we’ll get there in a snap. All aboard for . . . Australia Open Universities Australia (OUA), a private distance and online education organization, launched a new free online education platform called Open2Study last March. They’re starting with 10 courses including nursing, anthropology, financial planning and management. OUA expects to offer 40 to 50 subjects by the end of...

Read More

MOOC Around the World – Our Global List of Distance Learning Resources, Part 2

Posted by

We’re boarding now for the next leg of our journey exploring MOOCs around the world. In case you’re joining us mid-itinerary, in part 1 we had a whirlwhind three-country tour of distance learning resources from Germany, the U.K. and Ireland. This part will take us back to the continent to introduce MOOC platforms in northern and southern Europe as well as a pan-European platform based in the Netherlands. FYI, as I explained in part 1, I am including platforms dedicated to providing MOOCs as well as independent courses offered outside of a dedicated platform. I am also including some classes that have already finished if I expect them to be offered again or when the materials have been left open and accessible. Belgium In April 2013, Inge Ignatia de Waard published one of the first books about MOOCs. MOOC...

Read More

MOOC Around the World – Our Global List of Distance Education Resources, Part 1

Posted by

Massive Open Online Courses are the hot topic in distance education, not only because the 2013 Horizon Report named MOOCs as one of the emerging technologies to have an effect on higher education, but also because many institutions offer them now. However, when most people hear about MOOCs, they think of the “big three” providers — Coursera, Udacity and edX (Havardx and MITx), all of them American platforms. Most people are not aware that the first MOOCs were developed by Canadian teachers, George Siemens and Stephen Downes. Nor do most people know that many more MOOCs are available from around the world. Well, let me be your guide as we take a grand tour to discover the many MOOC options beyond the best-known platforms in the U.S. It’s going to be a long journey, taking at least three posts. By...

Read More