Showing posts from May, 2014

An initial review of Udemy, from a student's perspective

Udemy is one of those platforms that frequently gets lumped into the "MOOC provider" category. Perhaps, these days, with the term being anything you want it to be, Udemy fits into this category.  Over the past few weeks I've been experimenting with their courses to see what Udemy is all about.  originally (a year or so ago), when I first went to Udemy I experienced sticker-shock.  The courses (or at least those one the homepage) were not free. This was not something that I was expecting to see from a MOOC platform. That said, this time around, I fished around and found six free courses.  Three were more like professional development workshops, traditional self-paced learning, and three were created by academics.  The three more academic courses were Ancient Greek Religion , Intercultural Communication , and a political science course on American Democracy . From a motivational perspective, I assigned up for these courses because they were free, and they were interesti

Teaching at a distance...or not?

You are using it wrong... A little while back I was reading Rebecca's post titled When teaching online doesn’t mean ‘at a distance’ . Quite a few things came to mind, but they were too many for one blog post, so I thought I would do two separate ones.  One from my experiences as a program coordinator (and unofficial instructional designer) for the Applied Linguistics department where I work, and one for my role as an (adjunct) faculty member in the Instructional Design program.  This first post tackles the day job role (program coordinator). In the post, Rebecca writes that she taught a course, online, for a predominantly residential program. The students were thus using online tools to schedule face to face meetings, instead of  using  the tools to facilitate online meetings to get group work done.  This seems like a lost opportunity to us who have been using technology to communicate and work online for a while now, but to a novice the path of least resistance (and optimal

Two Future Learn courses down - some initial thoughts on the design and the platform

This spring semester seemed to be the spring semester for experimentation (then again, there is almost no bad time for experimentation).  I decided, among other things, to really give FutureLearn a try.  FutureLearn is still in Beta, so I guess I haven't missed a lot yet, but one of the things that  I think is really important when evaluating a course design, or even a platform, is picking courses that you, as a learner, are interested in. Thus, you have two hats to put on, the hat of the learner, and the hat of the evaluator.  These roles are mutually in support of one another, so it's a win-win situation.  The two courses that I picked for this platform are Corpus Linguistics, so that I could  geek out a bit on one of the subjects I am interested in, and the mind is flat,  whose title really caught me.  I think that if it has been labeled as "Psych 101" I would have just kept walking. Now, it's not possible to judge a platform just on the design of the course