Exploring new forms of learning

I’m on six months leave that I’m splitting between traveling with a newly-retired spouse and catching up with the rapidly evolving world on online education/learning. I’m going to see how challenging it is to stay on track and involved and active in three (maybe four?) open/free online courses in the next couple of months  as we’re traveling through B.C., Washington, Oregon, Ontario and Hawaii!

I’ve also packed a new book on how to design web sites using HTML5 and CSS4 and I’m trying to catch up with more effective use of social media in education. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew but there is so much interesting stuff going on – I can’t bear to miss out!

I will be exploring free and open online courses; self-paced or wide-open cohort-style MOOC-type offering. Here are the ones I’ve officially (sort of) committed to for September!

1.  Coursera’s Networked Life, taught by Michael Kearns of Penn State.Networked Life course

I am curious about this approach – a scientific analysis of networked interactions supposedly targeted to a non-scientific audience. I’ve taken George Siemens and Stephen Downes MOOCs that follow a MOOC model and supposedly help us explore George’s theory of networked learning but I haven’t been persistent enough to really benefit yet. I’m curious whether a slightly more traditional online model, a slightly less strident emphasis on social learning and a different instructor/institution might make the difference for me as a learner.

I’m also going to be analyzing the course design and delivery for what it might mean to our nascent efforts at Yukon College. Perhaps we can learn from this approach.

This is a great example of the difference between free and open though. No cost, access to a knowledgeable and respected professor but incredible terms of use – check it out. I (as a student) have to sign away all rights to what I produce in this course – yikes! And they can do whatever they want with information about my participation in writing, video or whatever.

2.  MIT’s OCW Scholar – Introduction to Psychology – taught by Prof. John GabrieliIntro to Psychology

This course is a survey of the scientific study of human nature, including how the mind works, and how the brain supports the mind. Topics include the mental and neural bases of perception, emotion, learning, memory, cognition, child development, personality, psychopathology, and social interaction.

This is an open course in that it is based on the MIT OpenCourseWare model but it incorporates specially-made videos and course activities/quizzes/tests that are, I believe, machine-marked. They borrow from the model established by the Artificial Intelligence massive MOOC from Stanford.

I’m taking this course cuz I don’t have as solid a grounding in edu-psych as I would like plus I want to get a feeling for how this course differences from other offerings through the traditional OpenCourseWare model. It doesn’t have a cohort but it has video resources and assignments I can complete.



About Cloudsyl

Now a mid-Island observer of the Cloud
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