I’ve been poking away at Google’s new online course (which is massive, online, free but I’m not sure it’s open – will have to do some more reading on the rights section). As per usual, it’s quite well done. I have a few minor criticisms but on the whole I’ve found it a nice example of clean, simple design for online learning.
The introductory emails and information were clear, signup process was straightforward, and they even noted when I would see different results if I were using a tablet (which I am). No surprises.
As I’m traveling it would have been nice to be able to download and store the videos but they provided text pages and downloadable slides plus the videos were very short so I was able to view them when I had wireless Internet. The only note to anyone who is trying to do this kind of course on an iPad, I found Safari will only store a link to the text page, not the text page, unless I store it as an image on my desktop (not sure that’s the right word for it?) Would be nice to pull the text information together into a pdf – more flexible for further reference (oh, I forgot to add that it would be great if it were a searchable pdf – don’t ask much do I??)
Despite the very simple approach in this course (one of my quibbles is it really isn’t “power” searching – more like a good intro to Google search tools and basic of how to search more effectively – I still learned some valuable things – I knew about operators and image search and a few other tricks but the CTRL + F to search text in page and the tip about finding text on Safari iPad by clicking in the Search pane and then looking for the search in page pane that pops up on the onscreen keyboard have been very useful.
Other aspects of the course design that I thought they did well:
– most of the activities were useful and I liked the way they drew you into the discussion forum to share ideas with fellow learners;
– I appreciated the tone that Daniel Russell set right from the start in his videos – friendly, clear, positive
– I liked the intro and summaries provided for each brief lesson
– Just completed the midpoint quiz and really liked that fact that I was referred to the specific two lessons that would help me improve my test score – nice!
Ooops, got to run. Time to move on. More on Google Power Search and their new online course development tools in the next posting!
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