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MOOC Providers – Coursera

This week, I’d like to focus on sources for free learning, starting with the “Big Three” providers who tend to get brought up in any news piece or discussion of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Coursera, EdX and Udacity. All three grew out of the original Stanford University experiment in open learning that made news, […]

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MOOC Components – Assessment

Assessment is such an important topic with regard to MOOCs and other new learning models that I plan to devote a week to the subject in April.  But for now, I’d like to provide an argument why testing is both the greatest vulnerability for moving MOOCs forward, as well as the ripest area for innovation […]

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MOOC Components – Discussion

One of the biggest criticisms leveled against not just MOOCs, but online learning in general is the lack of human connection in courses where students and teachers are primarily interacting with one another via technology. Lecture videos can be stunningly produced, can edit out a professor’s burps and brainfarts, and even integrate footage highlighting examples […]

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MOOC Components – Reading

On average, the reading requirements for my course-load are significantly less than what I remember from my original college experience.  But, on average, the statistician sitting on a block of ice and lighting hair on fire will be at just the right temperature. This observation may be behind the mixed feelings I’ve developed with regard […]

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MOOC Components – Homework

Homework is one aspect of free learning programs that will need to get more attention if MOOCs and similar resources are ever to provide an adequate supplement or alternatives to traditional classroom experiences with regard to ensuring the successful achieving of learning outcomes. Having worked in educational publishing for several years, I’ve seen how automated […]

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MOOC Components – The Lecture

This week, I’ll be taking a look at how different free-learning alternatives deal with the five most crucial components of a formal educational experience, including: Lectures Homework Reading Discussion Assessment While this discussion will include general observations about each of these elements, I will also use some of the classes I’m enrolled in to illustrate […]

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Degree of Freedom Lineup at HuffPo

You can check out my latest Degree of Freedom write up at Huffington Post.

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Questions and Communication

I’ve received a number of questions, both in the comments section and through the Contact form, and while it’s still manageable to do so, I’m going to try to reserve time on Fridays to answer as many of these as I can. The first one came from commenter Steve who wondered if I will be […]

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Today, I wanted to discuss the major challenges I expect for this project.  And tomorrow, I plan to wrap up the week by answering your questions and reviewing the ways you can follow along with the Degree of Freedom experiment. Regarding challenges trying to learn the equivalent of a liberal arts BA in twelve months […]

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MOOC vs. iTunes: Auditing vs. “Taking” Classes

In a traditional college setting, there is a distinction between taking a class (which includes fulfilling all course requirements) and simply auditing it (i.e., just sitting through the lectures).  In the world of MOOCs and other free online classes, however, this difference is not so clear. For most “brick-and-mortar” (and even online) degree-granting colleges and […]

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