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MOOCs in 2015

Now that we’re a good three years past “The Year of the MOOC,” I decided to see how far we’ve come since the New York Times named 2012 after the massive open online course by looking at what it would take to put together a new One Year BA curriculum using free-learning resources available two […]

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Xena’s Paradox – The Partially Examined Life

As a substitute for the Degree of Freedom podcast I didn’t have time to put together this week, I’d like to talk about an educational podcast that has become a favored learning activity since finishing my One Year BA. Last summer, I kind of drew a line with regard to what constitutes a course in […]

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Self Study

I’m faced with a bit of a gap as junior year classes wrap up and senior year ones start, so no newsletter this week. While next week’s issue will feature a review of Coursera’s just-completed Mathematical Philosophy course, I’d like to take a brief look today at my experience trying to self-curate a course – […]

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Curated Learning

I’ve gotten to the halfway point in an Existentialism course I’m taking from  And while I still need to get to the end before writing a formal review, it’s worth taking a few moments now to comment on a course that’s not simply a recording (a la iTunes U) or repackaging (a la most […]

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Barriers to Entry

I recently listed the components of a MOOC course to a friend working in edTech who wanted to figure out which pieces he already had in place.  The things I told him he needed included: Video lectures Static document management (for syllabi and other course-related materials) Quizzing Discussion forum management A learning management system to […]

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Sources for More Courses

Before leaving the topic of sources for free learning, I wanted to highlight some other options you can look into if you’re trying to put together your own college education (or are just interested in exploring more ways to educate yourself a no cost). is another organization offering access to free classes on a […]

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Sources for Courses – iTunes U

As I mentioned previously, I am including classes from iTunes U in my Degree of Freedom lineup, despite the fact that they are often not listed when people talk about Massive Online Courses. While not everyone might agree with this choice, Apple’s iTunes U service brings some serious game to the field of free college-level […]

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MOOC Providers – Udacity

Whenever MOOCs get mentioned in the media, the “Big Three” names always invoked are Coursera (reviewed on Monday), edX (which we explored yesterday) and Udacity, the third big player in this space which I’d like to take a look at today. Like Coursera, Udacity was founded by players in the original Stanford experiment in massive […]

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MOOC Providers – edX

When the number of people enrolling in Stanford’s original experiment in free online learning exceeded expectations by an order of magnitude, educators, the media and policy makers took notice.  But when Harvard and MIT each contributed $30 million to create the online learning non-profit edX (which I’ve been inadvertently calling EdX until now), it was […]

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