MOOC News and Views (Week of 7/7-7/13)

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News

FutureLearn is looking for people who use their smartphone or tablet to learn.

Coursera’s blog features the story of an entrepreneur who used Coursera classes to help her expand her business. Read it here.

Remember that until July 16th, all accredible.com URLs will redirect to learning.accredible.com. We’re adding some new features, which is why we’re changing the URLs. Just make sure to you’ve changed the bookmark in your browser to learning.accredible.com by the 16th!

 

What is Team Accredible learning?

These aren’t MOOCs, but we’ve started a new series called “Around the World in 62 Days” which documents countries’ declarations of independence and other national holidays. Check out week 1 and 2 and stay tuned for next weeks!

The last week of Adventures in Gamification has come to a close, and Elizabeth has the final hurrah write-up of it here! Don’t worry if you haven’t started it since it’s self-paced so you can start anytime.

New Courses

Here are some of the upcoming NovoEd courses. NovoEd offers MOOCs with a twist – collaboration and social learning is deeply embedded in their platform. Mobile health, tech entrepreneurship and scaling businesses are just some of the things you can learn about with these interactive, fascinating classes.

Learning Tips

There are lots of free online resources to make studying and organizing your studying a little easier. Whether you want to be able to find articles about a subject you’re interested in (Feedly), have your notes accessible from anywhere (Evernote), create and use flashcards (Anki), or more, here are a few apps to get started with. Let us know what tools you use when studying by tweeting @accredible!

Take a few tips from Sherlock Holmes to become a better learner. From focusing to reading to “chaotic creativity”, who knew everyone’s favorite detective had the habits of a lifelong learner?

The second in a series on demystifying resume buzzwords is back, this time unraveling the term “motivation.” In addition, check out last week’s, “innovation.”

One of Udacity’s Course Developers has a blog post on Udacity’s blog with his tips for lifelong learning.

 

Happy learning!

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MOOC News and Views (Week of 6/30-7/6)

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What is Team Accredible learning?

Last week the Supreme Court recently made a controversial ruling in a case concerning a number of topics. Here are some relevant MOOCs that can help you understand some of the issues at play in the case.

Blog editor Elizabeth continues her Gamification class with a wrap-up of Week 5. Learn about the “Hero’s Journey” and how it relates to teaching and the classroom.

News

Accredible recently switched the URLs of learning profiles to learning.accredible.com to highlight the importance of learning. Please update your bookmarks – while typing accredible.com will redirect to learning.accredible.com right now, it will only do so until July 16th.

NovoEd, a MOOC platform that facilitates peer collaboration, was recently featured in a Venture Beat interview. Check it out to learn more about how Stanford University is investigating education disruption.

With 6 more days of the World Cup, Coursera is continuing it’s “Coursera World Cup” competition. So far Singapore and Taiwan are in the lead. Spread the word to your friends and boost your country’s ranking!

In other Coursera news, their translation project is coming along nicely! The first million Russian words were just translated, with more being translated every day. Read more on Coursera’s blog.

edX wants to know what style of videos you prefer: the “talking head” professor, panel discussions, or on-location filming. Let them know by tweeting @edXonline or @HKUniversity with the hashtag #BeyondTalkingHead. 

FutureLearn hosted their very first company hackday. Their blog details everything that went into it, before, during and after the event.

Lifelong Learning

This week Accredible and Udacity both tackled the topic of lifelong learning on their respective blogs. Andy Brown, an instructor at Udacity, wrote about a different way to frame the “How can I get myself to pursue lifelong learning?” question. He realized that it is a quite daunting task, but can be made more manageable by reframing it as “How can I learn to love learning more?” 

Many people are now pursuing a “DIY degree” by combining MOOCs and other learning tools. Read about a few of them and some of the options available here. From mentoring to beefed-up certificates and final exams to job searching help, as well as course pathways in multiple subject areas, this is a very promising area of life-long education.

 

Happy learning!

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Welcome to learning.accredible.com!!

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If you have visited your Accredible profile over the last few days, you may have noticed a small change in the address bar…where once you saw www.accredible.com/, you are now seeing learning.accredible.com/. Keep watching www.accredible.com for a super exciting announcement!

Why the change?

At Accredible, we recognize that you are using our site to represent all of the things you have learned thus far – regardless of where or how you have learned it.  We strongly believe that the Learning should be showcased – and one way to do that is to highlight it in our address.  We are transitioning your wall, certificates and evidence to learning.accredible.com to share that this represents all forms of learning.

What do I have to do?

Rest assured, the only thing you need to do is to update your bookmark!  Everything else will remain the same (no need to update your resume or LinkedIn page!) as we will redirect traffic to your new home at learning.accredible.com with no further work from (or for!) you. As you will see if you visit Accredible today, we will be automatically redirecting you to learning.accredible.com until Wednesday, July 16th, 2014.  After that, we will still remind you of the move but to make life easier for you, we suggest you update your bookmarks.  Need help updating your bookmarks?  Click on your browser below for detailed instructions.

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I’ve updated my bookmarks – now what?

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While you are visiting learning.accredible.com, why not try a few of the following things:

  1. Update your wall style – there are 7 great textures to pick from!
  2. Search for a new course using our Course Finder and add them to your To Learn list!
  3. Add some extra evidence for your courses (certificates, assignments, scores, blog posts, videos, etc)
  4. Catch up on News from your Courses & Friends or check out who else has taken the same courses as you and Follow them!  You may learn some great new ways of seeing the same subject by viewing their shared materials!
  5. See people with Similar Interests or Suggested Courses at the bottom of your profile
  6. Add some completed courses to your LinkedIn profile
  7. Ask fellow classmates for endorsements (AKA References)!
  8. Vote for features!

Again, welcome to learning.accredible.com!  We hope you will enjoy the above mentioned features.  Come back frequently and update your wall so your friends, classmates and (potential) employers can keep up with you.  Don’t forget,  keep watching the blog for another exciting announcement coming soon from Accredible!!!  (We can’t wait to tell you!)

Happy Learning!

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MOOC News and Views Roundup (Week of 6/23-6/29)

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New Courses

Udacity announced 4 more classes in their partnership with Google. In addition to the mini-class Web Performance Optimization (covered by Accredible here), there are 3 full-length classes: 

Accredible covered all 4 of these last week here.
Here is the list of Canvas classes that started last week (there’s still time to catch up!) and Coursera classes starting this month.

What is Team Accredible learning?

Our blog editor Elizabeth continues OpenLearning’s Gamification class and she just finished Week 4, which covered the use of scenarios as levellers. If you want to catch up on the previous weeks, here is Week 3Week 2, and Week 1.

News

Udacity now has an Android app. It includes everything Udacians have come to expect with the iOS ones, with offline video viewing capability coming in the near future. Download it on the Google Play store.

Google and Carnegie Mellon are working on combating the high attrition rate for MOOCs. As Venture Beat reports,  the project “overhaul the way people perceive MOOCs.” CM researches have argued that MOOCs fail to keep students interested because they lack the traditional systems that in-person ones use. It’ll be interesting to see what this research reveals, so stay tuned. 

Coursera is holding the “Coursera Cup” which is a leaderboard ranking countries with the most active Courserans per capita. Right now Singapore is in the lead. Check where your country stands, and then start learning!

OpenLearning participated in Australia’s annual CEO Sleepout, a fundraiser in which business leaders sleep in the streets to raise money and awareness for homelessness. Read about his experience on the OpenLearning blog.

edX’s first partner university from France, Sorbonne Universités, has joined the platform. Classes will be offered starting Spring of next year, and will include each of the universities in the Sorbonne.

New features on Accredible: More Course Providers, Improved Course Finder and more!

Computer knowledge

At Accredible, we are constantly listening to your suggestions and improving the site. Here are the latest!

More Course Providers

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 6.20.44 PMCanvas provides mostly free classes from a wide variety of universities and subjects, including one on the World Cup and integrating data into journalism. Some classes are self-paced, while others have fixed start and end dates.

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 6.24.03 PMOpenLearning provides lots of tools for students to aid them with their learning. From a personal blog upon sign-up to real-time data on how many students are enrolled in each class, the students are at the center. In addition, a “karma” system encourages forum and class participation.

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 6.39.51 PMCodeschool provides programming courses in Ruby, iOS, Javascript and HTML/CSS. Their short courses include R, Git, Chrome DevTools and the Google Drive API. Get access to all their courses for just $29/month, or access the short courses for free.

More Course Details

  • In the Course Finder:
    • Sort courses by language, popularity and start date (in addition to the usual provider and subject)
  • On individual Course Pages:
    • Different information depending on the course
    • Recommended additional courses
    • Review courses (with a 5 star metric and a comment box)

 

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In the Course Finder, when you click on a video, a pop-up window appears, making it easier than ever to see if you’re interested in a course without having to leave the Finder. This also happens on specific Course Pages.

 

Check out the new features on Accredible, and if you have a feature in mind that you’d like to see, let us know here!

MOOC News and Views Roundup (Week of 6/16-6/23)

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Welcome to the first installation on our “news and views” weekly roundup of MOOC news and happenings. On the menu today: training programs, the World Cup, and the Kindle Fire.

Training Programs

Udacity announced “nanodegrees“, which are year-long CS programs made up of Udacity courses and mentorship. What makes these unique is that the programs have been built in collaboration with technology companies, and as a result, they will recognize the resulting degrees.

Singapore has developed a training program based on a series of Data Science classes from John Hopkins University on Coursera. The specialization consists of 9 four-week courses and a Capstone Project. Meetups will be available to facilitate in-person interaction and spontaneous group learning, and a Verified certificate will be issued to anyone who completes the requirements.

New Courses

Udacity added another mini-course to its collection, bringing the total to 2: Make your own 2048 Game and Website Performance Optimization. Each consisting of 2-3 lessons, these are great courses to get started with if you’re new to programming. There are no prerequisites for the 2048 class, and for the Optimization one you only need to be able to read and write HTML, and know what CSS and Javascript are. Learn more about them here.

The World Cup has everyone in a soccer frenzy, madly cheering for their team in hopes of a win. If you need a more, shall we say, intellectual break from all the sports, head on over to the Canvas MOOC called “Mega Events: Inside the FIFA World Cup”. Taught by an urban planning professor, you can learn about the economic effects of hosting the event and every facet of the World Cup – political, historical, cultural, and more.

News

Starbucks announced a partnership with Arizona State University that will enable workers will be able to take ASU online classes for free or reduced tuition. As 70% of Starbucks employees are either current or aspiring students and 37 million Americans who start but don’t finish a degree, this program clearly has potential to help lots of students.

Coursera has released a Kindle Fire app. After seeing the overwhelmingly positive response to their iOS and Android apps, this new app includes all the standard features – browse and enroll in courses, watch and download videos, and view video subtitles, just to name a few.

What is Team Accredible learning?

Interested in startups? Then these two courses are must-take. How to Build a Startup and The Design of Everyday Things, both offered by Udacity, offer unconventional takes on designing companies. Check out engineering intern Joey’s review of them here.

The year is half-way over; how have you done on your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more? If you’re anything like me, you know you could do better but just need a little extra motivation. What better way to help accomplish your goals than by learning the science, psychology, economics, and more behind why you should be healthier. 8 MOOCs, all either recently started or self-paced, offer just that. Check out these 4 on personal health, and these 4 on global health.

Ever wanted to know (part of) the secret behind Foursquare and Khan Academy’s addictiveness? Gamification is your answer, and the OpenLearning course will teach you everything to know about it. If you’re hesitant about joining, however, our blog manager, Elizabeth, is blogging each week with the course. Check out the first week right here and let her know in the comments if you end up joining it!

New Features

Accredible has recently unveiled some new features, including video pop-up previews, customized info on course pages, and support for three more course providers. Head on over to the Course Finder to see them in action!

Learning Hacks

Battle procrastination with 3 killer tips and make MOOCs shine on your resume, and make your Accredible profile stand out.

Have a learning tip you think others might find useful? Tweet it to us and you could be featured in the next News & Views Roundup!

 

Happy Learning,

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Accredible now supports Open2Study

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One of the course providers we’re most excited to partner with is Open2Study. Started in early 2013 in Australia, they are one of the newest formed online course platforms and feature almost 50 courses in subjects ranging from science to business and management to art and music.

The Basics

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Some of the classes available.

  • 49 courses in subjects ranging from science to business and management to art and music
  • 26 universities, mostly in Australia
  • 60% average required on 4 tests to receive certificate
  • Classes either self-paced or 4 weeks long
  • Courses run every 5 weeks
  • See enrollment statistics here

Badges & Gamification

Open2Study Badge

One of the first badge’s you get upon signing up.

Badges add a fun element to learning with Open2Study. Earn them for doing things like connecting social media accounts, filling out your profile, completing classes and more. If you’ve ever had trouble staying motivated with an online class this may help!

Robust Community & Peers

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Invite friends via Facebook, LinkedIn and email.

Friends: Invite people you already know to take classes with you.

Messaging: As soon as you sign up, find and connect with your fellow classmates to collaborate on homework or ask questions via Open2Study’s email-like messaging interface.

Forums: The entire Open2Study site has its own forum while each class has a smaller one ( but no sub-forums).

Social Media: Each Open2Study course has a Twitter hashtag that goes along with it and on the right-hand side of each course page is a live feed of Twitter mentions of that hashtag.

 

In addition, Open2Study has a very clear “onboarding” process (the way they show you how to use the website and it’s features) and after you finish a class you receive recommendations for classes to take next.

Open2Study is an excellent online course provider if you’re looking for a quick MOOC to take to get an overview of a subject, so head over to and get started and then tweet us the best evidence page you make!

Introducing the new Accredible

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We are really excited to announce the brand new Accredible! Our goal has always been to make any and all knowledge credible, regardless of where you learn it, and with this new update we’ve come one step closer to that. We have improved the community aspect of the site, as well as made it possible to showcase many more types of learning. We’ve also added lots of new features, fixed some bugs, and generally improved the speed and simplicity of navigating the site.

Meet other learners & talk to the community

You can now ask your course mates questions

You can now ask your course mates questions

Your online learning community is an important part of making sure you stay motivated and on track with your classes and we’ve added lots of features to help make it easier to interact with your fellow students.

You can now search for other users, which allows you to view their coursework and give recommendations.

In addition, you can comment and ask questions on each class’ page, and everyone who is signed up for that class will get notified.

All the best courses in one place

We’ve now added almost 7,000 courses and counting!

We’ve added even more MOOC providers to our course finder, bringing the total number of classes available to nearly 7000!

You can now add classes from Coursera, edX, Udacity, iversity, MRUniversity, NovoEd, Open2Study, Complexity Explorer, FutureLearn, and WorldScienceU.

We’ve also categorized the course catalogue to make your browsing easier. Search by subject, price, date, popularity and more!

If you think we should add other course providers (we are always on the look out!), let us know at hello@accredible.com.

Personalized newsletter & course suggestions

The most interesting come to you!

The most interesting courses come to you!

Now as soon as you add a class to your ‘to-learn’ list, you’ll receive a personalized newsletter each week with other classes we think you’ll enjoy so you always have a steady stream of classes to take next.

You’ll also get reminders when your courses are about to start and updates on the trending courses across the major online course providers.

You can change your notification settings to enable or disable these emails at any time.

Custom classes and projects

You can now add custom courses, such as your degree

You can now add custom courses, such as your degree

Want to showcase a college degree, summer program, self-study, or other independent learning project you’ve completed? Now you can create an Accredible project for that to show the world and future employers what you learned and created. Upload your assignments, dissertations, transcripts, notes and anything else that adds to your credibility!

In addition to these four main features, we’ve fixed some bugs and added some functionalities. You can now:

  • Change your username
  • Change the types of email notifications Accredible sends you
  • Delete references you’ve previously approved
  • Vote for features to add (click “Vote for Features” in the user menu dropdown)
  • Search for other peoples’ Accredible profiles

The new Accredible is your central place for everything you need to learn online. Find new classes, connect with your classmates, organize your learning, and then showcase what you’ve learned and done. We can’t wait to see what you create, discover and share. And as always, send us an email at hello@accredible.com if you have any questions.

Happy learning,

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A New Accredible with Tailored Views for Employers… and more!

With the coming of a brand new year, we’re excited to announce upcoming improvements to the Accredible you know and love. Our mission has always been to enable everyone represent their knowledge & skills with credibility, regardless of where or how they’ve acquired them. We’ll always be dedicated to helping you track your learning, but now we’re excited to help you take all of the incredible evidence of your awesomeness and directly showcase it to employers to help you land your dream job.

We’re hard at work to update Accredible with a stunning new design, easier ways to track your learning, and the ability to showcase your skills to employers by simply dragging and dropping relevant the parts of your Accredible profile onto job application forms. Accredible will help you capture your best possible first impression–one where you’re confident and clearly overflowing with talent– and apply to jobs. We’re going to help you craft the perfect narrative that represents the best you have to offer, letting those carefully collected pieces of evidence speak to your strengths and shine in your job applications.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the features we’re working on:

1. A way for you to build and share stunning narratives centered around your skills and education that you can present to potential employers, including video cover letters!

2. A clearer way to showcase your learning from online courses, projects and self-education with credibility.

3. A better way to highlight work experience and evidence of your professional development.

We’ll not only be helping you craft the best impression of yourself, but we’ll enable you to opt in to being matched with job opportunities based on your interests and skills. You can even allow your profile to be browsable by employers; let that dream job come to you!

Best of all, Accredible will remain free for you to track and showcase your knowledge & experience.

We’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave us some comments and suggestions, & don’t hesitate to get in touch via hello@accredible.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Happy learning!

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Summer 2013 #AwesomeSlates Contest Winners

This summer, Accredible debuted “slates” – a new way to capture evidence for your learning. What followed was a contest of epic proportions where learners from around the world competed for fame and fortune in our #AwesomeSlates contest. A good slate captures pre-requisite learning, a great slate conveys truly memorable, deep learning with a variety of unique pieces of evidence. Sifting through the entries, we have been incredibly inspired by the creativity, effort, and loads of learning that YOU Accredible users share with the world. It wasn’t easy, but with the help of our leading judges, we are please to announce the winners of the #AwesomeSlates Contest for the Summer of 2013! Drumroll please….!

The winner of the Best Formal Learning slate is Melissa Cardin. Her “Bachelors of Arts, Social Work” slate has exemplary evidence of her expertise in the field. Notably, she includes her actual diploma from the University of New Hampshire, notes, and syllabi from key courses to provide a snapshot of her university learning. Additionally, her excellent research and essays provide a compelling glimpse into her research and work around children’s welfare and related issues. Her endorsements highlight her dedication and academic excellence. Congratulations, Melissa!

For the Best MOOC/Online Learning slate, our winner is Vladimir Đorđević. Vladimir completed the Berklee College of Music course on the “Introduction to Music Production by Loudon Stearns” via Coursera, clearly demonstrating his skills with a variety of music production tools. Highlights from his slate include screen captures of his consistently high-scores from his quizzes and his collaborative music projects. The links to his projects show his creativity with sound and his ability to apply the different concepts and effects he’s learning about in the class. We’re excited to celebrate Vladimir’s musical endeavors!

Abraham Joyner-Meyers wins the Best Skill slate for the impressive collection of evidence of his talent as a violinist. Despite his youth, his many videos on his slate clearly showcase a talent for public performance as well as his musical gifts—he’s performed in a variety of ensembles from full orchestra to soloist roles. In addition to performing well-practiced, heart-string pulling masterpieces, Abraham also shows a sense of humor through his violin, participating in and accompanying comedy skits. Perhaps even more remarkable than what he has achieved so far is the incredibly metacognitive and thoughtful way he approaches his practice; excerpts from his blog “The Education of a Young Man” give us insight into his reflectiveness and maturity as a dedicated learner, always keen to improve his craft. Bravo, Abraham!

The “CS75: Building Dynamic Websites” slate by Arian Allenson Valdez takes the honors for Best Self-Paced Learning slate. Arian’s evidence of his learning through the Harvard Extension School showcases his evolving skills as a programmer. He includes a diverse array of evidence, from screenshots and web links for projects to links to a book he referenced during his course. He even includes two time-lapsed videos of him coding his projects, showing how he deals with the problems he encounters! Arian’s final project for the course was a “Virtual Pet” game showing a successful application of the concepts he’s learned. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s next from this intrepid programmer!

Michael Foster’s slate on “Gamification” from the UPenn Coursera MOOC wins for the category of Most Innovative slate. Aside from the detailed and thorough assignments he completed, all earning high marks, he also created a variety of awesome mind maps to capture his learning. The maps are remarkable for their depth and clarity, easily conveying large amounts of information about different game-related concepts in an easily accessible way. It’s clear that he has a strong handle of the information, but his slate also demonstrates a creative mind and a knack for distilling large amounts of information into reader-friendly portions—that’s quite a set of skillsl in itself!

We’d also like to thank our wonderful judges:

Dev

Devavrat calls himself an Autodidact, Thinker, Designer. He deeply believes, like his role-models Isaac Asimov and Seymour Papert, that the best learning happens when the learner takes charge. He’s been learning independently from a lot of MOOCs and books about various fields since 2011 because he wants to be a good big-picture thinker and solve world’s problems through collaboration and great design.

Emerson

Emerson is the CEO of StudyRoom, the social learning network for students to meet all their classmates, get help from them and get better grades! (www.getstudyroom.com) Thousands of students taking classes from Stanford, UC Berkeley, Georgia Tech and many others are using study rooms for their courses and they describe it as lifesaver. If you have ever been stuck doing homework or studying for a midterm and just needed a little help then now you can get it super fast, from your classmates on StudyRoom.

Roxy

Roxy is a nineteen-year-old self-directed learner from Russia. She’s an UnCollege student, going her own way with her education. This lets her explore and learn anything she wants, with her main interests being business, writing, and psychology. She usually uses MOOCs for them–so many that she wrote a Beginner’s Guide to MOOCs, featured on Accredible Blog some time ago. If you want to know more about her educational exploits, you can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.