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

Lasso

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!

teamsig-small (1)

Upcoming NovoED Courses

novoed part 2
NovoED is the social online learning environment.  They are structured around a “Learn, collaborate and innovate” system in which you are organized into groups with whom you work on projects for the run of the course.  By doing this, you network with a group of individuals and you actually have a chance to get to know them.  So they offer all of the typical benefits of a regular MOOC with the added benefit of teamwork, problem solving, creativity and networking!

 

Some upcoming courses include:

Technology Entrepreneurship

Course Date: 14 July 2014 to 24 August 2014 (5 weeks)

Price: free

This course discussed the process technology entrepreneurs use to start companies which involves taking a technology idea, gathering resources such as talent and capital, marketing the idea, and managing rapid growth.

Estimated Workload: 10 hours per week.

 Mobile Health Without Borders

 

Course Date: 27 July 2014 to 31 August 2014 (5 weeks)

Price: free

This course focuses on cost-effective healthcare solutions using ever-expanding mobile technologies. The addressed themes are: 1) Global Health Challenges. 2) Mobile Health Opportunities. 3) Entrepreneurship in Healthcare.  This course will function like a conference, but take place over weeks instead of 2 days.  

Check out this great example of group work.

Scaling Up Your Venture Without Screwing Up

Course Date: 08 September 2014 to 12 October 2014 (4 weeks)

Price: free

In this five-week course, founders and managers learn to uncover and build on pockets of exemplary performance when scaling their venture.

Estimated Workload: Expect to spend between 4 – 6 hours per week on the course over the five-week period.

DQ 101: Introduction to Decision Quality

 

Course Date: 09 October 2014 to 15 November 2014 (5 weeks)

Price: free

This five-week online course covered the concepts of Decision Quality, introduced common decision traps, and fostered the basic awareness of skills and tools for reaching Decision Quality in business settings.

Estimated Workload: Expect to spend between 2-4 hours per week on the course over the five-week period.

Here is a sample of group work from this program!   

NovoED has some very exciting courses coming up over the next few months – and even more coming up soon after!  If you like MOOCs but feel you are missing the “human connection”, try NovoED!  The team group work might be just the thing for you.  Let us know which courses you decided to take in the comments below – and remember to add the courses to your Accredible To Learn list for course reminders.

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

Lasso

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!

teamsig-small (1)

Accredible Contest Hack #8: Adding Creativity to Your Toolbox

via flickr: Eddi van W.

Creativity is a key that unlocks doors of great opportunities, innovative products, and original solutions for different problems in a variety of fields. It is one of the main skills for 21st century… the question is, how do you develop creativity?

Practice thinking outside of the box
First, you need to develop the habit of seeing things differently, Thinking outside of box is a mindset that once developed is hard to lose, and like any skill, it gets easier with consistent practice.

Begin by relaxing and emptying your mind. Consider the problem that you want to solve and approach it from as many different angles and perspectives as possible…even nonsensical ones. When you’re brainstorming in this way, associative thinking is your greatest ally. And remember, if you get in the habit of thinking from multiple angles often, you’ll begin to see new associations and ideas on a regular basis! (Another great way to develop this skill is to take a course on it — Try NovoEd’s A Crash Course on Creativity)

Be Observant & Take Notes
Even the most mundane things, such as personal routine, can give provide many insights and new ideas. Notice patterns in the world around you, write down your observations, and reflect on why those choices were made. Applications like Google Keep or Evernote are useful for capturing thoughts on-the-go. If you make a practice of writing down your thoughts, you’ll not only start to see hidden details that you might have missed if you weren’t paying attention, but you’ll also find yourself becoming better at articulating your thoughts in everyday conversation and discussion. You can also review notes and combine and mix different ideas. To optimize the creation of new ideas and connections, use brightly colored pens or markers and plenty of images. Though they may not be the tools associated with a “serious” workplace, they can help create a more visually compelling brainstorm and help us see connections we may not have considered.

Rediscover Your Inner Child
Do you remember being a child and thinking that the world was full of wonder and magic? Kids are filled with curiosity and a desire to explore. Rediscovering your inner child can help you to recapture that sense of endless possibility. Keep asking “why,” always staying curious. In his famous Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs reminded us to, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Turn Everything into a Game
Games can be useful for your work and studies they help you to do things more productively without losing enjoyment. Games are enticing because even when you’re working towards a goal, the gameplay itself is energizing and fun. Games are also enticing because “failure” can easily be fixed; there’s always a way to restart. Bringing this optimistic mindset from gaming to your coursework or career goals is greatly beneficial; this mindset can transform your work and studies from labor to an amazing journey which will set you free of any fears you may encounter. Moreover, it brings freedom and ingenuity into your work – no more faking and hardships, as there’s no losing in the end, only winning.

Try creating Accredible Slates for different skills and areas of your life to help you stay motivated and track your progress; turn your goals into a game. Next time you get stuck, take a walk through our gallery for inspiration on how to create awesome Slates (and don’t forget there’s still time to enter the #AwesomeSlates Contest and win $150 for each winning slate you’ve made)!

This post is part of a series on the Hacks to Create Winning Slates:

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible

6. Skills ToolBox, an Overview

7. Filling Your Skills ToolBox: How to Brainstorm

8. Adding Creativity to your Toolbox (current)

 

Beginner’s Guide to MOOCs: 5 MOOC Platforms You Should Know About

Although we featured major MOOC platforms Coursera, Udacity, and edX in the last post, today we’d like to introduce you to a few more great learning platforms that will help you enrich your knowledge. Read on to discover more about a growing network of MOOC providers: 

NovoEd

Started as a Stanford MOOCs experiment (Stanford Venture Lab), NovoEd now is an independent MOOC platform, currently offering 9 classes. Unlike the courses from many other platforms, NovoEd courses are about more than just reading, watching videos and taking quizzes. Their emphasis is on collaboration and learning by doing.

image

The most famous courses, Crash Course on Creativity and Technology Entrepreneurship at NovoEd.

 

In the class Technology Entrepreneurship, for example, you need to find a team with which you will create a marketing plan, first prototypes, and even start your own startup. Assignments are unique since you are getting practical knowledge and developing new skills instead of simply remembering facts and recalling concepts.

Many NovoEd professors,- such as Chuck Eesley of TechEntr – are fantastic at keeping in touch via social media, watching and participating in discussions via Facebook and Twitter. Whilst students are discouraged from contacting them directly, most professors seem happy to participate in discussions.

Open Learning

Although Open Learning is a relatively new edtech startup from Australia (founded by Adam Brimo and Richard Buckland), it is already a very promising place for studying. Courses are created by professionals and teachers. Freedom of expression and a rich library of available tools allow them to make a unique experience for students.

image

The most popular courses started recently in OpenLearning.

Students have opportunities to engage with learning and the community in new ways: tracking progress, earning badges and blogging about your thoughts, ideas and experiences helps to enrich your learning experience. Getting lost is impossible because course structure, profiles,and notifications are easy to learn and use.

Since Open Learning is a new platform, there are only a few courses on offer. However, the courses are very diverse in terms of time to complete (for example, Entrepreneurship by Taylor’s University takes 17 weeks whilst Service Marketing – The Next Level only takes 3 weeks). Content also varies heavily,from the ubiquitous Web Design and Development to the unique Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport.

In our list of MOOCs, Open Learning is the youngest platform. However, as it introduces new ways of teaching, studying and is evolving quickly, so might stumble upon a fascinating adventure whilst exploring it.

Saylor Foundation

The Saylor Foundation has a long history. It was established in 1999 by the prominent entrepreneur, founder and CEO of BI company MicroStrategy Michael J. Saylor and in 2008 switched focus to providing free, open, university-like classes for people around the world.

image

Saylor University’s Areas of Study.

Currently, you can find more than 200 different courses on saylor.org. There are two key features that really make Saylor stand out: lots of courses on Humanities and Business and the level of courses are higher and more college-like. All courses are self-paced but a time-advisory system helps you to plan your studies. Moreover, after completion you can go to a testing center and get credits for most of their courses.

Saylor Foundation is a great platform if you want to study at your own pace, seek knowledge at a higher-than-introductory level and have good organizational skills.

Hint for high school students: you can find a helpful course, SAT prep, on Saylor.

 

Udemy

In 2010, the Udemy learning platform was launched by Eren Ball, Oktay Calgar, and Gagan Biyany. Its slogan “The Academy of You” perfectly describes Udemy’s philosophy and its courses: everyone can create a course for others to learn from. Due to this, the courses are very diverse: from Organic Chemistry to Makeup Techniques and Applications. Moreover, most of the courses on Udemy are unique and don’t fit traditional academic characteristics. Where else on the web can you find such courses as How to Train Puppy?,Learn How to Juggle or Adapting Novel to Screenplay?

image

Featured and new courses worth taking a look in Udemy.

All courses are self-paced but most of them are not free. However, prices vary and if you find a course unsatisfactory, you can always request a refund during first 30 days without providing any explanation. Don’t have time or money to take course right now? No worries, Udemy has a Wishlist feature that allows you to save and try the course later.

Udemy is transforming education by making it peer-to-peer and going beyond traditional academic subjects.

Open Learning Initiative

The Open Learning Initiative was started in 2001 as a grant-funded project by the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University. Since then, 6 charity organizations, including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have supported them. What makes this platform unique is the integration of Carnegie Mellon’s expertise in cognitive tutoring into online courses. The idea of Metacognition (“Thinking about thinking”) helps people to study effectively.

image

Example of Learn by Doing at Open Learning Initiative.

Although the course database is not yet very large, existing courses involve more than just reading or watching content. Student activities such as “Learn by Doing” and “Did I get this?” as well as great course feedback will help you study more effectively and have fun along the way. Moreover, many traditional universities and some MOOCs (Introduction to Psychology as a Science by GeorgiaTech for example) decided to use the OLI as supportive material to enrich student’s experience and create higher engagement.

 

Today we’ve walked you through five promising MOOCs worth watching and trying. Still, there are many more places that can turn your laptop or mobile into a living university. Don’t stop searching for cool online universities – this journey is fun and brings many new experiences, knowledge and friends.

This post is part of a series on the Beginner’s Guide to MOOCs:

0. Introduction

1. Major MOOC Platforms

2. 5 MOOC Platforms you should know about (current post)

3. 5 MOOC Professors to See Before You Die

Extra:

1. AwesomeSlates Contest: Win Up to $750

2. Make All Your Education Count: Redesigning CV

Want to share your experience and the places we didn’t cover? Comment or send us email at hello@accredible.com We’ll be happy to hear from you and cover new MOOCs or anything else you want in our next articles.