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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How to get a “Degree” on Your own Terms Online

Catherine's grad cap

When you combine the fact that the cost of getting a bachelors degree has skyrocketed within the past 20 years and the easy accessibility of packaged MOOCs, the question appears: How could one create a “degree” using only MOOCs? It turns out a few people have; here are some of them and a sampling of the options available. Alyxandria is a new initiative aimed at providing competency-based peer reviews and accreditation of courses. Started by someone who decided to make his own bachelor’s because he couldn’t afford one, the project is in its infancy and it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out. MBA’s are a popular degree choice, but also increasingly expensive. My DIY MBA is a blog run by someone who, after graduating and working for a while realized that he really wanted to understand the business world. Since he couldn’t afford going to college for one, he decided to craft his own, through books and other materials. The DIY Degree describes a method by which one can “test out” of courses to eventually earn a degree given by a traditional university.

Each of the three most popular MOOC providers, Udacity, Coursera and edX, provide packages of courses that provide a “degree”-like experience. Some of them even offer tutoring or more rigorous exit exams or certifications. Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 5.00.19 PM edX’s XSeries course sets are sets of MOOCs which upon completion grant you a special certificate indicating more in-depth knowledge.

  • Each XSeries is made up of MOOCs from the same university
  • Available in 5 subjects: Water, CS, Aerodynamics, Astrophysics, and Supply Chain Management
  • Cost: ~$50-100 per course + $75 program fee

Coursera’s Specializations are similar to XSeries’ with the addition of a final capstone project.Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 5.01.49 PM

  • Each specialization is made up of MOOCs from multiple universities
  • Available in 10 subjects, ranging from teacher education to CS to music
  • Cost: $29 or $49 per course + $49 capstone fee
  • Financial aid available

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 5.02.52 PMUdacity’s Nanodegrees will launch this fall. They’re being created with major tech companies to ensure that the subjects taught align with what is needed in the workforce.

  • Available in Front-end Engineering, Back-end Engineering, iOS Engineering and Data Analysis
  • Cost: TBD
  • Includes a dedicated coach, projects, recruitment possibilities, career resources and more!

Remember to use Accredible to document your learning in whichever “course pathway” you choose! Happy learning, teamsig-small (1)

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.

Udacity + Google = Awesome courses & Android app!

Wireless

Today Udacity had two new announcements relating to Google: a new app and new classes.

The App

android

Two months ago Udacity released an iOS app, and today they’re releasing their Android app. Other than the ability to download videos for off-line learning, everything learners have come to expect on the iOS app is available on the Android one.

The Classes

Udacity recently added a few more classes to their collection of ones developed in partnership with Google. The original ones were HTML5 Game Development and Mobile Web Development. Here are the new ones:

udacityshortWebsite Performance Optimization is a mini-class that the Accredible Blog covered last week. Learn how to make your website load quickly and efficiently, leading to happier users, customers and/or visitors. No experience is necessary other than knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 7.44.20 PMLearn how to best use Google App Engine to build applications that scale well in Developing Scalable Apps. The class will encompass a final project, building a tool similar to Meetup.com. All the frontend will be provided; your job will be to build the scalable backend. Prior experience programming and working with databases is necessary.

 

 

uxAre you a developer with rusty design chops? Then UX Design for Mobile
Developers
 is the class for you! The difference between User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) will be covered, and the class is designed to give you the most useful and applicable design techniques. There are no prerequisites for this class.

 

 

android

The last class, Developing Android Apps, is still being created, but you can see a sneak preview (Lesson 1) right now. The class will guide you to develop a cloud-connected Android app, as well as learn the principles and tools used in Android development. Prerequisites are knowledge of an object-oriented programming language.
Let us know on Twitter or Facebook which class you’re most excited about, and happy learning!

 

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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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Short courses with Udacity

Hello, World!

Have you ever wanted to learn about a new technology, but not worry about the time commitment of a full-length course? Well, not you can! Udacity just announced their second “mini-course”, a MOOC that is structured just like all their other courses except that it only contains 2 or 3 lessons and can be completed in about a week.

The videos in these courses take on a very personal vibe, showing one person “teaching” another. These make it seem less like a lecturer bestowing knowledge on you (the unknowing student), but more like a friend sitting down with you and showing you something new.

2048Make Your Own 2048

The game 2048 went viral earlier this year. Called the “latest addictive game”, this course walks you through how to modify it (for example, change the numbered tiles to photos) using the source code. 

  • Use developer tools to look at and download all the code that goes into the game
  • Learn the basics of HTML, CSS & (coming soon) Javascript, which make the game to what it does
  • Modify some files to customize the game

Note that right now, only lesson 1 (of 2) is available.

udacityshortWebsite Performance Optimization

In the age of instantaneous access to information, consumers want webpages to load as fast as possible. Slow websites can even lose customers and business, studies have shown. This course teaches you how to optimize websites for speed.

  • Investigate the differences between how mobile and we browsers display information
  • Experiment with tools that measure performance

 

Head on over to Udacity and check out these courses, and then get started on an Accredible evidence page to show off what you make!

 

Happy Learning,

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How to Make MOOCs Count on Your Resume

Resume target

The job market may not be at a point yet where MOOCs are accepted by employers on par with traditional college courses.  Regardless, MOOCs on your resume show that you are willing to take initiative to increase your knowledge base and skills.  Many recruiters see this quality as an opportunity to hire employees who will continue to improve themselves, which will constantly increase the human capital they provide to the company.

It is extremely important that you are showcasing your MOOCs appropriately on your resume, however.  A disorganized list of your classes will look more unprofessional and illegitimate than your resume would be without the MOOCs on it at all.  Instead, try placing them methodically and within categories.

 

Divide and Conquer

Again, your MOOCs will not be seen the same way as a college education by employers, so don’t bother listing them that way.  You want to make sure your online classes are being seen as a positive supplement to your application, and not a glorified accessory.

Instead, MOOCs should be under a separate heading in your resume’s Education section called ‘Continuing Education’.  This simply refers to all of your important efforts to improve yourself as an employee and can include any certificates or diplomas you earned (instead of or after college) along with any MOOCs you have taken.

accredible resume education

 

 

 

 

 

Skills, Not Frills

Categorizing by skills is an easy way to organize your MOOCs effectively.  Not only does it make scanning a resume easier, but it also immediately displays the benefit of taking a certain group of courses:  The development of a specific skill that will be valuable to the company.

These categories also mean that you don’t need a detailed description of each course.  Usually, the course name itself provides a glimpse into the course content.  Listing the skill the course helped you develop is yet another way to state the purpose of the class without a fluffy description.  Cardinal rule: save the details for your interview, keep your resume simple.

moocs resume

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quality Over Quantity

You don’t need to list every MOOC you have ever signed up for, or even every MOOC you have completed (but never list one that you didn’t complete!).  If you are applying for a marketing position, for example, the hiring manager will probably be less interested in your Intro to Physics class and more in your Creativity & Innovation class.  A list of classes longer than your ‘Experience’ section is unattractive and unnecessary.  Keep it simple, clear, and useful.

 

Many MOOCs are hard work and teach you a lot – there is no reason you shouldn’t receive due credit for them.  They show your versatility, desire to improve, and ability to multi-task and can be a great asset in the job search process.

Bonus Tip:  Make sure you can prove everything on your resume; build a portfolio!  If you have notes, assignments, and projects from your MOOCs saved on your Accredible profile, the only thing you need to prove your involvement in the class is a link!

Accredible Contest Hack #1: How to Create a Winning MOOC Slates

 

On Accredible, you can add Slates to your knowledge profile to showcase your knowledge, skills, or coursework. We’re hosting a contest for winning slates, and because when everyone learns, everyone wins, we’re helping YOU create a winning Slate. The first topic we’ll explore is MOOC slates. Most of MOOCs offer a certificate upon successful completion of the course, but all the knowledge, all of your work is gone or spread out after the class is over. Creation of an Accredible Slate helps you to save this work and show it later to your friends and potential employers.

What to put on a Slate?

First of all, pay attention to syllabuses. In most courses’ information pages the syllabuses are long and obscure. For people viewing your Slate, you don’t want all of this detail. He or she wants concise and specific syllabuses which will cover all the areas of knowledge and all the skills you gained during the course. In one of next hacks, we will explore how to create such a syllabus in more detail.

Secondly, your work from the course should be present: assignments, notes and even screenshots of your grades.

Thirdly, think outside the box. How about:

  • extra work. Decide to dig deeper and write a short research paper on topic X? Awesome! That will enhance your Slate’s credibility and show that you’re a proactive learner.
  • mind maps on notes. Don’t like long written notes but enjoy structured knowledge? Mind maps are one of the best ways to show that you worked with class material and understood it well.
  • forum discussions posts. You were an active student and discussed your ideas with peers? That’s fantastic! Copy all your posts to a document or screenshot them and insert it onto your Slate. This way people can see that you’re a good collaborator and an articulate thinker.

Pro tip:

If you need additional motivation to complete course X, or more organized knowledge and better planning, create a private Slate with all the course and extra work you’re going to do before starting the course . This way you’re killing 3 birds (yes, 3!) with one stone:

  1. You know what to do and when you will do it. Many students drop out of courses due to poor planning.
  2. You’ve already put in some effort on the course by creating a Slate – the more work you put into a particular course, the harder it becomes for you to drop out.
  3. During the course, you will be motivated to work much more since not only are you able to see your Slate after the class is over, but also friends, potential employers and the general public. Thus, you will gain more knowledge and skills during the course.

With each Hack we’ll include an example Slate to help you visualize what we’re talking about. Danny’s Slate for his Coursera Gamification course is a great example. Pay specific attention to his syllabus as an example of providing a great outline whilst being relatively concise: https://www.accredible.com/3 

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We hope this brief blog post on MOOCs Slate will help you to create better Slates. In our next blog post we’ll explore the creation of Slates for the self-paced learning category.

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

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates (current post)

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. Overview

If you have any questions, ideas or feedback, feel free to comment or drop an email to hello@accredible.com.

Happy creating!

Accredible’s #AwesomeSlates Contest

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
- Benjamin Franklin

At Accredible, we believe that all kinds of education matter, whether it’s courses in traditional universities, certificates from MOOC classes or even reading books. We want to help you to learn, to show the world what you know. We are pleased to announce our #AwesomeSlates contest where you can show your learning by creating cool Slates, save and organize your knowledge, and even get prizes from us – vouchers for Amazon.

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The best Slate in each of these five categories will each win a $150 prize:

Why give you money for creating awesome Slates?

  • Motivation. We want you to challenge yourself, to explore new boundaries and discover new horizons. We want you to learn.
  • Help you to create your intellectual portfolio. Today employers and colleges want to see your knowledge, skills and talent. Your intellectual portfolio is the first step in standing out and demonstrating what you can do. Be the first, be creative and be credible.
  • Show you’re more than just a grade. We embrace your creativity, talents and aspirations, providing the place for you to show who you are. 

Today, on the 29th April, 2013 we are launching our #AwesomeSlates contest. The rules are simple: you create a Slate and submit it into one of 4 categories. The most creative, inspiring and beautiful slates of their knowledge, skills, or coursework will receive prizes and the chance to be on the first page in the history of digital education. Start building your slate now!

We want you to win! Every week we will post tips on how to create winning Slates, where to find ideas, and how to make your portfolio more effective.

The contest closes on 31st May 31st July (read about the deadline extension here) but remember, the contest isn’t about winning, it’s about your learning. As the talented coach and executive Vince Lombardi once said: “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is”. Try your best, be yourself and enter the contest. Start building your Slate now!

To submit your Slate and find the rules, go here: https://www.accredible.com/contest

Help about Accredible Slates:
Getting Started with Accredible Slates
What all can be added to a Slate

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

0. Contest Announcement (current post)

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?

If you have any questions, ideas or feedback, feel free to comment or send us a line at hello@accredible.com