First Steps into Learning & Teaching in Higher Education Begins #fslt12

I am planning to attend the First Steps into Learning and Teaching in Higher Education massive open online course (mooc) that begins today and runs through June 22. Focused on “new lecturers, people entering higher education teaching from other sectors and postgraduate students who teach,” I am hoping to spend some time over the next few weeks on this to help my own online teaching, something I learned quite informally in the early days of online teaching and learning.

Participating in this as a mooc, one that is both structured (it is funded and offers formal university education) while also keeping the best elements of a mooc (open education, constructionist perspectives through leveled expertise, a schedule allowing for us to take what we need and share where we see a need, a workable timeline and realistic level of commitment, and the opportunity to meet new colleagues and learn in community), is what I am hoping to experience.

I am glad that the organizers of this mooc have a central “home” location on the website and via Moodle with an easy to follow schedule, so will begin to check them out later today.

While I have participated in several moocs over the years, I am looking forward to this one as the topic is specific, useful for my professional practice, limited in scope and time, and includes some people (Jenny Mackness and Sylvia Currie) whose work I have long since found valuable and solid and cutting edge and trustworthy. I hope to get and share some ideas and hopefully expand my own network of colleagues.

I Will Participate in #change11

Now that I have returned from #BERA2011 and the UK (I still have a lot to write about the conference, Stonehenge, Avebury, Montreal, and the like over the past week), I decided that it may be a great opportunity to decompress (or what-have-you) with George Siemens, Stephen Downes, and Dave Cormier who are facilitating the Change: Education, Learning, and Technology! Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), affectionately known as #change11.

Yes, I have attended these sorts of massive courses (open to a variety of ideas on one hand while unfocused and hard to navigate as the Web itself on the other) before, though I think now I am in a somewhat different place. Yes, I am working full-time while also writing up my doctoral thesis, though what better way is there to decompress online while also being open to learning something new while in the middle of so many (and soon-to-be) friends?

Let the learning begin. Hmm, perhaps it already has?


Blog Posting Rubric


I created a simple blog rubric for my online class, and am interested in some feedback on it.

The assignment, as stated in my syllabus:

Reflective Practice is a critical aspect of teaching and learning, and a fundamental element of teaching online involves acquiring a comfort with technology to communicate and collaborate.

Online learning is a more networked experience than traditional face-to-face (F2F) learning. Thus, students are required to use a blog for this course. Students may use their own blog (if they have one) or create a new one (, Blogger, Epsilen, or elsewhere). Blog posts should be done at least once a week discussing some learning or a reaction to anything in the course.

Making at least two comments every week on other course attendee blogs is required.

As I am intending the student (all of whom are adults) blogs to consider any issue in class and then relate it to their practice, this is the rubric I created:

For your own weekly blog post(s), be sure to:

  • Post your blog entry before the due date ~ 0.5
  • Post a link to your Blog posting in the Forum  ~ 0.5
  • Discuss and develop some aspect of online learning / education ~ 1.0
  • Demonstrate that you are able to apply what you are learning to your professional practice ~ 1.0

Total = 3 points

I will ask them how this feels and if it works after we do our first assignment of this, so until then, I am open to other considerations for verbiage or total point (3 points / week) re-distribution. Thoughts?

PPOCCID Online Class Began Tonight

My new online class, Principles and Practices of Online Course Creation and Instructional Design (#PPOCCID) at NYU’s SCPS, began this evening. I am glad to see that there have been some nice improvements to the Epsilen online class platform:


As I am asking my students to blog over our 8 weeks together, I thought I should continue to do the same (and as I have been so busy at work and with food poisoning and a paper to complete as well), I am far-enough behind in my sharing here that I have a lot to say!

Catching Up Today

Hard to imagine how fast time flies.

I have been away for a few days due to a recurring food poisoning episode, a demanding work week, a much slower Windows Vista now with Norton 2010, and the reminder that I am teaching a new online course that begins on Tuesday. I am planning to catch up a bit with my online life today, and realize that after several days of little online work and communication, it is unworkable to address everything.

I will do what I can, and then onward and upward.

busy schedule