How to Create and Sell Your Online Course

Photo credit: IlonkaTallina via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

It’s no secret that the Internet has made it easier than ever for people to share ideas and learn new information. Perhaps this is best manifested in the rise of massive open online courses (otherwise known as MOOCs) across the globe. These days, there’s a serious demand for online courses, and some people have even made a healthy living off creating these courses. Do you have an area of expertise about which you’d like to spread knowledge? If so, then you might be considering the option to create and sell your online course. Before you get started, however, there are some important factors you’ll want to take into consideration.

Original post: How to Create and Sell Your Online Course

e-Learning Strategy MOOC

MOOC in the trends to watch out for in 2015 in international education

“MOOCs may have not lived up to the “disruptive” hype of 2012 but they are proving to be useful tasters for university level courses, expanding brand awareness and showing overall potential of online classrooms. But another platform that hasn’t had the dazzle or catchy nomenclature is truly making waves in education delivery and is only set to grow: mobile.”

Seven trends to watch out for in 2015 in international education

e-Learning Strategy MOOC OER

“If developing countries allow themselves to be locked in to a certain MOOC platform, they may have to adhere to the foreign values put forth by the platform owners.”

by Sandi Boga (Author), Rory McGreal (Author)
Contributors: Athabasca University, Canada
Publishers: COL (January 2014)
Lifelong Learning MOOC

How companies can capitalize MOOCs trend

Some interesting tips from Megatrends in MOOCS: #5 Lifelong Learning about how companies can take advantage of the lifelong learning trend mainly by supporting and recognizing their employees’ learning initiatives. In a recent article for Entrepreneur, Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard identified several tactics businesses can use to create a culture of learning. Here is how these tactics can be used to support employee learning in MOOCs:

  1. Weekly lunch and learns. Once a week, buy lunch and have an employee present what he or she is learning in a MOOC. This can help spread knowledge and also create an environment where learning is seen as a priority.
  2. Training budgets and tuition reimbursement and recognition programs. MOOCs are free to take, but verified certificates cost anywhere between about $40 and $100. Reimburse your employees for these expenses—this practice will both encourage employees to take courses and demonstrate that you support their professional development. Plus, it is a lot cheaper than developing and running an in-house course!
  3. Set specific learning goals. Encourage employees to set learning goals every quarter and then check in with them on how they are doing. For example, managers can monitor their employees’ progress through MOOCs and provide support when necessary. Training departments can track learning efforts to identify and support organization-wide learning efforts.
  4. Distribute books to read. For MOOCs, this tactic can be changed to “vet and recommend courses.” There are hundreds of MOOCs available—training departments can support employee learning efforts by vetting courses and making specific recommendations.
  5. Acknowledge the results. This is the big one—don’t let your employees’ training efforts go unnoticed. Treat MOOC accomplishments the way you would any other training program.
Instructional Design MOOC

MOOCs and Libraries, a possible combination?

An interesting reflection in the article “Next Steps for MOOCs and Libraries” By Ian Chant, describing how libraries can support and encourage the construction and use of MOOCs.

According to Stephen Downes, libraries were characterized, even in the digital age, as a closed environment, limited to users of the nearby environment (students, teachers, researchers, readers, access etc.)

The author describes four examples from experiences in U.S. libraries:

MOOCs on Public Libraries

To facilitate access to MOOCs and digital resources in social contexts with limited internet access. A Chicago Public Library offers resources that make online learning a viable option: “We are the biggest provider of public technology and wireless access”, “we have the resources people can use to do the homework in these courses.”

Developing own MOOs

Other libraries have developed their own MOOCs as an independent resource or as a complement to face-to-face workshops, allowing students to students to take the MOOC more casually, on their own schedule and at their own pace. In some cases the library build the content and in other cases including content created by partner outside the library.

MOOCs as supplement

At Syracuse University have experienced how the MOOCs could supplement or even replace the standard online courses. These courses offer the ability to follow the rhythm of the student. It offer the option to taking the course for academic credit with the support of a guide.

Building significant MOOCs

A MOOC can be a valuable resource for providing informal learning and helping community learning in a connected environment without worrying whether that learning is officially recognized by the universities.

e-Learning Strategy Lifelong Learning MOOC

Five myths about Moocs

On Five myths about Moocs, Diana Laurillard explains why a model based on unsupervised learning is not the answer and the MOOCs five myths:

  • the idea that ‘content is free’ in education
  • that students can support each other
  • that Moocs solve the problem of expensive undergraduate education
  • that MOOCs address educational scarcity in emerging economies
  • that Education is a mass customer industry

Diana Laurillard criticizes MOOCs because this format oriented course with a large number of students based on mutual support and peer assessment is not a university education.

University education needs guidance and personalized guidance, which is not possible to scale massively.

Personally I agree with some of these reviews.

Although I think the MOOCs can be an important complement to offer open courses charging for activities that require intensive involvement of teachers and tutors such as support and tutorial guide, personalized assessment and issuance of certificates.

This reflection has different conclusions in the case of education in developed countries or in developing or emerging countries.

In the case of developing and emerging countries, MOOCs are an instrument of universities social commitment decided to extend education to students with limited financial resources and who face situations of exclusion.

Lifelong Learning MOOC Online Pedagogy

6 Ways Tech Will Change Education Forever

 6 Ways Tech Will Change Education Forever

As part of a discussion on the future of higher education in New York University (NYU), a group of academics and entrepreneurs were given the mission to predict the future of traditional universities.

6 Ways Tech Will Change Education Forever

All agreed that: “We are experiencing a time of radical restructuring of higher education. The status quo is no longer an option. ”

Here are six great ideas about how technology is about to dramatically change education:

1. Discovering New Talent

We lose because we do not know how to identify talented students. “If we use it correctly, technology will become a talent identifier.”

2. Democratization of Education

Many universities are expensive and have limited capacity. We can make a comparison with the life cycle of a product or service as the first computers and TVs “Initially, products and services are so costly and complicated that only the wealthy have access”

“The people who jumped on first to online learning were the ones who couldn’t come to NYU. It was better than nothing,” he said. “But the technology will get better and better and then the customers get sucked out. The question is not whether this will occur, but what role universities will play.”

3. Flexible financing

Often, the investment required to complete university studies become a barrier, particularly these days, when a degree does not necessarily equate to a job after college.

4. More practical skills training over soft skills

Several studies report that students wasn’t prepared for life in the real world. Two thirds of college graduates will need further training after graduation.

5. Studying as a Decentralized Experience

“At the beginning of the universities, the student had to be in the same place as the teacher and if he wanted to read a book, he had to go to the library. Obviously, said Albert Wenger, of Union Square Ventures, that’s no longer the case.”

6. The university of tomorrow will not look like a university (or a MOOC).

“The university of today is associated with rigid structures that are part of the academic routine: the concept of class, course, grade, credit, degree, department, major, etc. However, the only real thing are the students and the knowledge of things is real. Being able to convey this knowledge. People will find alternate ways to teach those things.”

MOOC Online Pedagogy

Reports from The Open University

Reports from The Open University
Reports from The Open University

The Open University has produced a serie of reports: Innovating Pedagogy 2013, in the perspective of Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide educators and policy makers in productive innovation.

The 2013 report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education.

  1. MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses have attracted interest from universities and from venture capital investors.
  2. Badges to accredit learning: a flexible mechanism for recognising achievements as steps towards more substantial goals. Badging can also provide an informal alternative to accreditation.
  3. Learning analytics: the collection, analysis and reporting of large datasets relating to learners and their contexts, currenttly focused on three areas: understanding the scope and uses of learning analytics; integrating analytics into existing courses; and expansion of learning analytics to new areas, particularly MOOCs.
  4. Seamless learning: connecting learning experiences across the contexts of location, time, device and social setting.
  5. Crowd learning: the process of learning from the expertise and opinions of others, shared through online social spaces, websites, and activities.
  6. Digital scholarship: refers to those changes in scholarly practice made possible by digital and networked technologies.
  7. Geo-learning: Sensors built into mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, can determine a user’s location and provide, or trigger, context-aware educational resources in the surrounding environment.
  8. Learning from gaming: There is increasing interest in the connections between games and education.
  9. Maker culture: Maker culture encourages informal, shared social learning focused on the construction of artefacts ranging from robots and 3D-printed models to clothing and more traditional handicrafts.
  10. Citizen inquiry: Citizen inquiry refers to mass participation of members of the public in structured investigations.

w19-Web-Enhanced, Hybrid and Open Classes

The educational use of Internet pursues pedagogically relevant answers to enable the building (and improve) a sociocultural learning environment.

These teaching environments: face-to-face, hybrid or fully online need to answer the fundamental question: whom do I want to learn?

The educational use of Internet is not just about the integration of tools and web resources to the teaching-learning process in order to enhance learning. Internet main contribution is to incorporate means, resources, languages ​​and social interaction dynamics that enrich the relationship between students and instructors.

It is clear that the internet is more present outside than inside the classroom. Internet for education aims to “synchronize” the classroom with the reality existing outside the classroom. This process not only involves the insertion of technological solutions, but in the development of an autonomous, constructivist, critical, and collaborative learning environment.

What about the MOOCs?


George Siemens makes an interesting reflection on MOOCs focused on two factors:

  1. The learning potential for society (globally)
  2. The learning theory and pedagogical models that influence different types of MOOCs.

Although George Siemens considers the latter as a secondary factor, it seems to me important to analyze regarding the MOOC Completion Rates.

The ratio of high initial interest registered participants and the high level of abandonment is related, among other factors, to:

  • The effect of initial attraction produced by curiosity
  • No evaluation of prior knowledge requirements

It is likely that the high registration of participants attracted by curiosity diminish over time and MOOCs attract really interested participants. On the other hand, curiosity has been for me a very important factor to learn (and to review) about MOOCs, although I have completed a few courses.

The requirements that currently use most MOOCs are simple test with a low level of evaluation. These assessment systems is still in its early stages of development, and include assessment methods such as Peer Review, Calibrated Peer Review or Automated Essay Scoring. These systems are currently being studied in depth by MIT Edx (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Read Stephen P. Balfour, ASSESSING WRITING IN MOOCS

MOOC Online Pedagogy

Gates, MOOCs and Remediation

Could high-quality MOOCs benefit a broader range of learners, like those who get tripped up by remedial classes?

That is the question that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation want to respond. Needless to say, the initiative has provoked much controversy.

Hunter R. Boylan, director of the National Center for Developmental Education, believes that this initiative has the potential to raise the quality of education in development education, if used appropriately.

Some observers questioned that the free online courses can be adapted to the recovery needs students.

Amy Slaton, associate professor of history at Drexel University (Philadelphia, USA) said that the objectives of the foundation are well intentioned, but this proposal is based in very naive concept about how technology works in education.

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