Sunday, January 20, 2013

Google Gives Good Online Course Design

Recently I took part in Google's Mooc "Powersearching" delivered with their own (of course) LMS built using Course Builder.

Using a clean design, clear activities and assessments, built-in community and communication, I had the opportunity to learn in my own style, to suit my personal needs and interests, to particpate in a community and get immediate feedback. The semi-synchronous environment motivated me to participate regularly.

While I'm not interested in learning the skills to use Course Builder, I think the extensive planning tools they have provided are worth a look for any online course using an LMS.  In particular:

Parts of a Course Builder Course
    Four areas are identified and described when building a course:
    1. Course content and delivery
    2. Assessments and Activities
    3. Social Interactions
    4. Administrative Tasks

The course flow is described as semi-synchronous. I want to look at this more closely using cohorts in a DL environment. I think this would increase the communication opportunities between teacher and student and other students. 


  1. I tried out the course you mentioned once it was archived. It does have a good format and I really appreciated that for all of the videos they had transcripts as well, so I could choose to skim through them instead of watching every one.

    Your post is in contrast to this post that I read today by Phil Macoun (@pmacoun) where he mentioned that he found the learning to be fairly passive in the Google course.


  2. Thanks so much for pointing me in the direction of Phil's post. I just left a comment there.