The impact of open source
I’ve recently visited a free open course site, which allow students to take a course, not for college credits, but for self-improvement or for professional development. The course is MITx-MIT’s new online learning initiative, retrieved from http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm. The MIT open course ware appear to be carefully pre-planned and designed for a distance learning environment. Because the course is web-based, it can be taken at anytime or place. Due to it not being a credit-based program, students are able to take the course at their own pace; college credits, receiving a certificate or a degree upon the completion of taken a course will not be awarded.
The visualization and resources
The online course clearly explains the purpose of the program and the facts of the course; that this is not a credit based program. The course does not allow interaction with the staff, MIT academia or its students. The purpose of the online course is to provide course materials that has been giving to registered students, and now provided, for free, to an open course via the web. Other key factures about the course is that it is a self-directed online course, going at your own pace is suggested; as you navigate through the course of your choice the information page makes it clear on several occasions that you will not receive a degree, certificate or credits due to taking this course.
The course choices are linked to a pop-up window that provides a brief description of the course and a deeper view of what the course entails before allowing the student to view the course. Even though the course has a nice design, the font size throughout appears to be too small to read without zooming in on the page. Lastly, the modules used provide the necessary resources and materials for students to use (Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S., 2015).
In this online course, there are activities that maximize active learning for students. The activities provided consist of audio/video and visualization tools. Quizzes are also provided along with RSS feeds for some courses. Keep in mind that this is a non-credit open online course, designed for informational resources to acquire knowledge only, so the activities may not be active.
Bakhtiar Mikhak. MAS.962 The Nature of Constructionist Learning, Spring 2003. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), http://ocw.mit.edu (Accessed 3 Oct, 2015). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.) Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. Chapter 5, “Instructional Design for Distance Education”.