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A Close Up Look at an Upcoming May MOOC
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Wow. Seems this week is filled with news of online education start-ups and the beginnings of universities that offer massive open online classes (MOOCs). Here are three such articles from the past two days alone.

1. Online-Education Start-Up Teams With Top-Ranked Universities to Offer Free Courses, by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 18, 2012.

2. Online Education Venture Lures Cash Infusion and Deals With 5 Top Universities, by John Markoff, NY Times, April 18, 2012.

3. MIT and others launch a tech education revolution: Four programs deliver traditional -- and nontraditional -- education options for techies, by Patrick Thibodeau, Computerworld, April 19, 2012.

With all the announcements lately about open education and free online courses, I thought I should do one too. Well, actually, I was asked to do one and I had to think it over for a few weeks before saying "yes." Such decisions are never easy; especially, given the two books projects I intend to complete this summer.

Well anyway, here is the news. CourseSites from Blackboard is having me teach a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in May to thousands of online instructors around the world. It will last 4-5 weeks in May.

This course will be free and open to anyone with Web access. Who doesn't want free professional development? Feel free to share with friends, colleagues, students, administrators, etc. Those who attend will get badges of completion. See below for details.

Blackboard Note related to the event: According to Blackboard, "As a free resource for individual educators, CourseSites has removed a common barrier of access to teaching and learning technology. First, all CourseSites instructors can now choose to make courses available for open enrollment. We believe this will opens up a new realm of Open Education possibilities and opportunities. Second, we are proud to launch our Open Course Series: Empowering Learning through Community with our first open course on “Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success” led by Dr. Curtis Bonk and the CourseSites team. We invite you to try this new feature and join us for our first open course."

Per Blackboard: Announcing a Free, Open Course With Dr. Curtis Bonk

Course Title: Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success

Link to the landing page: Interest Form

Blog Announcement: Empowering You Through Openness and Choice

CourseSites Blog

MOOC Host: CourseSites (from Blackboard) announces a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Audience: Thousands of Blackboard, CourseSites, and other online and blended learning instructors around the world. Again, feel free to share this information with anyone.

Course Description: Motivating students and creating community within blended and online learning environments is crucial to academic achievement and success. This open course will provide both theoretical concepts and practical tools for instructors to improve motivation, retention, and engagement within blended and online courses.

Enrollment: Open Enrollment begins Monday April 23, 2012. Please fill out the interest form to learn more.

Course Duration: April 30th to June 4th (A total of 5 weeks). In actuality, the five sessions will take place each Wednesday at 4 pm EST in May. See below.

Course Objectives:
• Identify and apply relevant motivational strategies and instructional techniques
• Construct thinking skill options for different types of learners and subjects
• Design and share innovative thinking skill activities as well as unique cooperative learning
• Map and apply instructional models and ideas to online learning tools

Scheduled Sessions: Wednesday May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 at 4 pm EST (see below)
1. Motivation and retention online (TEC-VARIETY model): Wednesday May 2nd; 4 PM EST (Hour #1 Bonk Presents; Hour #2 Q&A)

2. Addressing Diversity and Learning Styles (R2D2 model): Wednesday May 9th; 4 PM EST (Hour #1 Bonk Presents; Hour #2 Q&A)

3. 50 Hyper-Engaging Ideas: Critical, Creative, Cooperative : Wednesday May 16th; 4 PM EST (Hour #1 Bonk Presents; Hour #2 Q&A)

4. Question and Answer (Q&A) Session: Wednesday May 23th; 4 PM EST (Up to two hours of Q&A)

5. Blackboard/CourseSites Overview: Wednesday May 30th; 4 pm EST

Twitter Note: The Twitter hashtag will be: #bonkopen

About Dr. Curtis Bonk:
Curt Bonk is Professor of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University and President of CourseShare. Drawing on his background as a corporate controller, CPA, educational psychologist, and instructional technologist, Bonk offers unique insights into the intersection of business, education, psychology, and technology. A well-known authority on emerging technologies for learning, Bonk reflects on his speaking experiences around the world in his popular blog, TravelinEdMan. He has coauthored several widely used technology books, including The World is Open, Empowering Online Learning, The Handbook of Blended Learning, and Electronic Collaborators.



Final Thoughts: This experience will build on my previous efforts to make learning open and free to the extent possible. For instance, I have already created a set of 27 free videos on how to teach online. Second, I teach a course on the open learning world. In fact, my tentative fall 2012 syllabus is already posted (yes, I have my fall 2012 syllabus already drafted...and it is open to the world...all 55+ pages of it). Third, last summer, I helped Ray Schroeder from the University of Illinois at Springfield with his MOOC on Online Learning Today and Tomorrow. In fact, I interviewed my good friend Ray on the MOOC experience in an earlier blog post back in July. Those are but a few examples.

Finally, I should note that I will be speaking at the Blackboard World Conference in New Orleans on Wednesday July 11th. The MOOC in May (or May MOOC) will hopefully lead to a great event in July (where people signing up for the MOOC can meet face-to-face and chat about various topics). Hope to see you there in New Orleans or online in May at the MOOC or both. If you come to my session in New Orleans or online at the MOOC, please say hello.

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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

See my complete profile

Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Visit the Indiana University Home Page of E-Learning Expert Curtis J. Bonk.

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