June 29

Study Skills Courses for Students

Future Learn, an open digital education platform offering free online courses from universities around the world, has a collection of courses on improving student study skills.

The topics range from improving students’ writing skills, English as a second language, online learning, to career prep and advice.

This can be a really neat collection to recommend to your students this summer – majority of courses do not require more than 1-2 hours a week but hold valuable information and resources.

list of seevral study skills courses like prepare for college and studying online



October 12

Free Open Online Course: Designing Digital Media for Teaching & Learning

This four week long open course (digitalmediaeducation.org – Join here) offers different paths of engagement with digital media. You will be using free tools to create, implement, and assess digital media for teaching and learning.

The course started this Monday, October 10, and will be running until November 6. It requires about 2-3 hours of work per week. There is also a possibility of getting a certificate from ISTE Teacher Education Network. The course is designed by faculty and graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Education. They also lead a Google+ Learning Community (for which a gmail account is needed).

The course is very easy to navigate and has set learning objectives and the schedule. If you were wondering how to engage digital media in your course, this can be a great start!photo-credit-to-designing-digital-media-course-website-welcome-page-screenshot


June 8

Open Course: Designing and Teaching for Impact in Online Courses

Indiana University is offering a self-paced open and free for all course through Canvas network on DESIGNING AND TEACHING FOR IMPACT IN ONLINE COURSES.

The course started June 6th, but you can enroll anytime. It takes about 2 hours of work per week and you can receive a badge for completion. The course offers help with design and with online teaching. ” It explores the backward design process beginning with learning outcomes, followed by assessments, activities, and content. It also includes topics such as online presence, course structure, usability, visual design, accessibility, multimedia, syllabi, and course management. It is a non-facilitated course where participants can work through the modules at their own pace based on their own needs and interests.”

Course map Canvas credit to Indiana Univeristy Designign and Teaching for Impact in Online CoursesWe would definitely recommend it to those who are interested in the topics mentioned above, and for faculty concerned about offering a quality course online that would support student success.

February 17

8 MOOCs that Support Technology in Teaching

online_livingroom 011An article written by Dian Schaffhauser on Campus Technology website has listed 8 MOOCs that can help faculty learn more on technology use in classroom (“8 MOOCs for Better Technology-Enhanced Teaching”). These professional development opportunities are, of course, open and offered through different universities. They are offered at different times, are self paced, and you can take what interests you the most from them. I will list them as they appear in the article.

1) Instructional Design Service Course: Gain Experience for Good    (starts February 22; runs 12 weeks; requires 2-3 hours of work per week, Canvas platform, Description: Learn how to create open educational resources (OER) for people in adult basic education programs.)

2) Becoming a Blended Learning Designer    (starts February 22; runs for 5 weeks; requires 2-3 hours of work per week, canvas paltform, Description: This MOOC will talk you through the Blended Learning Toolkit, a free, open resource for institutions that want to develop or expand their blended learning programs.)

3) Teaching with Tablets  (February 29, 2016; runs for 5 weeks; requires about 3 hours of work per week, Blackboard platform, Description: Intended for educators from elementary school through higher ed, this MOOC will cover the use of iPads and other tablets for teaching and learning.)

4) Accessibility: Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners  (February 22, 2016; runs 6 weeks, Canvas, Description: Your chance to gain the knowledge and skills to design inclusive learning experiences, especially for students with disabilities.)

5) Disability Awareness and Support  (Timeline: Self-paced, Coursera, Description: Advance your understanding of accessibility issues in education, including legislation, universal design and assistive technologies.)

6) Prior Learning Assessment for Educators and Industry (February 22; runs 3 weeks; requires 2 hours of work per week, Canvas, Description: This course will teach you how to develop policies and articulations for credit for prior learning (CPL), explain the use of portfolios and assessments and introduce you to existing credit “crosswalks” and assessment resources.)

7) Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started (March 7; runs for 5 weeks; requires about 4 hours of work per week, FutureLearn platform, Description: This UK-produced course covers multiple practices and pedagogies to help participants learn how to use blended or hybrid tools and technologies “with confidence.” The “getting started” session is followed by an additional series on “embedding the practices.”)

8) Leaders of Learning (May 2016; runs 6 weeks; requires 2-4 hours of work per week, edX platform, Description: Richard Elmore, a professor of educational leadership in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, takes participants on a tour of the “shifting landscape of learning.” You’ll explore how learning is changing in a digital culture.)

November 24

NCDAE Accessibility Resources

photocredit: ncdae.org NCDAE Cheatsheets screenshot


National Center on Disability and Access to Education (© NCDAE) has developed a list of resources that can help with accessibility. If you wonder how to make your documents more accessible, you can find tips for Word, PDF, PowerPoint, and Excel files. You can also find some resources on Adobe and Web content issues. They are on the NCDAE website, and they call them Cheatsheets.

Click here to access these great accessibility resources.

November 9

Free online course: Designing Digital Media for Teaching and Learning

A team of students and a teacher at the UMassAmherst College of Education have created a 4 week long open online course on digital media in education. The course has its own website and a Google + community.

I have enrolled in this course in just a few easy steps, and its open access to anyone. Today, Week 2 started, but the course has Week 1 materials available and the only firm deadline for completing the assignments is the end of the course, December 7th, 2015.

The activities are there to help “explore, evaluate, and choose digital media tools for use in your own classroom.” I would recommend it both to beginner and advanced users of digital media. It suggests and teaches many useful tools, so this could be a good starting point if you have thought about using digital media in your classroom.

photo credit to Designing Digital Media course website, welcome page screenshot