Launching September 26th, this open course will provide both theoretical concepts and practical tools for instructors to recognize, organize, and build courses for both blended learners and online learners.
You will learn from 11 instructors and instructional designers including distinguished Exemplary Course Program (ECP) Directors and several of the 2012 ECP winners. Using the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program (ECP) Rubric as a guide, the course will focus on the four critical elements of a course: design, interaction and collaboration, assessment, and learner support.
You will have the opportunity to participate in weekly live, online sessions, learn with peers in focus groups, and complete optional assignments to aid your course development and improvement. A panel of course design experts will facilitate each group to provide you with valuable feedback.
The course will run from September 26th - October 17th, 2012.
Check out this article about "Exploring the Virtual Classroom..." in the Journal Articles section.
There are a number of free educational resources on the web. Many of them are very good or even excellent. Today, while looking for a review of "degrees of freedom", I found the Online Statistics Book, a project that was "partially funded by the National Science Foundation". It's free, or what's known as an "Open Educational Resource (OER)". No surprise there, as the National Science Foundation has funded other similar publications that are freely available on the web. This particular book is described as follows: "Online Statistics: An Interactive Multimedia Course of Study is an introductory-level statistics book. The material is presented both as a standard textbook and as a multimedia presentation. The book features interactive demonstrations and simulations, case studies, and an analysis lab."
A list of contributors, and the universities that helped with the development of the project, as listed on the homepage. There is also a comprehensive table of contents, a link to Rice University's Virtual Lab, and a list of "simulations and demonstrations". Additionally, the book is downloadable, so it can be read/used offline.
VideoANT make it possible to annotate a web-based video
The University of Minnesota has developed a wonderful tool for annotating videos called VideoANT. The program allows individuals to place markers in a web-based video and then add comments. This is a great way for instructors to direct student attention to key points in a video, or to ask students to find key points and comment on them. The link to the annotated video can then be emailed, which would allow students to submit their annotations as an assignment.
It's extremely easy to use. When you first go to the site, you can watch and experiment with a demo video. It's a great way to become familiar with the program, and takes only a few minutes to master.
One tip: I would put the marker (or have students put their markers) at the beginning of a point of interest, rather than at the end or middle. The markers can be moved at any time.
Motion Mountain: The Adventures of Physics
"For each field of physics, the text presents the best stories, the latest research results, the best animations, the best images, the most interesting physical puzzles and the most telling physical curiosities. It includes more than 700 animations, films and illustrations, 120 tables, 1900 challenges and puzzles, and 1100 internet links." The project was begun in 1997 and is now in its 23 edition. The text is downloaded over 30,000 times a year. The text can be read online, downloaded in pdf format.