November 26, 2014
by Greg Walker

Open Courseware Educator

OCW Educator is an initiative to share insights on questions like these, to enhance the value of OCW for educators. This page highlights resources developed for OCW Educator, plus other related MIT education and teaching resources.

THIS COURSE AT MITA sample of a This Course at MIT page.


This Course at MIT is a course page that shares information about how a given course was taught at MIT—what the logistics of the course were and how the course materials published on the OCW site were originally used on campus. We hope that such information will help you better understand and use the course materials.

The page typically has multiple sections, including Course Outcomes, Curriculum Information, The Classroom, Assessment, Student Information, How Student Time Was Spent, Instructor Insights, and Course Team Roles.

Some of these pages feature extensive commentary from MIT instructors on their experiences, ideas, and approaches as educators. These pages include:






November 26, 2014
by Greg Walker

A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)

This Guide comprises three sections. The first – a summary of the key issues – is presented in the form of a set of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. Its purpose is to provide readers with a quick and user-friendly introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) and some of the key issues to think about when exploring how to use OER most effectively.

The second section is a more comprehensive analysis of these issues, presented in the form of a traditional research paper. For those who have a deeper interest in OER, this section will assist with making the case for OER more substantively.

The third section is a set of appendices, containing more detailed information about specific areas of relevance to OER. These are aimed at people who are looking for substantive information regarding a specific area of interest.

Prepared by Neil Butcher
for the Commonwealth of Learning & UNESCO
Edited by Asha Kanwar (COL) and Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić (UNESCO)

A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)

November 25, 2014
by Brent Hirata
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Agenda December 1, 2014

Call to Order (December 1, 2014) Approval of the Minutes Recognition of secretary for Dec. 1, 2014 – Karim Khan Appreciation for secretary from Oct. 27, 2014 – Warren Kawano Review unapproved minutes. Reports Old Business (is this still valid?) … Continue reading

November 14, 2014
by Greg Walker

Teaching Online- Some Nuggets of Wisdom

Adeline Koh highlights some ideas on teaching online that she came across  on THIS Medium post.

  • “It’s meant as a challenge, not a prescription: ‘If We (Profs) Can Be Replaced by a Computer Screen, We Should Be!’ I am amazed at how often my pronouncement, made most recently at the Harvard Innovations in Learning and Teaching (HILT) Symposium, is interpreted to mean “All profs should be replaced by computer screens.” Not at all. What I mean is that, given how sophisticated online technologies are becoming, given how many people around the world are clamoring for quality and low-cost education, given how seriously people in the online educational business (like Khan Academy) are studying how people learn and what kind of help and interaction they need to learn, given all that, then, if we profs are adding no other value to our teaching but that which could be replicated on line, then, well, turn on the computers and get the over-priced profs out of the classrooms now.” — Cathy Davidson
  • “‘Face-to-face’ is a misattribution. It’s not the face or the body that conveys intimacy, but shared, dynamic experiences of time.” — Kathi Berens
  • “Every single presenter got up and told us the most wonderful methods for creating great, effective learning experiences. They talked about the brain and cognitive research and technology options and design methods. All three brought forth a wealth of ideas. And I’m grateful for what I learned. But not a single speaker used the methods she described.” — Edward O’Neil
  • “‘What’s new’ then about online education — particularly the versions that rely heavily on videotaped lectures? (Because, let’s face it, it’s not the instruction itself that’s that innovative. A videotaped lecture is still a lecture.)” — Audrey Watters
  • “The funny thing about teaching with technologies, online or even in a face-to-face context, is that if you focus primarily on the technologies themselves the important things can fade from view too easily.” — Bonnie Stewart
  • “To paraphrase the inimitable Jan Dabrowski, we shouldn’t set off on a cruise, and build the ship as we go. Educational campuses have libraries, coffee shops, cafeterias, quads, lawns, amphitheaters, stadiums, hallways, student lounges, trees, park benches, and fountains. Ample space for rallies, study-groups, conversation, debate, student clubs, and special events. Few institutions pay much attention to re-creating these spaces online. The work done outside and between classes (which we would argue is the glue that holds education together) is attended to nominally if at all. Imagine this scenario: a business student shares a table at the campus coffee shop with an English major. A conversation kicks off with the inevitable, “What’s your major?” When and where does this conversation happen in online programs? How can we facilitate the interdisciplinary dialogues that bring a campus to life? What spaces can we build online that aren’t quantified, tracked, scored, graded, assessed, and accredited? How can we use tools like Twitter (and other social media platforms) to build the hallways between our online classes? Many individual educators have begun to do this work, but we need a larger discussion about the future of online education that privileges these spaces as central and indispensable to learning.” Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel

November 14, 2014
by Greg Walker

Manifesto for Teaching Online


Manifesto for teaching online - Written by teachers and researchers in online education. University of Edinburgh MSc in E-learning 2011


  • Distance is a positive principle, not a deficit. Online can be the privileged mode.
  • The possibility of the ‘online version’ is overstated. The best online courses are born digital.
  • By redefining connection we find we can make eye contact online.
  • ‘Best practice’ is a totalising term blind to context – there are many ways to get it right.
  • Every course design is philosophy and belief in action.
  • The aesthetics of online course design are too readily neglected: courses that are fair of (inter)face are better places to teach and learn in.
  • Online courses are prone to cultures of surveillance: our visibility to each other is a pedagogical and ethical issue.
  • Text is being toppled as the only mode that matters in academic writing.
  • Visual and hypertextual representations allow arguments to emerge, rather than be stated.
  • New forms of writing make assessors work harder: they remind us that assessment is an act of interpretation.
  • Feedback can be digested, worked with, created from. In the absence of this, it is just ‘response’.
  • Assessment strategies can be designed to allow for the possibility of resistance.
  • A routine of plagiarism detection structures-in a relation of distrust.
  • Assessment is a creative crisis as much as it is a statement of knowledge.
  • Place is differently, not less, important online.
  • Closed online spaces limit the educational power of the network.
  • Online spaces can be permeable and flexible, letting networks and flows replace boundaries.
  • Course processes are held in a tension between randomness and intentionality.
  • Online teaching should not be downgraded into ‘facilitation’.
  • Community and contact drive good online learning.


The Doxa of the Classroom or When Online Learning Fails by Sara Humphreys