E-learning, Education, Skills 0 comments on Learning to be happy: The MOOC way

Learning to be happy: The MOOC way

Learning is not all about success in your career. While that is important, it is equally important to have a fulfilling life. And, what is most important for that? You guessed it – happiness. Do you want to be happy? Of course, you do! Who doesn’t? And in these times when everything (well, almost!) is available online, happiness is too. To be more specific, you can learn to be happy by using resources found online. Let us tell you about a few courses that can bring in loads of sunshine into your life. 

The Science of Well-Being: Yale University 

This course makes you work through a series of challenges that will put you on a path of well-being. The skills you will gain from this course are mostly intangible. You will soon count among your abilities, gratitude, mindfulness, and an ability to savour experiences and even things. Not all results from this course are intangible. The course curriculum aims to ensure that you eventually incorporate a specific wellness activity into your regular routine. 

The Science of Happiness:  Berkeley, University of California

This course is among the first MOOCs that offered to teach students positive psychology. The curriculum is structured in such a way that you will effortlessly imbibe science-based principles and practices which will help you raise the happiness quotient in your life. The course has been created by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. The course is interesting as it uses a lot of cross-disciplinary research spanning fields such as psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and others.

A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment: Indian School of Business

This course is taught by Prof. Rajagopal Raghunathan ((aka “Dr. Happy-smarts”),  a professor of Marketing at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, and a visiting professor at the Indian School of Business. This course takes you through seven well-structured steps to reach your goal of happiness. 

The course is based on the award-winning class taught by Prof Raghunathan at the Indian School of Business and at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Content for the course is drawn from various fields such as psychology, neuroscience, and behavioural decision theory.  

The Year of Happy : The Positive Psychlopedia

This is a free email course that walks its participants through one major theme of happiness every month. Weekly emails with theme-based videos, readings, discussions, among other things are sent to participants. Gratitude, optimism, mindfulness, kindness, relationships, flow, goals, work, savoring, resilience, body, meaning, and spirituality will soon cease to be just words. All these concepts will become a part of your personality if you do all that the course instructors tell you to. 1-2 hours per week should do the trick. 

So you now know that you can learn how to increase your happiness and also build habits that will make you more productive than you are currently. 

And the certification for these skills will come to you from a source that will be brutally honest (if you let it be!) – your own self. And what’s more, this ‘certification’ can be revisited at any time by just looking within yourself!  And if you find yourself wanting, you know what to do and where to get support. 

Some of these courses do offer actual certification too! Check these and more such courses out at Get Me A Course

E-learning, Education, Online Courses 0 comments on Global sustainable development initiatives: An online learning guide

Global sustainable development initiatives: An online learning guide

The imbalance between our ideals and our way of living has put sustainable development on the line. With this thought in mind, the United Nations General Assembly drafted 17 global goals in 2015 intending to achieve them by 2030. These goals are known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals aim to achieve no poverty, zero hunger, quality education, and gender equality, among others.

As a result of this resolution by the UN General Assembly, nations all over the world have started taking global initiatives for sustainable development. But how do we assess the progress made by the countries, if any? So, June 2018 saw the birth of the online publication SDG-Tracker. Based at the University of Oxford and on the Our World in Data database, the SDG-Tracker monitors the progress made by the nations. 

The UN has resolved to sustain our present to ensure a future.

Some  global law initiatives for sustainable development are as follows:

  • The NITI Aayog, established by the Government of India, is a step in the direction of sustainable development. March of 2018 also saw Haryana becoming the first state of India with its annual budget focused on SDGs.
  • To monitor and make progress towards the SDGs, Bangladesh publishes the Development Mirror.
  • The Baltic 2030 Action Plan is the result of the global law initiatives for sustainable development of the Baltic nations, via the Council of the Baltic Sea States.
  • Bhutan has taken a holistic approach towards attaining the SDGs. It is currently in pursuit of Gross National Happiness (GNH) which has its goals aligned with those of SDGs.

Some of the independent global initiatives for sustainable development are as follows:

  • Independent campaigns such as “Project Everyone” are also a part of the global efforts for pursuing the SDGs. This campaign has received support from the UN Agencies, which are a part of the United Nations Development Group.
  • The “Le Temps Presse” festival in Paris uses cinematography as its medium to spread awareness about the SDGs.

Educating people about the SDGs will help provide nations with the tools to achieve them. Some of the free online courses that teach people about global initiatives for sustainable development are as follows:

  • ‘The challenges of global poverty’ course provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..
  • The ‘Organic farming for sustainable agricultural production’ course offered by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and NPTEL is available on Swayam.
  • ‘An introduction to global Health’ course by the University of Copenhagen. 
  • ‘The best start in life: Early Childhood Development for Sustainable development’ offered by SDG Academy.     
  • The ‘Understanding Violence Against Women: Myths and Realities’ offered by the University of Strathclyde.   

The list of courses is not exhaustive, and neither are our responsibilities to attain the SDGs. It is high time we understand the predicament we are in, and take the necessary remedial steps. 

E-learning, Education, Online Courses 0 comments on Problems and challenges faced by MOOCs

Problems and challenges faced by MOOCs

MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) made an appearance in the last decade. They started out as free offerings on online portals. They caught the imagination of learners and trainers worldwide and now they are here to stay. However, it is not as if they do not have their share of challenges and problems. They do. Resources are one of the main concerns. Nothing can be kept free for long. 

In the year 2011-2012, MOOCs platforms like Udacity, Coursera, and edX began to attract large investors, hoping to generate cash and publicity on the ever-expanding student population. Many of these MOOC companies started to seek connections with higher educational institutions. 

The issues faced by majority MOOCs:

  • Low Completion Rates: The typical student enrollment size can range anywhere from 10 to 180k per course. 180k being the extreme high-end while 50k students are registered on average. One of the biggest problems of MOOCs is their completion rates. Only about 10% of the students enrolled in MOOCs are likely to finish a course! The low completion rate signals that most of the MOOC institutions are having a problem with continued student engagement and less clarity in course content.
  • Lack of one on one teaching and interaction: In a class of 50 thousand students, there aren’t too many chances to get a face-to-face interaction with your professor, as you might in a regular college or university. Hence the student is left unguided at times. These leave numerous students frustrated, searching for the answers. 
  • Integrity (Cheating): The lack of one interaction and less clarity in course content can lead to an absence of personal attention via teachers hence leading to a situation where core values such as honesty do not get communicated to students. 
  • No Accreditation: MOOC courses often lack credibility due to lack of accreditation. 
  • Intellectual Property Issues: Many MOOC companies have also raised concerns over intellectual ownership of the content uploaded to their sites. 

Even though MOOCs have plenty of issues, this technology helps deliver education to deserving learners in the parts of the world who could not otherwise afford to gain access to the top universities in their respective regions.

E-learning, Education, Online Courses 0 comments on Is E-learning all about Videos?

Is E-learning all about Videos?

With the help of technology, the world is rapidly progressing towards digitalization. The learning and teaching process has also evolved. E-learning arrived on the scene and has carved out a firm niche for itself on the learning landscape.   

One can complete a course or degree online. E-learning portals are available on the web in many forms. Apps, websites and learning portals are a few of the ways through which e-learning can be distributed/ accessed. And all these platforms are great for videos. And as visuals aid learning to a large extent, it is no surprise that videos are a major component of e-learning courses.  

Videos are favored by e-learning course creators for several reasons. It is easier to watch a video than read many pages.  You can pause or play the video according to your comfort.  Short duration videos cover only one or two concepts and are easy to understand.  It is quite simple to replay the video lecture if there is a need for recapitulation of ideas.

Are videos the only way to learn effectively? 

E-learning consists of but is not restricted to educational and explanatory videos. Quizzes, Q&As, and study materials, are all important components of an e-learning course, in addition to videos.  

It is important to understand and accept that videos, by themselves, do not result in learning. Just watching a video is no guarantee of learning. It is important for students to engage with ideas and problems in various ways in order to understand a concept. ‘Digesting’ learning material is very essential.

It is important for MOOC creators to remember that lecture videos are prone to the same pitfalls as regular lectures.  Too much of droning on and students are quite likely to tune out.

Hence e-learning courses should a good mix of various kinds of learning methods. Some overlap of content is fine. It will only reinforce the parts that get repeated. 

Check out  GMAC to find a course to suit your learning needs. 

E-learning, Education, Online Courses 0 comments on The AGES model for adult learning

The AGES model for adult learning

Learning, in today’s world, has become an evolving process. With so many changes happening daily, it is necessary to keep up with the latest techniques to understand new things. The teacher plays a crucial part in making an entire generation educated. 

Now, the teachers must utilize effective methods of teaching like pedagogy, heutagogy, etc. to ensure proper learning. 

Pedagogy, the art of teaching children, gives the teacher the responsibility to make choices related to the learning theories. Hence, this is considered as a teacher-directed instruction. This should be planned intelligently, keeping in mind the mental capacity of students, the curriculum’s requirement, the time allotted, and the resources provided. 

Furthermore, teachers should engage in proper heutagogy methods. Heutagogy relates to challenging traditional methods of teaching. The goal is to create an atmosphere wherein students can set their aims and learning techniques to ensure the attainment of these aims.

It is essential that the method of teaching changes with time. It should be well-adjusted to fit the students and not the other way around. There are many kinds of theories available related to learning and education.

The A.G.E.S model is one of the most popular ones and it works wonders for adult learning. A.G.E.S is short for Attention, Generation, Emotion, and Spacing.

  • Attention- The pedagogy style you pick should engage your students. Students should feel comfortable and stimulated at the same time. The teaching method employed should be able to hold their attention for a good period. 
  • Generation- The learning theories you choose to follow should help students understand better. They should be able to create images in their mind and relate it to what you teach them. To help them use multiple senses, you may use audios, videos, or presentations. This helps them retain information for longer durations, and learn to connect-the-dots. 
  • Emotions- If they associate an emotion with a topic, they’ll learn faster. Teachers can encourage positive emotions among students. Moreover, encouraging healthy competition helps students to do their best. 
  • Spacing- Dropping information on students is improper. There should be proper spacing in giving the knowledge to help them understand and retain topics. When students are made to learn too much in less time, it becomes a problem. Thus, it’s best to ensure spacing while teaching.

A.G.E.S was developed through neuroscience and is a successful method. This four-step model can change the way we teach and the way students learn. No wonder focusing on the right pedagogy is the need of the hour. A.G.E.S makes teaching easier and learning fun.

Students, whatever their age, are impressionable and their learning will stay with them forever. We need to make an effort to give them the best experience. 

E-learning, Education, Online Courses, Skills 0 comments on MOOCs for Art and Culture

MOOCs for Art and Culture

Haven’t we all read novels in which protagonists makes off to Gay Pareee to pursue their calling of a life steeped in art and culture? Not all of us can do that, can we? So instead, to indulge our leaning towards art and culture, we can turn our sights online. Let us case out a few online courses on art and culture to see what all, in art and culture, can be learnt from the comfort of your homes. 

Modern Art & Ideas: MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)

This is a five-week course that will teach you about modern and contemporary art through a variety of themes. The themes span topics such as Places & Spaces, Art & Identity, Transforming Everyday Objects, and Art & Society. You get access to videos on the related theme from MoMA’s collection. You also get access to audio interviews with artists, designers, and curators. 

You will learn how artists take inspiration from their environment and how they represent places. You will see everyday objects being used to challenge assumptions. You will also get to see artists’ responses, in the form of works of art, to political, social and cultural issues of their time.  

The Art of Music Production: Berklee

Do you love music and want to take your interest up a notch? This course from Berklee on the art of music production might be just what you need. With this course, you can learn the art of music production. You will learn how to use all kinds of recording equipment and enhance your production, musically and sonically, by skillful listening. 

The course involves uploading your own productions as assignments. These will be peer-reviewed. This is a 4-week course and knowing how to read music or play an instrument is not a prerequisite for the course. 

Roman Art & Archeology: University of Arizona

This course focuses on the culture of ancient Rome from 1000 BCE to the “Fall of Rome”. Learners will be guided through ancient Rome by looking at key people, main events, important places and key factors involved in Rome’s expansion through Italy, the Mediterranean, and beyond.

You will learn about the ‘Five good emperors’ of Rome, all the monuments that were erected during their time and other developments that contributed to the rise of the Roman empire. 

Why would anyone want to do this course? Well, apart from a keen interest in history, if you plan to visit Rome, this course can equip you with relevant information that will help you appreciate all that you see in Rome.  

Arts and Culture Strategy: University of Pennsylvania 

Not all art-related courses are about learning the arts. There is one very interesting course run by the University of Pennsylvania, called Arts and Culture Strategy. This course is aimed at arts and culture leaders and is meant to help them create and lead sustainable organizations that deliver social value in the field of art and culture. 

The course focuses on practical issues such as finding the right alignment and balance between art and the economics of running any art-related institution. 

The course is taught by Prof Peter Frumkin and Mrs. Russell Willis Taylor. 

Those who have taken this course say that it has helped them see what mistakes they were making in running their organizations. They also learnt better ways of functioning. 

Go ahead and nourish the artist in you with such courses. Explore a more exhaustive listing of art and culture courses at Get Me A Course. 

E-learning, Education, Online Courses 0 comments on What MOOC creators can do for K12 teachers

What MOOC creators can do for K12 teachers

The format of educational technology followed by the United States, Canada, and a few other countries for publicly supported school grades are generally termed as K-12. The grades in K-12 format education system consist from Kindergarten to 12th grade. With the education system going through some changes now and then, probably one of the courses that have brought a significant change is MOOC. Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) could help the K-12 teachers’ change the way of teaching by introducing an innovative and engaging style of teaching.

With numerous MOOC platforms available these days, it has become easier for K-12 teachers to acquire new skills and implement them in their teaching. This will help students in preparing for highly structured learning environments after 12th grade. When teachers enroll for Massive Online Open Courses, they are bound to come across higher formal courses and know how to prepare for it correctly. Once they learn about it, it becomes easier for teachers to prepare their students for Harvard and MIT-like elite universities.

The opportunities provided by Free Online Education are endless. The creators of MOOC platforms can take courses that could help the teachers in creating the most meaningful lessons for their students and make it enjoyable to learn. They could also share ideas about how Massive Online Open Courses could help the K-12 know about MOOC and its course patterns.

Here is a list of few ideas of how MOOC creators can team up with K12 teachers to spread awareness among the students.

  1. Learning flexibility: MOOC creators should create short courses that are affiliated with school learning courses. Teachers find it easier when the courses are short, and they could learn about it while on the move.
  2. Encouraging the students: The creators should create courses that help the students to avail the benefits of free online education. This would be only possible when teachers are encouraged about the same. MOOC creators can share resources with the teachers to help with their courses.
  3. Networked learning: Along with free online education, MOOC creators should allow teachers to use their materials in classrooms. If possible, they should create courses where they could directly interact with the students via live video classes.
  4. Exploring cultural learning opportunities: When teachers from various parts of the country become a part of MOOC, learning platforms, not only the teachers get a chance to learn from the MOOC creators, but it works both ways. This way, other teachers can learn about different cultures and teach their K-12 students about the same from an early age and have a better understanding of it.

 With proper learning opportunities provided by MOOCs for K-12 teachers, everyone in the country can receive a proper education. MOOC creators collaborating with K12 teachers can groom  students for some top universities around the world.

E-learning, Education, Online Courses, Skills 0 comments on 6 Ways to market your MOOC successfully

6 Ways to market your MOOC successfully

Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs are offered online, aim to bring in unlimited participation through open access via the internet or web. The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Market uses a platform where the learners have the freedom to self organize their strategy of involvement according to their speed, areas of interest, learning goals, and general interests. This idea of employing accessible knowledge in a remarkably easier way is augmenting the high growth of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Market

To help you grow your MOOCs in the market, here are six simple ways:

  1. The first step is to recognize the kind of audience you wish to cater to with your MOOCs. The success of your page/course always depends on the type of audience you are aiming to reach. If you have already figured that out, look at the outreach, is it reaching the right kind of viewers? Is it the kind that learners are looking for regularly? These are a few of the questions you need to ask yourself before beginning. 
  2. Identify the Unique Factor in your courses offered. There are more than thousands of pages and websites that are dwelling in this MOOC market, to make your course stand out, you will need to figure out that unique factor. 
  3. Keep an eye on your competitors. Your course and business shall increase when you indulge in a healthy competition with your peers. This is a benefit for the learners in any case.
  4. Choose a flexible platform for promotions. An ideal platform should have a broad reach and should be flexible. 
  5. Conduct a quick survey of students. It will help you understand their interests and ideas and structure your courses accordingly. 
  6. Use a widely, readily, and easily available platform to launch your MOOC. 

With the popularity of MOOCs, creating a niche for oneself can be a daunting task, especially for someone new to the MOOC Market. However, the above mentioned six ways, though not absolute, can help you become a successful MOOC provider. 

Check out Get Me  A Course to understand which MOOCs are popular and why. 

E-learning, Education, Online Courses 0 comments on Quality vs. Quantity

Quality vs. Quantity

Since the dawn of the internet, most industries have revamped their operations to blend into the virtual world. The e-learning industry is thriving in full swing with multitudinous platforms and courses popping up every other day. With companies rushing to create courses about each and every topic under the sun, the education process has never been easier. However, there is always a downside to this: concerning education, it is common knowledge that quality and quantity don’t exactly go hand in hand. While everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to increase the quantity of topics and courses, quality has taken a serious hit. Users are overwhelmed by the numerous courses at their disposal and choosing the one that stands out in quality is a challenge.

Quality is a concept tossed around by content creators, each having a different understanding of what quality is, and how it is integrated into their content.

How do you define quality in an e-learning platform?

A good quality course will contain well-researched content, put together in a visually appealing and mentally stimulating manner, tailored to fit the users’ requirements. Quality content is content which will must pique pike the users’ interest, improve critical thinking and provide a great learning experience. Measurable outcome is another indicator of quality, which can be accessed through user surveys and tests.

Some of the attributes that define a quality course are,

  • Adherence to the users’ requirements
  • Readability of text
  • Structured and partitioned content
  • Accuracy and newness of content
  • Choice of media files supporting the content
  • User-friendly interface
  • Assessment tools
  • Interactive segments
  • Accessibility by multiple devices
  • State-of-the art LMS
  • Attractive pricing

What are the major roadblocks in producing quality content?

  • Content delivered in a one-size-fits-all approach does not cater to the users’ requirements. Understanding the audience is vital when designing a course.
  • Don’t beat around the bush when explaining a topic. Keep the content short and well up to the point. Include only important background information that will aid in absorbing the key topics.
  • All theory and no practice can divert your users’ attention in no time. Including interactive segments in your course is a must if you want to keep your audience engaged.
  • Without compatible technology, designing an e-learning course is futile. It is important to stay updated with the trends in technology. Most LMS comes with a trial run, to help you pick the most suitable platform.

From the above facts, it is a no-brainer that quality beats quantity any day. A course is sure to reel in a user, with precise and well structured content, delivered in a captivating manner. Learn how to integrate quality into your e-learning course, here.

E-learning, Education, Online Courses, Skills 0 comments on What is Microlearning

What is Microlearning

Microlearning introduced the idea of ‘learn everything in small parts in a mediated environment’. It is a method that is turning out to be very useful in training for the corporate domain. Microlearning has made gaining knowledge easier by providing small bits of information to the learners. Little bits of information are easy to remember, and one can apply them when necessary. It is advantageous for trainees because it allows them to learn about a topic at a glance.

E-learning platforms introduced the concept of microlearning to make learning easier, exciting, and impactful. The term microlearning came into use in 1963. However, it only saw an upsurge in the 1990s when the domestic use of the internet became popular. The future of learning transformed from bleak to exceptional in all parts of the world. Microlearning follows the ideology of learning more in less amount of time.  

As one does not have to learn everything to know a piece of information, microlearning is bridging knowledge and skill gaps. Everyone finds it easier to understand and remember small bits of information. Any learner would not want to read the whole book just for a piece of information. Microlearning follows that philosophy. They provide useful information in bits and pieces. Like, for example, when you want to know how to make a particular delicacy, you do not need to know about the origin of the ingredients. You could get the information of microlearning contents in the form of text, video, images, infographics, podcasts, pdfs,  etc.

Why is microlearning effective?

Microlearning is emerging as a compelling choice of learning for various reasons.

  • More learning in less time: It provides you with only essential information. It saves time, makes learning more comfortable, by letting you use the information in real-time as you learn.

  • Staying focused: It is easy to remain focused on a specific topic when learning only essential details. With video lessons and micro-blogs providing only the quintessential information, it does not stray from the main objective of the course.

  • Managing a large study load in small bits:  No student or learner would want to burden themselves with too much information in too little time. Microlearning divides the significant pieces into small portions, presenting in a way to make it simpler to remember.

The best thing about microlearning is that it is slowly changing the future of learning. It has also made education enjoyable. Online posts, emails, short videos are some of the most commonly used practices. Microlearning is helping e-learning platforms to reach more audiences with their short courses and easy tricks. 

Head to Get Me A Course and find a course to use what you have learnt about microlearning.