- These courses are offered for free, so they are accessible to anyone with access to a computer with a network connection.
- As described above, each course is divided into short one-page sections which include exercises to reinforce the material. I found this helped me retain the information as the course progressed. It also allowed me to take short chunks of spare time to complete each page.
- Codeacadamy is really a platform to allow community members to write courses for the community. All of the content is provided by volunteers. This means that courses will be improved in response to user input as time goes on.
- The courses are text-based, so there is no teacher/ student interaction. Forums are provided for community members to ask questions, which may or may not be answered by other community members.
- Since the courses are developed by volunteers, there are some rough edges where instruction isn't clear or the exercises don't work as expected.
- When I took the course, the web interface crashed a number of times. This may have been improved over time.
Inspired by an edupunk philosphy, Digital Storytelling, also known as ds106, is the online hub of a network of learners. ds106 is connected to a program offered at the University of Mary Washington, but allows Open Paticipants, online students, to join the program at any point during the term and participate as much as they want. Each student is expected to build an online identity through his/ her own blog and various social media sharing apps such as Flickr or Twitter. As such, there is no online course software. Instead, the ds106 web page aggregates the work of the students, the lectures and the assignments.
- This DIY approach to learning is well-suited to teaching Digital Storytelling, a discipline that requires technical and self promotional skills.
- By the time a student has completed this program, he/ she will have already built an online identity.
- Students are not limited by the capabilities of a given online learning system.
- Students without technical skills would find it difficult to get started with the course.
- This approach to learning might not be appropriate for students who prefer a more structured learning environment.
- Because this approach to learning is experimental, its effectiveness has not been measured.
3. Corporate e-learning courses based on Adobe Captivate
I have taken several of these corporate e-learning courses as a student and worked with vendors to produce two other courses. Adobe Captivate allows developers to use text and other media to explain concepts and then test users through various types of exercises.
- These courses do not cost a lot to develop.
- They are easy for a company to deploy on their existing IT infrastructure.
- They allow HR departments to ensure that employees have achieved a given score within a specific timeframe. They are often used to ensure that employees at a company meet various compliance obligations.
- These course often feel like glorified powerpoint presentations. Much in the same way that people tend to write their slides instead of developing a presentation, the emphasis seems to be on the delivery platform rather than the teaching.
- There is no interaction with a teacher.
- The vendors that I have dealt with provide little more than technical services, transfering powerpoint slides developed by the client to the Captivate platform. There is no advice on how best to teach the material. As such, they do not necessarily adhere to proven teaching methodologies.