Great news for online instructors – a Massive Open Online Course, iFactilitate, just started this week targeted to instructors, professors or anyone else interested in developing skills to facilitate discussion, interaction and engagement in an online learning community. The beauty of a MOOC is that there is a rich source of knowledge and information powered by the WWW, yet the goal is to apply, discuss, share and actively participate.
Objectives of iFactilitate
What encourages me about iFacilitate is it appears to be rooted in a sound instructional strategy, is focused (within a tight time frame of five weeks), and has a website with a user-friendly interface. In addition, learning outcomes are described which I’ve outlined below [excerpted from the website].
By the end of this workshop [iFacilitate] you will be able to begin to:
- Create, facilitate and assess asynchronous online discussions;
- Use a blog to aggregate remix, re-purpose, and feed forward meaningful content.
- Discover opportunities afforded by Web 2.0 technologies for online learning communities.
Learning Theory behind a MOOC
A MOOC is based on the theory of ‘connectivism‘ which embraces an active learning approach. One learns through participating in activities. The connectivist theory, also known as the Social Learning Theory developed by Lev Vygotsky is similar to a constructivist approach, yet emphasizes doing – discussing, reflecting and applying. Learning comes through action. For example, discussing, writing, blogging (in this case) and teaching. Furthermore, iFactiilate describes how the learner in this course will learn, which is by:
4. Feeding Forward.
Click on iFacilitate, to learn more about what each of these means within the context of the course, and /or to sign up.