Monday, January 02, 2012

Online course announcement

The course content of the first course of the E-Portfolio Academy is online as both a self-paced and facilitated course:
Introduction to E-Portfolios in K-12 Schools

The facilitated course is open for registration through Paypal or school purchase order:

The content of the two versions of the class is the same. There are three differences between the self-paced and facilitated classes:
  1. The facilitated class has a cohort of students who go through the content together and carry on a facilitated asynchronous discussion.
  2. I will be directly involved in the private discussions and will lead the cohort through the content, including live events.
  3. The self-paced class is free; there is a charge for the facilitated class.
The discussion schedule will be provided only to members of the facilitated class through the Edmodo group. The discussion will be asynchronous, so there are no specific times to be online, but I will be scheduling some Google+ hangouts which will be synchronous (live), but not during the first couple of weeks.

The course interaction will be facilitated through an Edmodo group (private educational social network), Google+ Hangouts, and email group. Be sure to sign up for Google + and an Edmodo (teacher) account. Right after the New Year, I will also send invitations for the private groups to all registrants. The first facilitated course cohort will begin between January 2 and January 16. The next cohort is scheduled to begin in early April.

I was asked about the approximate number of hours per week that one can expect. Here is my response:

There are six lessons in the course. In the facilitated course, we will have a slow start: the first lesson will last two weeks (January 2-16) to give everyone a chance to get used to the course tools and the course process... and some are just getting back from their Christmas Break. To answer your question, this facilitated course is not your traditional academic course measured by "seat time." You will get out of the course what you put into it...within the schedule with the other course participants.

In each lesson, there are four process elements:
Inputs: Readings and videos
Outputs: Discussions/Group Reflections
    Implementation Plan Component(s)
    Personal Reflections (your blog entry)

How much time each person takes will be highly personal... some people will skim the readings, some will read them thoroughly plus all of the supplemental readings. Some will write extensive discussion posts and responses, some will write brief entries, and no responses. Some will write extensive blog entries, others won't write much each week. The weekly discussions and blog posts are only "required" for those taking the course for college credit (and there is a rubric in the course content that outlines the credit course requirements). If you are not taking the facilitated class for credit, you can get caught up on readings and reflections once your other class is over.

I realize most participants are teaching full time. I will be posting the schedule for the discussions for the facilitated course in the Edmodo discussion group. We can take the "fast track" or the slower approach to covering the course lessons. In other words, we can take one week or two weeks per lesson (7 to 12 weeks). My preference is to let the participants make that decision, although I need to finish the course by the end of February. 

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