Frequently Asked Questions about the Online/Blended Instruction and Design certificate program
What is the cost of the program?
The cost of the full program (three courses and certification) is $2,500. Scholarships are available.
Are there any additional costs for materials?
Yes. Most of the readings and materials for this course are available at no additional cost. However, you will be required to purchase a training DVD for the Learning Management System you will be creating your course in which costs $49. Plus, you will be purchasing three books, one for each course. They are all around $20 or less and will be great additions to your library if you do not already own them.
The first book is Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns by Clayton Christensen
The second book is Out of Our Minds by Ken Robinson
The third book: TBA (but it should be under $20)
Why I am I reading books by Clayton Christensen and Ken Robinson?
The course focus is on pedagogy and practical instruction and design. However, besides the articles and materials about online and blended learning itself, the course will also be focusing on the disruptive and creative nature of online/blended learning. Online and blended learning in Jewish education requires a shift in the way we envision how we educate our students. There is enough research to support its use, yet that does not necessarily translate into action. Theory and skills must be taught in order to implement this change, but additionally, shifting the way we think about education must be focused on. Creativity and innovation are at the heart of this change and will be part of the ongoing discussion of this course.
What is the start date?
Sept. 10th, 2012
How long does it last?
Each course is ten weeks. There are breaks for holidays as well as a winter and spring break. The exact course schedule will be posted soon, but it roughly ends at the end of may or start of June.
What are the minimal technical requirements that I would need to be in this course?
You will need a computer with internet access. You will also need a webcam and mic. If you do not have one, we will recommend some inexpensive ones.
Do I have to have any experience with online/blended learning?
No. This course assumes you are new to this area of teaching and learning.
Is this course for me if I am advanced in the area of online/blended learning?
Probably not. By the nature and flexibility of online courses, Dr. Jones certainly differentiates for each student. However, if you have been teaching online or in a blended classroom for years and have been designing your own online/blended courses this is probably not the course for you. This course is meant for the inexperienced to intermediately experienced online/blended educator.
Do I have access to the professor?
Dr. Jones is available to all students in the course via email, forums, phone, skype and any and all forms of communication possible (yes, smoke signals are acceptable).
Do I have to be at my computer at set times?
The majority of the course is asynchronous, meaning you work at your own pace at times that work for you. However, you do have weekly due dates for assignments and the course runs on a fixed schedule. It is just that you do not need to be at the computer at any one designated time. The only exceptions are live orientations prior to the course and, of course, any scheduled meetings you set up with the professor.
What is the schedule for turning in assignments?
Each week you have various assignments that include discussions, hands-on projects and posts. The assignments are due one week after the week starts with a one week grace period (there is no penalty for turning in assignments during the grace period). After the grace period the assignments for that week are no longer available.
How do you assess our work?
For every assignment type you are given an assessment rubric that clarifies expectations and what grades are based on.
Is there a final project?
Yes. Besides your regular assignments you will turn in a final project at the end of the program. You will each be developing your own online/blended course that you turn in as your final project.
If I create a fully online course, how would I be able to use it in blended learning?
Each student creates a course as a fully online course, but builds it with the blended classroom in mind. What this means is that by design the course is created in a flexible and modular fashion that the blended educator can choose which modules to use in their classroom.
Does the course I develop have to be any one type of philosophy?
No. With some exceptions, the courses are to be a Judaic K-12 course. However, this course is meant to build your capacity as an educator to implement online/blended learning for the students you teach. This course, like the one you will be creating, is student centered. This means you will create the course that best suits your students and the setting your work in.
How will I have access to the course I build after this program is over?
You will be taught how to install and manage your very own Learning Management System for your class, school or institution. Additionally, we will make all the courses built in this program available under the creative commons license (you will learn more about this in the course if this is a new term) to everyone who took the course.
What if I do not want to share my course with anyone else?
What tools will I be taught to design my course?
You will be taught select tools that will aid you in designing your course with additional tools recommended for further learning. The primary tool you will be taught is the Moodle Learning Management System with which you will build your course on. Additionally, you will be taught the basics of graphic editing (i.e. photoshop*), eLearning object design (i.e. Articulate), video editing (i.e. motion, Windows Movie Maker) and others. You are not expected to become expert in all these tools, but we want to make sure you have the right tools in your toolbox to build the first version of your course and continue to enhance it after the program.
*Some of the programs you will learn are commercial products, but you will not be required to purchase them. If you do not own them, you will be using the free trials. Additionally, alternative free tools will be provided for you to do the assignments when possible.
Will I be able to learn from others in the course?
Absolutely! Just like any classroom, the goal is to create a sense of community, collaboration and cohesion among the students. Besides active discussions, most, if not all, assignments are shared with everyone in the course. Additionally, there are specialized assignments that are designed to train each student in online instruction where students will be grading students (with oversight from the professor). The goal is not only for each student in the course to learn from the professor and materials, but above all, to learn from their colleagues. All students will also become members of the YUeLearning community of practice where you will be able to if you choose to continue learning together well beyond the program.