Want quick download links to free Moodle courses? Get them here! I love looking at how other educators design their courses. Of course, online learning as we know it may be falling out of vogue…
“A…major illusion on which the school system rests is that most learning is the result of teaching. Teaching, it is true, may contribute to certain kinds of learning under certain circumstances. But most people acquire most of their knowledge outside school, and in school only insofar as school, in a few rich countries, has become their place of confinement during an increasing part of their lives”. Source: Ivan Illich, Deschooling as cited by Steve Wheeler’s Learning with ‘e’s: Lunatic Fringe?
Learning online is not about finishing the course requirements a few days early or answering the questions that the text or the teacher dictate. It’s about finding our own path through the material…there is another way to learn online aside from digitizing a curriculum. We have goals and outcomes for our participants, but we don’t say to them “here is the path, work ahead if you like, and your grades will be posted online.” We let them find their own way, supporting and prodding as needed, trying to keep them moving in the general direction of shift. With any luck, they experience the change in their own way, on their own terms.
More than just digitizing the curriculum…Amen! That said, many still acknowledge the need to provide a framework for learners, a maze of musings and learning that students can work against to find their own way. I’m not sure if the courses listed below offer such an opportunity for inquiry, but we can certainly gain insights into design of a course, can’t we?
Accessing Utah’s online courses can provide insights into what society, legislators and educators think of what school should be. While Will’s points are on the mark, many of us still have to work within the framework mandated…play in someone else’s sandbox. Digitizing curriculum with an awareness of what can be provides some room for innovation, and a way to tap into scarce tax dollars:
While high schools around the country are cutting expensive courses, students in Utah high schools this fall may have access to every AP course, any foreign language, and high level STEM courses rich with computer simulations. (Source: Tom Vander Ark, Huffington Post)
As Ric Murry points out in the comments at Will Richardson’s blog, this is an economic issue…for example, in Texas, online learning is being considered as one possible approach. One large school district (no, not mine) pointed out that they want to offer ALL their professional development and a lot more K-12 student courses online, 40 students per teacher, as a way to cut costs. While such an approach must be carefully considered, it’s not impossible to believe that folks will want to do this.
More than a million children are involved in online learning across the country. Online learning is definitely seen as a way to offer parents choice about where to educate their children…that is, if not in public schools, then at home via online providers approved by the State (Source: NewsOK.com).
And, in Texas, Governor Perry sees this as one of the only ways to achieve a $10K Bachelor’s degree (as opposed to whatever you pay now for one):
College, except for the parties, needs to be less place-based,” he said. Web-based instruction and other technology could drive the price down to $2,000 a year, he said. Perry wrote to university regents last week , urging them to develop $10,000 degree programs and to scale up those programs so at least 10 percent of the sheepskins awarded by their schools are based on this approach. He said programs could include online classes, classes at no-frills campuses, credit for prior learning, credit for Advanced Placement classes in high school and other elements.
So, it should come as no surprise that online learning opportunities will start popping up. While I don’t think “do it yourself” a la Moodle is the way state legislators imagine, you can sense people moving in that direction, no? At least, until the online course providers get brought into the picture (e.g. K12.com is one such venture being advocated for in Texas).
Bleak budgets coupled with looming teacher shortages amidst an increasing demand for results are accelerating the growth of online learning into blended environments. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently described a “new normal,” where schools would have to do more with less. Blended learning is playing a vital role, as school operators begin to rethink the structure and delivery of education with the new realities of public funding.
The growth of online learning in brick-and-mortar schools carries with it a bigger opportunity that has not existed in the past with education technology, which has been treated as an add-on to the current education system and conventional classroom structure. Online learning has the potential to be a disruptive force that will transform the factory-like, monolithic structure that has dominated America’s schools into a new model that is student-centric, highly personalized for each learner, and more productive, as it delivers dramatically better results at the same or lower cost.
Policymakers and education leaders must adopt the right policies for this to happen.
The Open High School of Utah is sharing their Moodle courses and sharing THEIR vision of what online learning can be:
The Open High School of Utah is putting the focus where it should be – on the student. Our mission is to facilitate lifelong success by meeting the needs of the 21st century learner through individualized, student-centered instruction, innovative technology, service learning, and personal responsibility.
The courses are licensed as follows:
Courses and course materials produced by the Open High School of Utah are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Open High School of Utah courses contain many open educational resources produced by other organizations which may use a different open license. Please confirm the license status of these third-party resources before reusing them. See OpenCourseWare for additional information.
Here are the direct download links for each of the courses–which will initiate a download a backed up Moodle course in zip format and might save you some time:
- English Composition – T
- Algebra 1(A) – The main goal of Algebra is to develop fluency in working with linear equations. In this course, students will work with tables, graphs, and equations and solve linear equations and inequalities and systems of linear equations and inequalities. Students will learn how to simplify polynomials and begin to study quadratic relationships, along with analyzing mathematical situations verbally, numerically, graphically, and symbolically. Throughout the course, students will have opportunities to apply mathematical skills and make meaningful connections to life’s experiences.
RESTORING MOODLE COURSES
Not sure how to restore a Moodle course? Watch this video (YouTube hosted):
The process is pretty easy…go to an existing Moodle course, click on RESTORE, then browse to your backup’d up course file in zip format on your computer, then upload it. After the upload is done, click on RESTORE and that’s it!
Thanks to Eric Hileman for sharing this via the Oklahoma’s Tech Directors’ List.
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner