A Comparison of Five Free MOOC Platforms for Educators

A Comparison of Five Free MOOC Platforms for Educators

There are a number of good options for educators looking to build their own MOOCs. Here is a look at five of the most interesting platforms.

John Swope is the founder of curricu.me, an online MOOC aggregator that allows users to build and share custom curriculum with their students, employees and friends. His favorite MOOC is Dan Ariely’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior,” and his personal blog takes much inspiration from Ariely’s theories around irrational economics. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

By the end of 2013, most top universities had started to offer some sort of MOOC (massive open online course). Now, we are starting to see the MOOC product move into both the corporate and the private realm. Companies like Google and Tenaris are using MOOCs for training their employees, MongoDB is educating developers through the MOOC medium and thousands of private instructors are teaching classes on sites like Udemy.

If you are considering a MOOC for yourself or your organization, you’ll first need to determine which tool you will use to build the course. The following is an assessment of five popular free MOOC (and MOOC-like) platforms.

MOOC Comparison

edX

EdX is an open-source platform offered by edX.org. It is the same platform that universities such as Harvard and MIT use to offer courses to 100,000+ students. It was released as open source in March 2013, and the goal was to act as the WordPress for MOOC platforms, allowing users to use plug-ins to expand the core functionality. edX has a fast, modern feel, with the ability to accommodate large enrollments.

edX is suitable for organizations that want a modern, flexible, robust course-management platform. Although it is open source, investment will need to be made in both installation and some maintenance. But the return will be a platform that can provide best-in-class content to thousands of students.

Moodle

Moodle is an open-source learning management system (LMS) that allows users to build and offer online courses. It was built for traditional online classrooms rather than MOOCs, which attract a large number of students. It tends to be easier to install than edX, and there are hosted or one-click install options available.

Moodle is suited for organizations that want a full-featured, customizable LMS. The platform offers more than edX in terms of educational tools, analytics and SCORM compliance. The trade-off is that the platform is over 10 years old. The number of configuration options can be daunting, and system performance suffers with larger numbers of students.

CourseSites by Blackboard

CourseSites by Blackboard is an exceptionally robust platform. It has most of the features that Moodle has, including extensive teaching tools, reporting features and SCORM compliance. It is also cloud-based. You can set up a course in minutes and never have to worry about maintenance or upgrades.

The service is free for up to five live courses, and Blackboard has given no indication that this will change. The trade-off seems to be that your courses are branded with the Blackboard logo, and your students must register with Blackboard in order to join a course.

CourseSites is a good option for individuals — for example, a teacher who wants to migrate part of a curriculum to an online format — or organizations looking to start experimenting with online courses without having to install anything . The five-course maximum and the inability to brand your course place limitations on how this platform can be applied. But with the lowest maintenance costs and the highest number of features, CourseSites is a good option.

Udemy (free version)

From the beginning, Udemy has specialized in the private MOOC. Think of it as the YouTube of MOOCs. Instructors can build and host their own courses on the platform and then offer them to users for free or for a fee.

Udemy is for individuals who want to easily build basic courses and monetize them. The platform is full of coders, photographers, designers and other specialists who offer their knowledge in the form of an online course. Udemy’s most distinct strength is its base of 2,000,000 registered students. When you build a course on Udemy, you are able to reach this pool of potential students.

Versal (free version)

Versal is an intriguing new platform. Its major strengths are a sleek, intuitive user interface and a robust drag-and-drop functionality. A user can sign up for free and then build a course that includes mathematical expressions, image drill-downs and many more widgets, all without any coding knowledge. Users can also embed their published courses on other websites, such as personal blogs.

Versal can’t fairly be called a MOOC platform, because it lacks certain MOOC elements. In particular, there is currently no forum or discussion functionality. Instead, it can be thought of as a strong tutorial platform.

Versal is most suited to individuals who want to quickly build sleek tutorials — for example, a teacher who builds an assignment for his students, or a musician who builds a short course on music theory and posts it on his or her blog. Versal is a young product, and the company is planning to develop some of the features that its platform currently lacks. This is one to keep an eye on.

Which platform you choose depends on what assumptions you make about your course. Most of these platforms offer demos on their site. It helps to be able to play around in a course and try to imagine your content with a similar look and feel. Finally, don’t worry about changing your mind early on. These platforms all rely on much of the same content (YouTube videos, PDFs, quizzes, etc), so it is easy to migrate a course halfway through the building process.





More On

Feb
26
2014






Alternatives to YouTube’s Video Editor – It’s Going Away


Google
 

Web

freetech4teachers.com

EdTechAdFinal

Monday, August 7, 2017

Alternatives to YouTube’s Video Editor – It’s Going Away

Earlier this summer Google announced that the YouTube video editor will be “going away” on September 20th. Since then I have fielded many requests to suggest alternatives to the YouTube video editor. Here’s a run-down of the recommendations that I have been making.

YouTube enhancements are not going away. 
It’s important to note that if you have only been using the YouTube video editor for things like cropping the length of your video or applying visual filters, you will still be able to do that in your YouTube account. Trimming the length of a video, adding interactive end screens, blurring faces and objects, and applying color filters are all considered part of the “enhancements” that you can apply to your videos. Those features are not going away.

YouTube Photo Slideshow Alternatives:
YouTube’s photo slideshow creator was a nice tool that let you pull images from your desktop or from your Google account, drag them into a sequence, then add music from a library of more 100,000 Creative Commons-licensed music tracks. Fortunately, there is not a shortage of websites and apps that offer the same features.

Stupeflix, Sharalike, and Animoto all let you import a batch of pictures and add music to quickly create an audio slideshow. Animoto and Stupeflix both let you add text over your images while Sharalike does not. Sharalike, however, allows for much longer videos than Animoto and Stupeflix will create. Sharalike and Animoto offer iOS and Android apps while Stupeflix does not. Finally, Animoto and Stupeflix offer free education versions for teachers.


Basic Video Editing:
iOS and MacOS users have access to iMovie for free now. If you’re looking for a video editor for your students to use on iPads or Macs, iMovie is more than adequate for the vast majority of classroom projects.

Windows users can still use Windows Movie Maker. Microsoft is not officially supporting it on Windows 10, but you can still download it and use it on Windows 10 computers. But later this year Microsoft will be releasing Story Mix which is essentially the replacement for Movie Maker. This video provides a preview of Story Mix.

Chromebook users and those who cannot install software should look into Adobe Spark and WeVideo. Adobe Spark is free to use. You can upload images and videos to use in your final product. Adobe Spark will let you record narration on a scene-by-scene basis by simply holding a record button while you talk. I have some tutorials on Adobe Spark that you can watch here and here.

WeVideo offers a robust web-based video editing tool that rivals the features you can find in iMovie. The limitation of WeVideo is that in order to access its best features like voiceover, green screen, and high resolution production you will have to purchase a subscription. School pricing starts at $199/ year for 30 seats.

Links to this post

Create a Link

Disclosures and Policies

FreeTech4Teachers.com is owned by Byrne Instructional Media, LLC.

Click here to read full disclosures and policies regarding Free Technology for Teachers.

Powered by Blogger.


Alternatives to YouTube’s Video Editor – It’s Going Away


Google
 

Web

freetech4teachers.com

EdTechAdFinal

Monday, August 7, 2017

Alternatives to YouTube’s Video Editor – It’s Going Away

Earlier this summer Google announced that the YouTube video editor will be “going away” on September 20th. Since then I have fielded many requests to suggest alternatives to the YouTube video editor. Here’s a run-down of the recommendations that I have been making.

YouTube enhancements are not going away. 
It’s important to note that if you have only been using the YouTube video editor for things like cropping the length of your video or applying visual filters, you will still be able to do that in your YouTube account. Trimming the length of a video, adding interactive end screens, blurring faces and objects, and applying color filters are all considered part of the “enhancements” that you can apply to your videos. Those features are not going away.

YouTube Photo Slideshow Alternatives:
YouTube’s photo slideshow creator was a nice tool that let you pull images from your desktop or from your Google account, drag them into a sequence, then add music from a library of more 100,000 Creative Commons-licensed music tracks. Fortunately, there is not a shortage of websites and apps that offer the same features.

Stupeflix, Sharalike, and Animoto all let you import a batch of pictures and add music to quickly create an audio slideshow. Animoto and Stupeflix both let you add text over your images while Sharalike does not. Sharalike, however, allows for much longer videos than Animoto and Stupeflix will create. Sharalike and Animoto offer iOS and Android apps while Stupeflix does not. Finally, Animoto and Stupeflix offer free education versions for teachers.


Basic Video Editing:
iOS and MacOS users have access to iMovie for free now. If you’re looking for a video editor for your students to use on iPads or Macs, iMovie is more than adequate for the vast majority of classroom projects.

Windows users can still use Windows Movie Maker. Microsoft is not officially supporting it on Windows 10, but you can still download it and use it on Windows 10 computers. But later this year Microsoft will be releasing Story Mix which is essentially the replacement for Movie Maker. This video provides a preview of Story Mix.

Chromebook users and those who cannot install software should look into Adobe Spark and WeVideo. Adobe Spark is free to use. You can upload images and videos to use in your final product. Adobe Spark will let you record narration on a scene-by-scene basis by simply holding a record button while you talk. I have some tutorials on Adobe Spark that you can watch here and here.

WeVideo offers a robust web-based video editing tool that rivals the features you can find in iMovie. The limitation of WeVideo is that in order to access its best features like voiceover, green screen, and high resolution production you will have to purchase a subscription. School pricing starts at $199/ year for 30 seats.

Links to this post

Create a Link

Disclosures and Policies

FreeTech4Teachers.com is owned by Byrne Instructional Media, LLC.

Click here to read full disclosures and policies regarding Free Technology for Teachers.

Powered by Blogger.


ZEEF.com


Instructional Designers: An Understanding Of Social Learning Matters! – eLearning Industry

Instructional Designers: An Understanding Of Social Learning Matters! – eLearning Industry
http://ift.tt/1NqdXOg

Instructional Designers: An Understanding Of Social Learning Matters!
Much of what we learn about behavior (social learning) we learn in a social setting. We are affected by the conduct of others, and others are affected by our conduct.

April 16, 2016 at 12:31PM
http://ift.tt/1NqdXOg


Over 30 Great YouTube Channels for Teachers (Chart) ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Over 30 Great YouTube Channels for Teachers (Chart) ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
http://ift.tt/1SI6C21

Over 30 Great YouTube Channels for Teachers (Chart) ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
January 10, 2015 YouTube is absolutely one of the best sources of educational videos out there. It hosts tons of video content some of which is tailored specifically for the educational community.

February 09, 2016 at 11:02PM
http://ift.tt/1SI6C21


Massive Online Open Courses Can Be Better Than Traditional Teaching Methods

Massive Online Open Courses Can Be Better Than Traditional Teaching Methods
http://ift.tt/1GMg0xY

Why Virtual Classes Can Be Better Than Real Ones
I teach one of the world’s most popular MOOCs (massive online open courses), “Learning How to Learn,” with neuroscientist Terrence J. Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

January 06, 2016 at 04:49PM
http://ift.tt/1GMg0xY