Reflection

Coming to terms…

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First off it’s been quite a while since I posted here on the ed-tech blog. Not for lack of activity, really, either. At the beginning of the fall semester, two exciting new collaborative programs rolled out, which I’ve discussed here before: the Collaborative MBA and the undergraduate sociology program, both ventures between Goshen College, Bluffton University, and… Read more »

The role of expectations in online education

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Huh?

A longtime friend of mine has an unusual knack for coming up with pithy proverbial sayings. My favorite goes like this: Disappointment and elation Are all a matter of expectation Cute, right? Yet it’s strangely come to mind in any number of situations over the decade since I first heard it uttered. One such area has to… Read more »

Cultivating affection in online education?

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Agrarian author, Wendell Berry (image licensed under Creative Commons)

Wendell Berry has been a big influence on my thinking and doing in the past few years, thanks to a close friend who not only loves and knows well most of Berry’s work but also embodies many of the things that Berry is passionate about: place and community, to name just two. It’s not a… Read more »

The ed-tech vision for collaboration in Mennonite education

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For the past year, a good bit of my energy at EMU has been focused on helping craft the technology framework for an ambitious project which has just recently been announced and begins this fall: The Collaborative MBA – a graduate degree program jointly offered by three Mennonite-affiliated schools, Goshen College, Bluffton University, and EMU…. Read more »

MOOCs: The Little Engine That Couldn’t

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Train wreck at Montparnasse 1895

Just 11 months ago, I chose the visual metaphor to the right to be juxtaposed against the title for a post: “All aboard the MOOC train!” – wherein I expressed some reservations about the MOOC euphoria that was then gripping the nation, having just ended the so-called “Year of the MOOC” in 2012. Well, it… Read more »

A Catholic Case Against MOOCs: A Mennonite affirmation

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This morning our provost sent a few folks a story at The Chronicle, “A Catholic Case Against MOOCs,” and asked if we Mennonites had anything to learn from such an argument. Since it dealt with the high-tech MOOC phenomenon, it made its way to me, the “ed-tech guy.” But I’m also the product of a Mennonite… Read more »

It’s only a matter of time…

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In this piece, Brian reflects on how his idealism and zeal for synchronous online course delivery has been tempered by experience with the range of graduate programs at EMU.

Learning Moodle (again)

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Learn Moodle

For the month of September, a few EMU colleagues and I are working our way through the first-ever Moodle MOOC, called “Teaching With Moodle: An Introduction.” (You can join anytime: http://learn.moodle.net) – It is a four-week, massively open course, run in Moodle, by Moodle, to teach folks how to teach in Moodle. Having participated in… Read more »

Anatomy of an ed-tech workshop

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Stop! Ed-Tech Workshop
(Possible nerd-rap lyrics?)

Back in late May, I made my first trip back to EMU’s campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia, since moving last fall to “the cornfields of Iowa,” as my boss Jack Rutt likes to say. It was a short trip, just three days on campus, but on Friday the 24th I facilitated a workshop primarily geared toward… Read more »

Bravo to Amherst faculty!

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In what is probably the first public “rejection letter” handed to the heretofore uncriticized MOOC phenomenon, Amherst College has said “No thanks” to joining the non-profit platform, edX. The piece at Inside Higher Ed offers some of the reasons why faculty voted down the prospect after months of negotiations with edX. They’re worth listing out… Read more »