Google Course Builder Sets The Perfect MOOC Example
Google has the capability to conduct formative assessments. As such, it can be the most powerful teacher that any human being can encounter. Google collects huge volumes of data concerning the following aspects:
- your daily routine and hobbies
- type of media, which interests you (content, genre, etc.)
- time and duration that you access the cloud
- who you work & communicate with
- what brand of toothpaste you like
- who you will most likely vote for in the elections
You may not have realized it, but Google is refining your sociogram every day and has already customized your web exploration!
Learning Management System
A few months ago, Google joined in the MOOC bandwagon or massive open online course. It introduced the course called Power Searching with Google to about 150 students (self-enrolled). After that, Google gave away a number of new tools - the Open Course Builder - which have all been used for constructing the course. Both of these initiatives added to the ongoing breakdown of traditional concepts of who can become a teacher and how many students can learn a few lessons for free. This is what we’re seeing now. Anyone can play teacher, and any number of students can take a free class (1 or 100,000).
On the one hand, certified geeks can do a lot of things with the Open Course Builder. With this set of tools, any advanced geek can create and then publish an e-learning space. On the other hand, another learning management system (LMS) can be used by those who cannot yet distinguish between .jpg and .txt. With Google’s gift to mankind authors can make learning modules that are intuitive, persuasive, and effective while they acquire knowledge and gain skills.
If you are an after course craftsman, then Power Searching is all that you expect to come out of design experts and content geniuses that love doing their job and are getting paid lots of money for doing it.
There are a total of six - 50 minute - classes. After a brief overview, the learner is presented with five to six lessons with short intros to specific chunk lets. Exercises are featured as well. After completing everything, students are given the invitation to participate in forums and check out supplementary resources.
Google Hangouts with students
The creation of a basic LMS can be complicated since it always involves alignment of instruction and curriculum with modern teaching concepts. At the same time, the objective is to transform a group of participants into an engaged mob. To achieve the goal of transforming a loose mob into a closely-knit community, Power Searching didn’t utilize the “read-and-quiz” approach. Instead, students were given plenty of opportunities to watch, discuss and apply what they have learned.
It was also refreshing to get Power Searching updates & content in my inbox in concise form. Thankfully, they were much better than the other MOOC that I signed up for. I only got pages of text in single-spaced documents in Helvetica font. The developers of Power Searching proved to be more disciplined. They even sent the information to the locations where I was spending most of my time (Google Calendar and Gmail). To make discussions more efficient and streamline Hangout sessions, Google Moderator allows facilitators to answer questions voted up by the participants.
Students were also challenged to think with their brains given the multi-modal learning scenario. Power Searching encouraged critical thinking, provides several opportunities for applying new info.
An e-learning specialist with core expertise in educational technologies. He received his Master’s degree in computer science from University of Western Australia. Aditya Pullagurla also blogs on a broad range of subjects for online e-learning magazines, he also set himself up as a freelance e-learning consultant for work place training. Aditya Pullagurla continues to progress his passion for e-learning and his enthusiasm in learning technologies. He is also very interested in networking, collaboration and outsourcing. He currently resides in Sydney and can be contacted at his email [email protected]