With their ability to scale, MOOCs and online courses have the potential to democratize learning in unprecedented ways. But when designed poorly, MOOC platforms can perpetuate ineffective models of teaching and learning. How might we meet the challenge of consistently creating meaningful online learning experiences?
Over the past 12 months, Adobe Education has successfully run online professional development courses for educators via the Adobe Education Exchange. We’ve offered 10 free digital media courses on topics including digital imaging, animation, and app design. So far, 11,957 enrollees from 120 countries have completed more than 357 hours of online instruction, and they’ve created 15,975 instructional resources that have been shared for peer and instructor review. And best of all, over 380,000 students will benefit from their teachers’ new knowledge.
As the Adobe Education team continues to learn and grow as an online learning provider, we’re confident that:
- Online professional development can transform teaching. Self-paced online courses help educators learn new ways to use technical tools and create effective instructional designs.
- Time and money are barriers — talent is not. Our participants need more time to learn and plan, and they need more money for software and resources.
- Creativity can be fostered online. Peer collaboration via feedback and discussion as well as weekly live sessions drive engagement, completion, learning, and creativity.
To what do we attribute our success? Although we’ve iterated on our design since we first started offering courses a year ago, we think our courses have been successful for two reasons:
- We understand our audience. Our courses are designed for educators, by educators. We focus on teaching technology tools plus instructional design to meet the true needs of our audience.
- We’ve maintained three core values across all of our offerings: collaboration, creativity, and continuous learning.
If you’ll be attending #SXSWEdu this March, join our lead professional development strategist, Melissa Jones, for an interactive session on how to apply our best practices. And if you can’t attend, be sure to follow #CreateEDU and #OnlineLearningDesign on Twitter.