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PO Box 371318
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Online Courses: What’s Out There?

E-learning (online course) Opportunities for Academy Members
By Jackie Dobrovolny, Ph.D. UCD elearning faculty and member of the Academy’s Elearning Committee

~~Jackie Dobrovolny’s career has encompassed teaching and co-teaching numerous online courses at the University of Colorado-Denver.  Those courses include graduate degree courses, as well as open-admission adult continuing education courses. The content of all these courses is how to design online (elearning) instruction. In each of these online courses, students design and develop an online course which is either self-paced or instructor led. The students in these courses are from all over the U.S., as well as from outside the U.S., e.g., Germany, Israel, and Puerto Rico.

1-Online-EducationCurrently, Jackie is investigating the possibility of developing elearning focused on environmental and/or humane education topics. With respect to members of the Academy using elearning, there are basically three types that might be fun and informative: (1) Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), (2) self-paced courses, and (3) webinars.

MOOCs
MOOCs are instructor lead and often the instructor is a leader in the field. MOOCs are free, have a start and stop date, based on either a quarter or semester calendar, and students don’t have to finish the course, i.e., they can focus only on those parts of the course they find relevant and/or interesting. Students who satisfactorily complete a MOOC, can usually receive a certificate of completion.

Examples of MOOCS

Coursera.org – Supported by 33 different universities

UDACITY.com – Supported by Stanford University

edX.org – Started by MIT and Harvard. Partners currently include University of Texas system, UC Berkeley, Georgetown, and Wellesley College.

MIT Open Courseware Consortium – Includes 250 universities, providing over 13,000 courses

See below for additional information about MOOCs and the providers listed above.

Self-paced elearning
Online, self-paced courses are another type of elearning that members of the Academy night enjoy. They are often free and students can take as much time as they want to learn parts or all of the content. Typically, self-paced, elearning courses take between 5 minutes and 5 hours for students to complete albeit some students may take several months, spending only a few minutes in the course at each sitting.

Examples of self-paced instruction: “libraries” of courses (All but two of these libraries offer free courses.)
iTunes U
Khan Academy
Lynda.com (monthly and annual subscription options)
Merlot
MetEd (through COMET in Boulder)
National Repository of Online Courses
PBS
Smithsonian.edu
Ted Talks
Virtual University ($10/course and up)
Terra Incognita

Examples of individual self-paced courses (All of these courses are free.)

African Voices
Ancient Astronomy
Becoming Human
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
Freeskills (software coding)
Japanese Americans and the American Constitution
Mission US (history)
Physics
Polar Science
Theban Mapping Project (Egypt)

Webinars
Another online learning opportunity for members of the Academy is the synchronous webinars offered by various professional
development organizations and software companies. These are typically 45 minutes to two hours. Everyone is online at the same time and there is a presenter/faculty presenting the content. Some webinars are free; for others there is a fee.

Use Webinar Base or PBS (Public Broadcasting System) to search for a webinar on a specific topic or field of interest.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION – MORE DETAILS

MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses
Instructor-led courses with hundreds or thousands of students in each course. Currently, few MOOCs offer college “credit” albeit many offer certificates of completion. The learning theory supporting many MOOCs is called Connectivism, which assumes that learning is neural, conceptual, and social. Stephen Downs, a Connectivist expert, said, “to teach is to model and demonstrate, to learn is to practice and reflect.” For more on Connectivism see the following:
* “What is Connectivism?” This is a 15 minute presentation by George Siemens, a Connectivist expert.
* Connectivism: Wikipedia article.

Information about current providers of MOOCs
Coursera.org
* 33 universities support Coursera
* Two venture capital firms fund the organization.
* 213 free courses primarily in technical sciences, i.e., science, computer science, math, and engineering
* The following is a partial listing of courses outside of the technical sciences.
o Humanities – 35 courses including:
o Language of Hollywood – Storytelling, sound and color – 5 weeks
o Science, technology and society in China – 3 weeks.
o Sports and society – 8 weeks
o Archeology’s dirty little secrets – 8 weeks
o Writing in the sciences – 8 weeks
o Listening to world music – 7 weeks
o Economics – 23 courses including:
o Fundamentals of personal financial planning – 7 weeks
o Microeconomic principles – 8 weeks
o Macroeconomic principles – 6 weeks
o Generating the wealth of nations – 6 weeks
o Climate change – 9 weeks
o Computer Science – 22 courses
* Recent major problem: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/02/04/coursera-forced-call-mooc-amid-complaints-about-
course

UDACITY.com
* Started February 2012
* Set up by Stanford University
* Has offered 15 free courses as of March, 2013
* All courses in technical disciplines
* Partnering with San Jose State to offer $150/course under graduate courses.
* Charles River Associates appears to be their sponsor.

edX.org
* MIT and Harvard started
* Partners include:
o University of Texas System
o UC Berkeley
o Georgetown
o Wellesley College
* Have offered nine free courses in chemistry, computer science, and electronics so far.
* First liberal arts courses to be offered in the Fall 2013 by Wellesley.

MIT Open Courseware Consortium
* Started in 2001
* The OCW Consortium includes 250 universities providing over 13,000 courses
* MIT offers free 2150 courses
* So far they estimate 100 million people have used their services.
* They provide courses in 11 major topic areas including:
o Business
o Energy
o Engineering
o Fine arts (8 courses)
o Health & Medicine
o Humanities (500 + courses)
o Mathematics
o Science
o Social Science
o Society
o Teaching and Education
* Demographics of students
o 43% are life-long learners
o 42% are students
o 9% are educators
o 44% North America
o 17% Europe and Russia
o 20% China and SE Asia
o 9% India and nearby nations

Sofia: Offer the following community college courses
* Creative typography
* Physical geography
* Enterprise network security
* Elementary statistics
* Intro to Java programing
* Intro to Macromedia Flash
* Muscianship
* Webpage authoring

General information about MOOCs
* Top 10 sites for MOOCs and good video (at the end) about what is a MOOC:
* Find a MOOC: http://www.mooc.ca/courses.htm
* How to succeed in a MOOC: Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8avYQ5ZqM0
* What is a MOOC? Some great background info and instructional design considerations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course

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DNA & CRIME: HOW FAR HAVE WE COME?

2-Mitch-MorrisseyAmazing! Television crime shows have the ability to construct solid evidence and to produce DNA results all in one day! But in the real world, such possibilities are more science fiction than fact. While not the quick turnaround that we’ve been led to believe, DNA technology is steadily perfecting the use of DNA evidence to exonerate the innocent, while putting the right criminals behind bars.

In a free lecture for Academy fall participants, Mitch Morrissey, the elected District Attorney of Denver since 2005, separated fact from fiction in the use of DNA evidence in crime investigations.

Mr. Morrissey is internationally recognized for his expertise in DNA technology. He has applied that technology in criminal prosecutions, working to ensure that DNA science is admissible in court and using DNA in investigating and prosecuting serial murderers and sex offenders.

In 1999, he was sworn in as a Boulder District Attorney to work on the thirteen-month-long grand jury investigation into the death of Jon Benet Ramsey, and he continued as an advisor to the ongoing investigation until 2003. In addition, Mr. Morrissey has trained law enforcement officers and prosecutors in DNA technology throughout the United States, in Canada, and in the Middle East.

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Room Assignments! Which Door?

2-ORCC-DoorPARKING—Yes, there are about 1200 parking places and many doors. Get your room assignment and check for the closest doors.  Our Facility Map highlights both the rooms and the doors.

NO DOOR 9 ON THURSDAYS— The Cherry Creek Schools Options Program uses the north classrooms on Thursdays. For security reasons Door 9 is not available to the Academy on Thursdays.

ROOM ASSIGNMENTS— Here are the room assignments.  More Announcements are below.

Day/Time

Start

Course

 Room

Door

Tue-10

2/25

Classical Period in Music

230-Auditorium

Basement

Tue-10

2/25

CPR

130-FamRmAnnex

4

Tue-10

2/25

Creativity & Madness: Artists

100-AltarCounsel

3

Tue-10

4/29

Drawing

240-Fellowship

2, 9, Basement

Tue-10

2/25

Great Decisions

150-Timothy

2

Tue-10

3/11

Nutrition Ammunition

200-James

Basement

Tue-10

3/11

Write to Save Your Life

210-Paul

Basement

Tue-1

3/11

Antibiotics & Vaccines

130-FamRmAnnex

4

Tue-1

2/25

Jazz: The First 30 Years

100-AltarCounsel

3

Tue-1

4/1

Jazz: 30s thru WWII

100-AltarCounsel

3

Tue-12:45

3/4

Bridge

240-Fellowship

2, 9, Basement

Tue-1

2/25

Constantine’s Sword

150-Timothy

2

Tue-1

2/25

Love & Romance in Brit Lit

200-James

Basement

1

Wed-10

2/26

End-of-Life Choices

150-Timothy

2

Wed-10

2/26

Pragmatism

200-James

Basement

Wed-10

2/26

Presidential Powers

130-FamRmAnnex

4

Wed-1

2/26

Español: Beginners

150-Timothy

2

Wed-1

2/26

Español: Beg/Int

200-James

Basement

Wed-1

2/26

Español: Int/Adv

130-FamRmAnnex

4

Wed-1

3/26

Science Researchers

100-AltarCounsel

3

Wed-1:30

2/26

DAM Great Art 2/26 & 4/9

at the DAM

~

Wed-1

2/26

Experts & Entertainers

110-WrshpArts

3

Wed-1

3/26

Haiku Workshop

210-Paul

Basement

Wed-1

2/26

Conversational Hebrew

135-1330

6

Thur-10

4/3

Critical Economic Issues

100-AltarCounsel

3

Thur-10

4/24

CPR

150-Timothy

Basement

Thur-10

4/17

Denver’s Elitch Theatre

130-FamRmAnnex

4

Thur-10

3/6

World Religions

200-James

Basement

Thur-10

2/27

Concert: Arias & Ensembles

230-Auditorium

Basement

Thur-10

3/6

Russia Today

110-WrshpArts

3

Thur-10

3/6

Writing Your Life Stories

210-Paul

Basement

Thur-1

2/27

China Rising

100-AltarCounsel

3

Thur-1

2/27

Short Stories

150-Timothy

2

Thur-1

2/27

Women’s Movement

135-1330

6

Thur-1

2/27

Great Debates & the Law

230-Auditorium

Basement

Thur-1

2/27

Tech Training

110-WrshpArts

3

SNOW DAYS—The Public School closings will dictate our schedule. By 8:00 am, our website’s home page (www.AcademyLL.org) will announce any closure, and the message on the Academy phone line (303-770-0786) will give details. Rule of thumb: If the public schools are closed, we are closed. If they announce a late start, our morning classes are canceled and our afternoon classes will meet.

COFFEE—Coffee and cookies are available for FREE in two locations: The main atrium near the “fountain” of plants and directly outside room 200-James on the upper level.  We will have it until the budget runs out…

NAME BADGES—Badges help the course leaders and your fellow classmates get to know you. With K-12 school programs in the building, the Academy nametags help keep the children safe. Yes, it IS difficult to remember them, but please make an effort. Keep them in your car or class notebook.

ABSENCES—If you know that you will be absent from a class session, please inform your course leader in advance.

DROPPING CLASSES—If you decide to drop a class, please call the Academy, 303-770-0786, or inform your course leader.

CLASS EVALUATIONS—Comments are welcome and encouraged. Formal evaluations are given at the discretion of the course leaders. Feel free to share your opinions with Board members, the Director, or use our Feedback Form.

LUNCH—In addition to Subway and Café de France on site, there are many restaurants in the area or you are welcome to bring your own lunch and eat it in either atrium or any open room.

THANK YOU—The Academy is a nonprofit organization and is extremely appreciative of all the volunteers who help make it work. If you’d like to volunteer, call 303-770-7086 or email volunteer@AcademyLL.org. Thanks, too, to our host: Orchard Road Christian Center.

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AMENITIES GALORE AT ORCC

1-ORCC-3The Academy has gone uptown with added amenities at its new campus at Orchard Road Christian Center.

With SubWay and Café de France across the hall from each other on the southwest corner of ORCC’s lower level, Academy participants can choose to meet over breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner—or just a cup of coffee (add an espresso option at Café de France), tea or soda.

Both restaurants open at 7:00 a.m. every day and offer outside seating in inviting weather. For your private group meetings outside Academy classes, you’ll want to take a look at the lovely party room on Café de France’s south side (windows with mountain views!).

1-ORCC-4If you prefer to meet friends in ORCC’s comfortable Family Room off the Fountain Atrium, you’ll have a choice of coffee (available for a $1 charge, paid on the honor system) or goodies from the vending machine, which include specialty teas, chocolate milk, Izze fruit drinks, chips, power bars and other assorted treats.

While in the Family Room, you’ll have WiFi access. We learned during the One-Day University that ten folks can connect simultaneously, but the connection will be lost if users exceed ten. The Academy is working to ensure even greater access.

ORCC’s two sun-lit atriums offer seating for BYO lunches and snacks, take-out from the two restaurants or just a casual get-together between classes.

One of ORCC’s most significant amenities is easy and quick access to Light Rail. The E line (purple on the Light Rail map) and the F line (red on the map) both run north and south. The F line runs between the 16th St. Mall downtown and Lincoln Parkway. The E line runs between Union Station downtown and Lincoln Parkway. Check Light Rail schedules & fares at http://www.southeastconnections.com/?n=transit&sm=rtd&sp=light.

From either line, exit at the Orchard Rd. stop, where there is a parking lot for Light Rail users. To reach the Academy campus at Orchard Christian Center, walk directly south through two parking lots and enter ORCC at the upper level. The walk should take you 5-7 minutes. We hope you’ll explore this relaxing, uber-green transportation option!

 

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Dr. Richard Weir: Prometheus with a Dash of Frankenstein

Richard Weir, prosthetic hand, bioengineeringStrap on your rocket-ship seat belts when you attend Dr. Richard Weir’s April 9th lecture this spring, during the newest CU Science series: his presentation will blast you into a mind-scrambling world straight out of science fiction—except that it’s all as real as his basement lab at the Anschutz Medical Center just down the road on Colfax Avenue. A specialist in the design of advanced artificial hand and arm replacements, Dr. Weir is fashioning prosthetics virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, thanks to implantable myoelectric sensors, 3-D printers and a lab that combines, as The Denver Post’s Michael Booth puts it, “one portion Frankenstein workbench and two portions auto-repair shop.” Read (much) more at http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22975963/hospitals-at-anschutz-medical-campus-build-precision-body

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