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e-Learning Ecologies: Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the Digital Age

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera

students interested
For three decades and longer we have heard educators and technologists making a case for the transformative power of technology in learning. However, despite the rhetoric, in many ways and at most institutional sites, education is still relatively untouched by technology. Even when technologies are introduced, the changes sometimes seem insignificant and the results seem disappointing. If the print textbook is replaced by an e-book, do the social relations of knowledge and learning necessarily change at all or for the better? If the pen-and-paper test is mechanized, does this change the nature of our assessment systems? Technology, in other words, need not necessarily bring significant change. Technology might not even represent a step forward in education.

But what might be new? How can we use technologies to innovate in education?

This course explores seven affordances of e-learning ecologies, which open up genuine possibilities for what we call New Learning – transformative, 21st century learning:

1. Ubiquitous Learning
2. Active Knowledge Making
3. Multimodal Meaning
4. Recursive Feedback
5. Collaborative Intelligence
6. Metacognition
7. Differentiated Learning

These affordances, if recognized and harnessed, will prepare learners for success in a world that is increasingly dominated by digital information flows and tools for communication in the workplace, public spaces, and personal life. This course offers a wide variety of examples of learning technologies and technology implementations that, to varying degrees, demonstrate these affordances in action.

Recommended Background

This course is designed for people interested in the future of education and the "learning society," including people who may wish to join education as a profession, practicing teachers interested in exploring future directions for a vocation that is currently undergoing transformation, and community and workplace leaders who regard their mission to be in part "educative."

Take this Course for Credit at the University of Illinois

This course has the same content and anticipates the same level of contribution by students in the e-Learning Ecologies course offered to graduate certificate, masters, and doctoral level students in the College of Education at the University of Illinois.

Of course, in the nature of MOOCs many people will just want to view the videos and casually join some of the discussions. Some people say that these limited kinds of participation offer evidence that MOOCs suffer from low retention rates. Far from it – we say that any level of engagement is good engagement.

On the other hand, if you would like to take this course for credit at the University of Illinois, apply here: If you have already taken this course in Coursera, you can prepare a portfolio of work created there and request that this work is taken into account for your University of Illinois course.

Taught by

William Cope and Mary Kalantzis
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Upcoming
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Hours 1-10 hours a week
Calendar 4 weeks long
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FAQ View All
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

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