Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom
Institution: UCIrvine (Coursera)
Date: Sep 29, 2014 - Nov 3, 2014
Bio: "Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom" is part of a four course Specialization Certificate for Virtual Teaching on Coursera.
Rather than being a guided instructional or passive informative course, it seems to be constructed with the idea of community engagement. A resource platform for students to educate themselves on the topic depending on how much they want to put into it.
Weekly content is presented in the form of a single 15 minute lecture each week; under the theme of making basketball analogies about teaching strategies. A lot of the information it conveys seems foundational rather than 'advanced', though it occasionally touches upon some more specific strategies.
The lecture is supported with a large amount of optional supplemental material. In addition to readings and external 'bonus videos'; each week includes a live 45 minute weekly Google chat with the course instructor and other teachers who work in the field.
One of the interesting changes, was that the peer review assignment had a required word minimum for reviewing other students work. This forced students to analyze and articulate an opinion of the other students work, rather than simply checking off a requirement list.
Accomplishments: I completed all of the quizzes and final exam (easily Aced). For the Peer assignment I created a design plan for using the 'Question Formulation Technique' in an Artificial Intelligence programming course; with a focus on balancing instruction vs critical thinking, and using supporting technologies to increase student engagement. My peer reviewers seemed genuinely impressed and gave me full marks.