Hey ya. 3 examples of what I think make good n simple online courses, but more importantly – flexible learning. Note that they all use wikis, but that’s just a technical feature that helps with ease of management.

  1. I reckon this is a straight up and down good example of a simple online/distance and highly flexible course: Intro to open ed syllabus . Hopefully you’ll be able to draw ideas from it. The thing I like about it is its simple, no frills, matter of fact way of telling a learner what to do. It is teacherly, but in a matter of fact, straight up kinda way. The design is in the activities, questions, and assessment tasks. It uses a wiki to schedule the course and present the questions and activities, but then hands it over the learners and their blogs. NB the discussion page behind the course wiki.
  2. Taking this further would be the CyberOne where it uses a combination of a course blog, wiki and SecondLife. Not as good as the first one even though it has more engaging features… the features are what works against it I reckon, making it no doubt hard to manage and stay on top of… hence it looks as if it might be falling by the side in terms of maintenance. Lesson in this is that with too many features (even as little as three) people can still get lost in the navigation and management of it all – hence making it too difficult to sustain.
  3. I reckon our very own development is shaping up ok too. Tour Guiding as part of a Diploma in Applied Travel and Tourism. It still has some way to go, and could very easily simplify its structure somewhat – it is currently developing along the lines of this concept. I think it shows the beginnings of a good course. At the moment it is using a course blog as a front end because the teachers were worried that the students would spin out a bit at the wiki’s look and feel. So think of it as more like at open source kind of online course. You see the more pretty course blog, but the source info is available too. The potential is for it to develop into more of a flexible, self paced, open participatory kind of thing…