On May 30, 2015 I published my first book, “edX E-Learning Course Development,” a 300-page manual for university teachers and corporate trainers designing, developing, and deploying a MOOC course for the edX platform

The book walks a reader through eight steps to create an edX course while teaching them about the tools and techniques they need to know as an edX instructor. The eight steps are presented in eight chapters, as follows:

  1. Getting Started: an overview of MOOCs and the history of edX.
  2. Planning the Curriculum:curriculum development.
  3. Producing Videos: video production best practices.
  4. Designing Exercises: options for exercises and assessments.
  5. Integrating the Curriculum: options for adding course materials.
  6. Administering Your Course: your course’s administrative options.
  7. Facilitating Your Course: your role as a facilitator of your edX course.
  8. Promoting Your Course:  a strategy to market your course.

Reading edX E-Learning Course Development will teach you how to:

  • Create engaging assessments and effective exercises that achieve your course’s learning objectives.
  • Establish your edX course settings, view and modify course content, and import and export your course.
  • Market your course to increase enrollment and create an enjoyable educational experience for your students.
  • Navigate edX, sign up for Studio, and create your own edX course.
  • Publish an announcement, attach a course syllabus, add instructional pages, and upload course handouts.
  • Use video production best practices and convert your classroom lectures to instructional videos.

Learn more about and purchase the book on Amazon or on the Packt Publishing website or read these related blog posts on Doctorious:

I remain grateful for the opportunity to have written this book, especially knowing that it’s helped individuals and organizations learn. One unexpected benefit for which I am also thankful: according to my Google Scholar profile, the book has been cited 16 times in various academic publications!

Here’s to learning continuously and living generatively!

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019 I gave the first public presentation of my Dr. Seuss style poem “The Ball and The Wall: A Tale of Tolerance,” to my Tolerance and Diversity class at the American University in the Emirates (AUE).

The poem shares the story of a grandfather who, while fishing with his grandson, uses an unexpected encounter to tackle a teachable moment concerning compassion for others in addition to accepting people with different perspectives.

In invite you to watch a slightly edited version below (via YouTube) of the original Facebook Live video I broadcast while performing the poem; you can watch the original recording here.

I was first inspired to write this poem during the last meeting of my History 4C class at UC Santa Barbara in March 1996. At the conclusion of the class, the professor, Harold Marcuse, PhD, invited his teaching assistants to share any closing remarks. My teaching assistant, Kimber M. Quinney, PhD, asked us all to imagine that a large ball was floating over the lecture hall in the Isla Vista Theater (where the lectures for our class took place).

Encouraging us to accept that people have different perspectives, she explained how one side saw that the ball was red and the other side of the class saw that the ball was blue. Moving forward she asked us to accept that a perception that was not the same as our wasn’t necessarily better or worse, but that it was just different, and that was perfectly acceptable.

That last lesson stuck with me and marinated in my mind until 2003 when I wrote the first draft of what would become “The Ball and The Wall.” It has undergone edits and updates since, and will likely continue to be refined, but overall the intent and the idea are intact. It is my plan to publish this as an illustrated children’s book — for adults.

I hope you enjoy this spoken word performance and welcome any ideas it might inspire!

It’s  rewarding to get recognized for your role in education.

Case in point: I was selected by Maggie Williams to step into the June 2018 “Spotlight” of Chief Learning Officer Middle East. The Spotlight is a short interview completed virtually, face to face and can be written or video.

Through this profile I was invited to share my insights into education with the Chief Learning Officer Middle East community of educators, learning and development professionals, and human resources practitioners. 

Presented in question and answer format, I  addressed each of the following inquiries:

  • How would you describe the culture of your business?
  • What are the biggest challenges in the next 5 years?
  • What are the skills and competencies that you would need to train in order to meet the region’s talent requirements?
  • What is your Philosophy?
  • What’s next on your agenda?
  • How can people connect with me?

Of the seven questions above, the one I found most interesting was the second one: What are the biggest challenges in the next 5 years? My answer to that question follows:

I envision three big challenges facing higher education and corporate training in the next five years; they are broad in scope, but specific in application and can be characterized as: pedagogical, practical, and portable.

The first, pedagogical, means that all learning activities should be anchored to educational objectives; these provide parameters for the development of curriculum and metrics against which assessments can be measured. As educational offerings continue to embrace entertainment, it is essential to ensure there is still value to that experience.

The second, practical, acknowledges that learning should be useful and applicable to the real world; it might not be immediately actionable, but it should be relatable to the learners taking the course. Giving a nod to the influx of entertainment in learning, learning should leverage all technology and tools to make it as engaging and entertaining as possible — without sacrificing the integrity of the instruction.

The last challenge, portable, speaks to increased use of mobile devices as delivery devices. At the most basic level educational offerings should be developed using responsive design principles to ensure their accessibility on as many devices as possible. Ideally, learning modules will be specifically designed for mobile devices via customized apps, technology, or tools. Consideration should also be given to making content available offline and for users with low-bandwidth connections.

Do you agree — or disagree — with my predictions?

In addition to yesterday being the 10th anniversary of this blog it was also the publication date of a book in which I wrote a chapter about the social media marketing efforts of the Emirates American Football League (EAFL).

Recognizing the global role and relevance of American football, I wrote a chapter about the EAFL in the book The Routledge Handbook of International Sport Business profiling its social media strategy. Titled “Arabian Gulf Game Plan: The social media marketing strategy of the Emirates American Football League,” the chapter:

  • Explores the origins of the EAFL.
  • Looks ahead to the future of the league and American football in UAE.
  • Shares the league’s social media strategy as a means of marketing while creating a community of fans, players and their families.

The Routledge Handbook of International Sport Business is an essential resource for any course on sport business, sport management or international business. The book offers the broadest and most in-depth guide to the key themes in international sport business today, covering every core area from strategy and marketing to finance, media, and the law.

Including authors from more than twenty countries, this handbook addresses the most important issues in the world of sport business from a global perspective. Each chapter examines a particular cross-section of business and sport, encompassing all levels from grassroots to professional and elite. Divided into seven major subject areas, it offers insights from experts on:

  • International Sport Business Strategy.
  • Sport Marketing.
  • Sport Economics and Finance.
  • International Sport Law.
  • Sport Media and Communication.
  • Sport Tourism.
  • Sport Development.

The Routledge Handbook of International Sport Business is an essential resource for any course on sport business, sport management or international business. Notably, on May 1, 2017 I shared my chapter with faculty, students, and staff at the American University in the Emirates (AUE). I joined with two AUE colleagues who also contributed to the book: Prof. Kamilla Swart and Dr. Kevin Heisey, who is also one of the book’s editors.

“Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” — George Meredith

A decade ago — on September 19, 2007 — I started this blog to document my journey as a PhD student in human and organizational systems at Fielding Graduate University. I envisioned it as a personal journal, academic endeavor, and professional platform. Although I withdrew from Fielding, I continued blogging.

A few years later I launched my website, but this blog was my first form of online expression and it has evolved into the anchor of my social media strategy. This blog has been a tool through which I have shared my story; I will continue doing so indefinitely.

As I begin to discover my PhD potential with the University of Leicester, my PhD plans are again becoming a possibility. Once I begin my program this blog will reflect those experiences along with my adventures in academia.  I look forward to the future with optimism and idealism. The worst is over and the best is yet to come.

Speaking of focusing forward, in the first week of the Discovering Your PhD Potential course I was asked to answer the following question: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? In ten years? (Consider carefully whether doing a PhD will help you to fully achieve this, and if so how?). My answers follow:

In five years I will:

  • Defend my doctoral dissertation and start my first year teaching with my PhD.
  • Apply for a promotion from being an instructor to assistant professor at AUE.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle that brings me comfort, calmness, and confidence.
  • Share my life with a partner who fills my soul with faith, hope, and love.
  • Expand my acting to include commercials and voice over work.

In ten years I will:

  • Publish at least ten papers in high quality journals, five book chapters, and two books about social media marketing, sports management, or my related research interests.
  • Work towards a promotion from associate professor to full professor before I turn 55.
  • Celebrate my sons living happy and healthy lives as they embark on adulthood.
  • Produce five online video courses and appear in a half-dozen podcasts.
  • Enjoy financial stability and the ability to travel at least twice per year.

The past decade has dealt me both unplanned obstacles and unexpected opportunities. Trying yet inspiring experiences have broken me while strengthening me. I have grown as a person and a professional; I am changed for the better, despite the scar tissue. This blog has documented these changes and will continue to serve as reflection of my progression. I am eager to make the most of each moment and invite you to join me on my journey.

It is with great pride I announce that I am joining the Peer Review Board of the Journal of Educators Online (JEO). I was selected by the Editor and Editorial Board according to the needs of the journal. I am excited about this opportunity to contribute to the academic community and appreciate the chance to make a difference.

According to the JEO website:

The Journal of Educators Online (JEO) is a biannual publication by the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University that highlights research in the broad area of Computer Mediated Learning (CML) which includes distance, online, electronic, virtual, distributed, blended and mobile learning. Computer-mediated learning occurs when an individual interactively learns (formally or informally, synchronously or asynchronously) about material via computer means where the learning materials and pedagogy are developed to take advantage of the available technologies.

The goals of JEO are to:

  • Promote a scholarly approach to the practice and profession of teaching in computer-mediated environments.
  • Foster dialogue concerning innovative computer-mediated teaching, learning and assessment strategies.
  • Enhance understanding and application of best practices in online teaching and learning.

JEO is published in January and July of each year. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

In my role as a member of the Peer Review Board I will review two to four manuscripts per year and for provide feedback according to a pre-established set of criteria.  I am expected to evaluate manuscripts in a timely and thorough manner with constructive comments to enhance the quality of the manuscript.

Additionally, if I believe a manuscript is not publishable, I must make every attempt to provide extensive comments/feedback with regard to why the paper is not acceptable and provide the authors with constructive directions.

To learn more about the JEO please review the publication’s overview; you can also review the current issue or review past issues. If you are interested in applying to be a member of the JEO Peer Review Board you can do so here.

Looking forward to contributing to future issues of the Journal of Educators Online (JEO)!

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I am proud to present my book “EdX E-Learning Course Development” to American University in the Emirates (AUE) faculty, staff, and students on Monday, January 30, 2017 from 4:40 to 5:00 pm in the AUE Library. During this presentation I will:

  1. Introduce MOOCs and edX.
  2. Share info about the book.
  3. Describe my experience.

I also invite questions from those in attendance. And, as a bonus for the technologically inclined, I plan to share the presentation in real time using Facebook Live — so be sure to check out the stream!

  • Who: Matthew A. Gilbert, MBA
  • What: Presenting “EdX E-Learning Course Development”
  • Where: AUE Library
  • When: Monday, January 30, 2017 @ 4:40 to 5:00 PM
  • Why: Learn About EdX and MOOCs

Indicate your interest in attending this event on my Facebook page now!

Arrr Matey!

talk_like_a_pirate_dayToday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Launched in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), the pair proclaimed September 19 as the day when everyone should talk like a pirate.

It was initially an inside joke between the friends, but grew when American syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry promoted it in 2002.

But, beyond tales of pirates, it’s also the 9th anniversary of this blog. That’s right, September 19, 2007 was the first post here on Doctorious!  What is this blog about? To quote the “About” page:

This blog celebrates my adventures in academia while revealing my in-class, on-the-road, and at-home experiences; topics tackled include business, education, technology and a personal focus on Autism.

Some things haven’t changed since then, including the focus of this blog; I am even still using the Neat! theme (which has since retired by WordPress).

However, almost everything else in my life has changed, both personally and professionally.  Most notably, since September 8, 2014 this blog has primarily focused a on my experience as an expat in Dubai, UAE.

In addition, here are some fast facts about Doctorious in:

  • 142 Posts (including this one)
  • 14 Pages (static informational pages)
  • 245 Comments (mostly tags to posts)

I haven’t been as prolific as I planned to be, but I have been writing more in recent months. I appreciate those of you who have read this blog and hope you find it interesting, informative, and entertaining. Here’s to the next nine years, matey!

One year ago I started a new chapter in my life.

edx-book-nader-cutout-250Technically I published eight of them in my very first book “edX E-Learning Course Development,” a 300 page manual that helps university teachers and corporate trainers design, develop, and deploy an interactive and informative MOOC course for the edX platform.

It walks a reader through eight steps to create an edX course while teaching them about tools and techniques to know as an edX instructor. Those eight steps are presented in eight chapters which include:

  1. Getting Started: an overview of MOOCs and the history of edX.
  2. Planning the Curriculum:curriculum development.
  3. Producing Videos: video production best practices.
  4. Designing Exercises: options for exercises and assessments.
  5. Integrating the Curriculum: options for adding course materials.
  6. Administering Your Course: your course’s administrative options.
  7. Facilitating Your Course: your role as a facilitator of your edX course.
  8. Promoting Your Course:  a strategy to market your course.

Reading the book will teach you:

  • How to navigate edX, sign up for Studio, and create your own edX course.
  • How to use video production best practices and convert your classroom lectures to instructional videos.
  • How to create engaging assessments and effective exercises that achieve your course’s learning objectives.
  • How to publish an announcement, attach a course syllabus, add instructional pages, and upload course handouts.
  • How to establish your edX course settings, view and modify course content, and import and export your course.
  • How to market your course to increase enrollment and create an enjoyable educational experience for your students.

I was invited to write edX E-Learning Course Development by an acquisition editor at Packt Publishing, who contacted me through my LinkedIn profile.

My experience developing and teaching online courses with learning management systems including Blackboard, Canvas, eCollege, Moodle, and Sakai was a factor. I was also creating training courses and overseeing the implementation of Open edX — the open source version of edX — as a training platform for a software company in Santa Barbara, California. That influenced Packt’s decision to offer me the book as well.

My writing process involved first outlining the entire book and then working with a content  development editor along with very appreciated volunteer reviewers to write two to five drafts of each chapter; then I worked with a technical editor for to finalize the proofs.

BGFYtdWqjg4While filled with challenges, writing the book was rewarding because the process gave me a reason to research edX and more fully understand how it works technically and operationally.

As an educator and lifelong learner, it fills me with pride knowing edX E-Learning Course Development helps people better educate others.

Writing the book also gave me the confidence that I could finish a book – a 300 page technical manual nonetheless!

You can learn more about and purchase the book on Amazon or on the Packt Publishing website.