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!

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)!

Delighted to have met Mohammed Alsiddiq, a founding partner of Eight Creative Technology, in Dubai last week on Thursday, July 28, 2916. This was the first time I have met a reader of my book, edX E-Learning Course Development, and by coincidence he also lives in the United Arab Emirates!

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Founded in 2015 and based in Twofour54 Abu Dhabi, Eight Creative Technology is Khalifa Fund‘s first initiative focused on digital innovation.

Their services include digital‬ strategy, platform development,‪ social media, business applications,‬ and ecommerce‬. They collaborate with industry leaders to deliver a broad range of training‬ programs and‪ workshops‬ in areas of digital marketing‬, social media and multimedia‬.

Mohammed is developing an Open edX installation for an online learning program that will soon launch here in the UAE. He bought my book, “edX E-Learning Course Development” on Amazon.com to help him design, develop, and deploy his edX initiative.

If you are evaluating (or have chosen) edX as an online learning platform for your enterprise or educational organization consider buying a copy of my book; you can get it on Amazon or directly from Packt Publishing.

edarabia.com-profile-20160607I have been profiled on the EdArabia.com website where I share my thoughts about books that inspire me, the process of writing, and, in answers to 12 questions, discuss details about my experience writing “edX E-Learning Course Development.”

My book, which was published last May, walks a reader through eight steps to create an edX course while teaching them about tools and techniques to know as an edX instructor.

The eight chapters of the book and what they cover include:

  1. Getting Started: an overview of MOOCs and the history of edX.
  2. Planning the Curriculum:curriculum development and
  3. Producing Videos: video production best practices.
  4. Designing Exercises: options for exercises and assessments.
  5. Integrating the Curriculum:
  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 with traditional tools, edX options, and social media.

edX E-Learning Course Development begins with ; details ; explores; addresses; and then reviews .

Lastly, in a special bonus chapter, it suggests

Questions I answer include the following:

1809OS_EdX_E-learning Course Development1. Tell us a little about yourself/ your job? Perhaps something not many people know?

2. Which books have most influenced your life?

3. What/ Who inspired you to write edX E-Learning Course Development

4. Which was your favorite chapter (or part) to write about and why?

5. How would you describe your writing style like and how long did it take you to complete?

6. What advice would you share with aspiring authors – on writing, publishing, marketing?

7. How has your experience been as an author – highlights and lessons?

8. What do you think about the ebook revolution?

9. Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Are you working on another book?

10. If you could write about any personality (fiction/nonfiction) who would you write about?

11. What do you love most about the writing process?

12. Who is your favorite author?

Limited Time Offer: Buy a print or eBook copy of the book now through June 30, 2016 at https://www.packtpub.com/…/edx-e-learning-course… using the discount code edxELCD50 and you will save 50% off of the sales price!

In a November 13, 2008 article on the Inside Higher Ed website, “As Economy Wavers, Online Enrollments Climb,” writer Andy Guess highlights the tremendous growth of enrollment in online education programs.

The article provides insight into the results of a report, “Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States, 2008,” prepared by the Sloan Consortium, an organization which tracks online learning trends. Summarizing the findings in the report, Guess makes the following observations:

In fall 2007, the study reports, some 3.94 million students enrolled in at least one online course, an increase of 12.9 percent over the previous year. That falls between the 9.7 percent growth for fall 2006 and the 19.7 compound annual rate since fall 2002. In comparison, total student enrollments increased 1.2 percent in the year leading up to last fall, while the compound annual rate for all enrollments since 2002 was 1.6 percent.

Clearly, with changing demographics, fluctuating gas prices and an unstable economy, people are looking to online education as a means of improving themselves while keeping their out-of-pocket costs low and their potential for success high.

Have soaring gas prices pushed online course enrollment past the tipping point? This is a question addressed in a July 8, 2008 Chronicle of Higher Education article titled, “Rising Gas Prices Fuel Increse In Online Learning.” Author Jeffrey R. Young presented some compelling data, including the following:

  • The Tennessee Board of Regents reports that summer enrollment in online courses is up 29 percent this summer over last year.
  • At Brevard Community College, in Cocoa, Fla., summer enrollment in online courses is up nearly 25 percent.
  • Harrisburg Area Community College, in Pennsylvania, saw its summer online enrollment rise 15 percent to 20 percent.
  • At Northampton Community College, summer online enrollment is up 18 percent.

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Noting this increased interest, the article further highlights how certain online schools and traditional schools with online programs are now endeavoring to capitalize on the trend, as explained below:

  • The SUNY Learning Network, the online incarnation of the State University of New York, offers prospective students access to an online calculator that helps them determine how much they will save in gas costs by taking classes online.
  • Colorado State University, which is launching a new online program this fall, has decided to waive the program’s $50 application fee to attract more students concerned about gas prices.

Despite the reported increase in online enrollments, administrators at the University of Phoenix, the largest provider of online education, repot that there has not been a spike in online enrollments this summer nor have representatives heard much about gas prices affecting students’ choice of formats.

This might be due in part to Phoenix’s ground classes being designed to minimize drive time by meeting just once a week for four-hour sessions, with textbooks and library services delivered online.

The evening courses I teach for DeVry are designed similarly: classes meet once a week for four hours with an online component designed to provide two to four additional hours of educational experience. That being said, I still have students who admirably drive upwards of 30 miles to the campus from places like Delano, Wasco and Shafter. I also have one student that drives more than 40 miles from Lake Isabella!

I suspect that as gas prices continue to climb there will be increased demand for online classes. Anecdotally speaking I have seen an ongoing increase in the advertisement and availability of online courses — both individual classes, certificate programs and degrees.

While I can’t verify this, I feel as if I have seen more schools offering additional programs during the past few months. Likely, if it is true, it is merely a coincidence, because developing and launching an online learning experience is not something you can do in just a few months.

Nevertheless, as an online adjunct instructor and as someone who feels technology can both increase the availability of education and enhance a student’s ability to learn (in classrooms or online), I am pleased to see the increase in online education — whatever the reason might be. Personally, I welcome additional opportunities to teach online because I would appreciate a chance to save a few (hundred) dollars in gas!