Week 5 Blog

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Blog Assignment Week 5

website: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/history/21h-311-the-renaissance-1300-1600-fall-2004/

                This week we were required to search through Open Course websites and kind of get a feel  of the quality of courses that are offered out there on the world wide web for free.  In my search of courses this week, I wanted to identify a course that was in the content area that I teach in high school.  I came across this course title The Renaissance from 1300-1600 which  was offered during the Fall 2004 semester.  I teach the Renaissance period in my World History class so I decided to see what this course really had to offer

                I found this course to be very user friendly and easy to navigate. On the homepage there was a picture of Tycho Brahe with his quadrant mural. Astronomicae Instaurata Mechanica, 1558 along with the course highlights, course features, and course description. The thing that surprised me the most was the lack of course objectives. I searched through the entire course and did not find one objective listed. Objectives should state the conditions under which learning should occur, the performance expected of the learner, and the standard to which the performance will be matched (Simonson, et al, 2012, p. 158).

As I continued to navigate the course, it really impressed me at how well planned the course was based on the syllabus that was provided. The course also featured several different syllabus to show how the course changed over the years. A syllabus is an important document in any class because it informs students of how the class will operate, the policies they must adhere to, when assignments are due, etc (www.wpi.edu., 2005).This course also had a calendar feature. The calendar feature listed all the assignments in order and the days in which the assignments were due. This would really help a student stay organized.

Each week there were several different readings that students needed to accomplish in order to be aligned with the lectures that were taking place that week.  The students in this particular class were required to purchase six different books for the class. I believe that six books for one class is a little excessive. Books are not cheap at all. Makes me so thankful that Walden includes your books in the tuition that is paid up front.

Overall, I thought the site was well organized, easy to navigate, and informative. It was disappointing to see the lack of objectives for the course. I am sure this is not a deal breaker for most college students, however as an educator it bothers me that none are posted. Objectives are the roadmap for the course. This course is also an undergraduate course. I could see a third or fourth year student taking this course with relatively no problems. I could see a freshman or sophomore possibly struggling with this course because of the rigor of the course. It requires the learner to be very self directed and motivated to do well in the course. On a personal note I will be using some of this course content to serve as supplemental materials in my classroom



Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

www.wpi.edu. (2005). Writing a syllabus for a distance learning class. Retrieved July 29, 2012 from http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/ATC/Collaboratory/Teaching/syllabus.html





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