Open Source Learning



Open Source Learning

Hello, and welcome to the course page for the Open Source Learning training! This course is designed to help empower you to find educational resources from a variety of online sources, and to create a course of study that works best for you. This course will meet formally for the next 2 weeks, then we will take 4 weeks “off” as you and your study group work on your own, and we will meet together again for the final 2 weeks (July 15th-July 24th) to discuss and share what we have learned.


You will be working in study groups to discuss the material and help each other when you get stuck, but ultimately, the responsibility for learning rests with you. I will be providing resources here to get you started, both in finding course materials AND helping you find support communities and resources to further your knowledge in your course, so check back regularly. Because this is “open source,” much like open source software, you will have the ability (and I encourage you to do so) to contribute resources and links that you have found yourselves.


Please email me if you have any questions or issues at


Thank you,

Michael Madaio



Final Day (7/24/14)

After our presentations, I will ask you to take a brief survey, and then we will have our final wrap-up discussion about the course.


If you like, please email me your presentation (to, and I will post them up on our site to show other people!


Here is the link to the survey.



Great job!!




Day 1 (6/3/14):

We will begin with an introduction to how education is changing, and how you can get involved in those changes.

Then, we will take a look at some course platforms that many universities use to provide their courses for free, online. Take a look at the link below and feel free to contribute any that you’ve found.


Open Source Learning Resources


Here are some criteria that I recommend we use in selecting a course of study for the next 8 weeks.

  • What content area, or domain are you interested in?
  • Does the timeframe fit your schedule? (In this case, look for 8 weeks of content)
  • How reputable, or well-known is the provider?
  • Is that provider known for specializing in a certain area?
  • How much are you asked to do in the course?
  • Does it look like there is a good community of learners on that platform?
  • How engaging is the professor?



Day 2 (6/4/14):


Today we will look more in depth at the Coursera course platform, and we will discuss the different elements: how to sign up for classes, how they provide certificates, and how to navigate a course page. Then, we will share out our personal lists of courses that we found, just from Coursera, using our criteria to discuss whether or not they might be good options. We will also discuss how to use Google Docs as a way to take notes and collaborate for this class.


In the remainder of the day, browse through the list of other course providers to look for other courses that you might be interested in. Revise your list of your top 5 choices.


Homework: Come in on Thursday with your list revised (again), and narrowed down to your top 3 choices.




Day 3 (6/5/14):

Before we start for today, please participate in taking a brief survey for research that I am conducting on the iLab. Click here to begin.


Today, we will finalize our choices and form the study groups that we will be working in, based on the content area of the courses. You will then all share out your top 3 course choices, and decide on 1 course for the group to take together.


We will create goals for our groups, using Google Docs, and make a schedule for each group, using Google Calendar so that we can share it with our group members and help each other stay on track. We will also discuss how to use Twitter and to help keep each other motivated and on track throughout these 8 weeks. We will then discuss some group roles that each of us should play in the group at one point in time during the course.


Finally, we will begin our courses!



Day 4 (6/10/14)

Reminder that this is the start of our last week together for the next month. (We return on July 15th). If you have not yet taken the survey on how you use the iLab, please do so today.


At this point, everyone should have at least started to work through the first week of course content, if not have finished it already. Any major issues? This is the time to switch courses if you already know you can’t stand the material, the professor, the approach, or anything else.


If not, then today we will be creating a document in Google Docs for your group goals, your group notes, and a shared place where you can set a schedule for the next 7 weeks. You can either create that schedule in Google Calendar, on an actual calendar, or you can simply type up the dates when you aim to have your assignments completed each week. That way, other members of the group can hold you accountable and ask if you’ve done them, and you can do the same for them.


You can also use Google Docs as a place to take notes on the course, and to post questions for your other group members. If you find good external resources, post them there to share with your group members as well.


Here are some possible roles in the group that you could play, at any given point in time. Ideally, every group member will serve in one of these roles at some point:

  • Scheduler (Holds groupmates accountable for the schedule)
  • Question Asker (Asks groupmates questions about the material)
  • Resource Finder (Finds resources and shares them with other group members)
  • Connector (Connects material in the course to other things they’ve learned or done before, or makes connections to other disciplines)
  • Advisor (Offers helpful advice on how to succeed in the course)
  • Motivator
  • Others?



Day 5 (6/11/14)

Since many people were not present yesterday, we spent the day working through our courses individually. Hopefully today we will create our shared group goals, notes, and schedule, and discuss the roles for study group members. We will also talk about how you will be graded for this course. Remember, our 3 main grades will be your presentations on your individual course material, which will be July 22nd-24th; your grade/participation in your individual course, which will include the amount of videos watched, and grades on the quizzes; and finally, your level of participation in your study group. Below is the rubric you will use to grade your other group members for that component.

  • Group motivation (i.e.: how often did your groupmate contact you and help to motivate you?)
  • Scheduling (i.e.: how often did your groupmate help keep your group on track to meet your goals?)
  • Resource sharing (i.e.: how often did your groupmate help the group by posting resources in your shared notes?)
  • Discussion (i.e.: how often did your groupmate help the group by asking questions to  each other, or answering your questions?)
  • Connecting (i.e.: how often did your groupmate help make connections to the “real-world” of your lives or your experiences in Liberia, or what you hope to do with the material?)
For each one, you will give your groupmates a grade from 1-5, with 1 meaning “Never saw an indication of that action” up to 5, meaning “Consistently demonstrated that role.”
Day 6 (6/12/14)
PLEASE READ: If you have not yet taken the research survey about how you use the iLab, please do so at this link. Thank you.
Continue your course work! Discuss your schedule with your groupmates, make sure you trade contact info so you can stay in touch, and think about what kind of group member you want to be (using my guidelines above).
Day 7 (7/15/14)
We will meet together as a class once again to talk about how your courses went, and what obstacles you had.




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