We will use WordPress as the platform for this course. This means that this blog will be the place to find the content of the courses and descriptions of the learning activities. To help you find this site later, you might want to bookmark http://elearning.trubox.ca/course.
Each lesson will include some readings or videos along with a learning activity designed to stimulate your thinking about the topic. You will respond to the learning activities on your own blog.
Participant blogs will be syndicated here so that each time you post on your own blog, that post will also display on this blog. It’s automagical! Please make a habit of visiting other participants’ blogs. In addition, as you complete each post, you will be reminded to add a ‘category’ to each of your posts with a short code such as ‘otl101’. This will allow other participants to find posts from all participants who are engaged in a particular course.
Register for a Blog
Before you register for a course, you will need to set up your own blog. Some of you will already have a blog, and that is great, you can use that.
Members of the TRU community may request a blog on the TRU server on the registration page. We will set up your blog site with the TRU email address that you provide and you will be given ‘Admin’ status, allowing you to manage your blog. TRU members may also choose one of the options available to non-TRU members as described below.
Non-TRU participants must choose one of the following options:
You may choose to register for your own blog, which typically involves purchasing server space with a hosting company, registering your own domain name (www.example.com), and installing WordPress. If you would like full control over your domain, we recommend that you register with Reclaim Hosting. Reclaim Hosting is very reasonably priced at $25 or $45 (US) per year, including domain registration. It is worth noting that Reclaim Hosting is located in the United States and non-US citizens may want to consider whether they want to store their information there.
If you would prefer a free blog, we recommend wordpress.com. With wordpress.com, you can be registered and blogging in minutes with a full featured blog, although you do lose the ability to install plugins. You may also use other blogging platforms such as Blogger, Tumblr, Medium, or Known. The only requirement is that the platform that you choose publishes a public RSS feed.
If you already have a blog or have registered for your own, please send the URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are self-paced courses and participants may register at any time. There are no due dates or expected times for completion, although you should expect to spend about 5 hours on each lesson. You may work through the lessons at your convenience. While self-paced courses are often considered to be independent study courses, we hope to provide the structure and platform (WordPress) to enable you to engage with others to enrich your learning experience.
The people with whom you engage may be people who have already completed the course, they may be a colleague down the hall, or maybe they are a colleague from another city [province, state, country, continent], or an influencer on Twitter. Regardless of who you interact with, we trust that this course will enrich both of your lives.
If you feel like you don’t know who would be interested in talking about these ideas, we suggest that you start at the Community of Inquiry site, hosted at Athabasca University. Registration is simple and free and there are many researchers and practitioners already interested in the Community of Inquiry ready to connect. Furthermore, while the content of this series of courses is centred on the Community of Inquiry, one of our goals is to create and sustain a community of inquiry.
By the time you have worked your way through the course, you should be able to identify the beginnings of a personal learning network, a group of people, online resources, conferences, libraries (the list could go on…) with whom you can discuss important ideas about teaching and learning online.