Principles & Elements of Massive Open Online Course Design

For each course I’ve designed for massive open audiences I revisit this series of graphics. I made this in 2014 so that when I would bring new collaborators onboard to design a course with they would be able to understand the basic building blocks of my approach to course design. Each time I finish a course I update this.

A Note: I do not think this applies only to what we’ve classically designated as “MOOC” (which to me has taken on a meaning related to the platforms that dominate the field – coursera, edx, udacity, etc.). This is my thinking on how my own pedagogy interacts with courses designed for massive access. Accessibility is important to me and in these slides I address the idea of accessibility in a multitude of ways.

My Greeting Protocol

See the live form to download and use the protocol here.

The Greeting Protocol (aka the Daily Greeting) is a activity utilized across grade levels and ages used to start class. The greeting was designed to:

  • Allow all students to speak in class at least once every day.
  • Introduces students to the language needed to share emotions with others safely.
  • Allows all students to be seen by the entire class every day.

Allows for teacher check-ins with each individual student on a daily basis.


Art Education, Specifically

In my experience all people want to be better at art. I’ve never met someone that didn’t wish that they could practice more art. I’ve met many who have believe in a story called “I can’t do art, I’m not good at it”. This is an effective and powerful story. A story that is taught to us. Being “good at art” is not something you are born with. Somewhere along the way, somebody tells you that you are no good at what you draw and create. Some of us survive that criticism, in fact we welcome it, and we grow up to become self-designated artists. Most people, however, are robbed of the ability to recognize their inner artist by a single comment, usually given by a teacher, that they aren’t good.


2015 Philosophy of Education Statement

“He walks with his students, never pushing and always present. The enormous hulking blob that drips ideas onto the sidewalk as his steps echo through the quaint town called enlightenment. As he drips his ideas, he absorbs new ones. Adding the new to his already growing form is never far from his mind, and he knows that no matter how much he adds – he can always add more.”

I wrote this as the introduction to my philosophy of education  statement for my graduate work at Plymouth State University in the spring of 2008. This vision, this goal, of how I wish to see myself as an educator hasn’t changed all that much in the subsequent years. I still am a lifelong learner with an itch to teach everyone as I meander through life.