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AK's OLDS MOOC Cloud [Daily Happenings + Chronicling]

Portfolio Cloud

Cloud created by:

Apostolos Koutropoulos
9 January 2013

This is AK's cloud for working on OLDS MOOC, collecting links to other clouds, interesting references and websites I've come across, and chronicling my participation in the MOOC.  Scroll down to see participation as the MOOC progresses. Each section is a weekly heading.

Extra content

Who am I?  I am just one curious person who is interested in Learning Design, MOOCs and when people I follow (like Yishay)  posted about OLDS MOOC on twitter and Google+, I decided to bring myself here to

  • experiment with Cloudworks (new to me), 
  • experiment with MOOCs (this is my 2nd year MOOCing), 
  • to interact with others about learning design, learn a little more than I know (I've been in instructional design for 5 years) and hopefully contribute to others' knowledge.
My day job is managing the online Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Boston, but I also teach as an adjunct (instructional design), I publish when I can (most recently with a wonderful team of individuals in the MobiMOOC research team), and I play video games (foveros on Star Trek Online, if you are on there).
You can find more about me on LinkedIn: where I invite you to connect (when you send an invitation, just mention OLDS MOOC).
You can also find me on twitter --> @koutropoulos and Google+
Looking forward to meeting others!

Apostolos Koutropoulos
21:32 on 9 January 2013

Week 1 Discussion on Google Groups where I am participating: What do you hope to get out of the MOOC:!topic/olds-mooc-open/qg5_AHqY7vw

Apostolos Koutropoulos
23:55 on 10 January 2013 (Edited 17:38 on 13 January 2013)

Week 1 Discussion on Google Groups where I discuss the Week 1 Presentation:!topic/olds-mooc-open/ZMjlsVWCesc

Apostolos Koutropoulos
18:05 on 11 January 2013 (Edited 17:38 on 13 January 2013)

Week 1 Discussion on "designing for learner needs" where I am participating:!topic/olds-mooc-open/dUxonXWzyyc

Apostolos Koutropoulos
17:38 on 13 January 2013

Week 1 Discussion where i am participating: What is learnign?!topic/olds-mooc-open/uLcmeKFZIIU

Apostolos Koutropoulos
17:58 on 13 January 2013

Week 1 Blog post: Scaffolding Learners in MOOCs:

Apostolos Koutropoulos
20:47 on 15 January 2013

Week 1 Blog post: Week 1 review:

Apostolos Koutropoulos
14:29 on 17 January 2013 (Edited 20:12 on 20 January 2013)

---------- WEEK 2  ---------- 

Apostolos Koutropoulos
14:30 on 17 January 2013

Week 2 Goals Blogpost:

Apostolos Koutropoulos
14:30 on 17 January 2013 (Edited 20:17 on 17 January 2013)

Week 2 - Link to Scenario Cloud (really rough draft!):

Apostolos Koutropoulos
15:45 on 17 January 2013 (Edited 20:17 on 17 January 2013)

Week 2: Google Group Discussion - 'The Lost' - Participating in this losely. Mostly as a lurker.  I don't feel particularly lost, but if I can help someone get unlost I'd be happy to do so ;-)  -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/YXr6V7aKs2k

Apostolos Koutropoulos
20:17 on 17 January 2013

Week 2 discussion participation - Language Teachers (unite!) -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/YXr6V7aKs2k

I would like to see what others are doing, and would like to contribute when applicable.  Having issues finding the cloud to add my own to it...let's see how long it takes me.

This might be my collaboration group for the MOOC!

Apostolos Koutropoulos
20:18 on 17 January 2013 (Edited 15:47 on 18 January 2013)

Week 2 discussion: Design for the 21st Century? -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/fFn4vIGuIM8

Apostolos Koutropoulos
20:28 on 17 January 2013

Week 2 Discussion: Learning Design and orchestartion -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/SfoNQbz-zks

Apostolos Koutropoulos
21:39 on 17 January 2013

EoR Phase 1 Cloud -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
21:14 on 18 January 2013 (Edited 21:15 on 18 January 2013)

Week 2: EoR Discussion -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/D93vvYZ4Gpg/discussion

Apostolos Koutropoulos
16:15 on 20 January 2013

Week 2 Sum-up blog post -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
13:40 on 24 January 2013

 -------------- WEEK 3 --------------

Apostolos Koutropoulos
13:41 on 24 January 2013

Week 3 Goal Setting Blog Post -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
13:42 on 24 January 2013

Roles in Learning Design discussion participation -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/FB__Ip5k2qQ

Apostolos Koutropoulos
21:27 on 24 January 2013

[Learning Design Toolkit Item] Resource: Six Cs of Motivation -->

Seems like a cloud is not the most efficient way to do this...but what the hay ;-) Others are doing it too.

Apostolos Koutropoulos
22:23 on 24 January 2013 (Edited 22:30 on 24 January 2013)

[Learning Design Toolkit Item] Method: Card Sorting -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
22:30 on 24 January 2013

[Learning Design Toolkit Item] Resource: Instructional Design Models -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
22:52 on 24 January 2013

Activity 1:

  • Which part/s of the design do you usually start thinking about first when you begin to image, picture and represent a new learning design? – the students, the technology, the pedagogy, the previous course, the resource constraints, etc.
  • Where do you get your ideas from? From colleagues, from conferences or events, from student feedback, from personal experience, from case studies (e.g. early work by University of Wollongong), etc.
  • Do you encounter difficulties when trying to describe your ideas for the course to colleagues?

When thinking about learning design, the first thing I think of is modality. Will this course be online? on-campus? blended? The main reason for this is that there is a differentiation in campus procedires about how to proceed with implementtion depending on modality. One of the underlying factors is also staffing: is the person who will be teaching it here? If yes, then there is greater flexibility with the modality. If the person is far, far away, then the only real option is fully online.

The student profile is more or less a given, we know who our students are when they apply to the program, so in this case this is why I don't start with the student profile in mind :-) I suppose in this case it's "step 0". Once modality and potential instructors are set, then you think of what is the point of the course (learninn objectives) and how to meet them.

While I do have some original ideas, I also get inspired from colleagues, both on campus and off, Ideas usually come in the way of brainstorming or open conversation. I also get some ideas from academic articles, but usually not "complete" ones, but rather nuggets of ideas that I can put together.

Usually articulation of the ideas isn't an issue. People get the idea, but the buy-in is the problem. The idea may be perceived as sound, but organizational hurdles are always on the forefront of people's minds, so people sometimes don't want to try for fear of rejection ;-)

Apostolos Koutropoulos
23:06 on 24 January 2013

Activity 5:

  • Are you looking for tools and activities that challenge and disrupt the way you currently think about your course, or are you looking for tools that use language, terms or representations that you are already familiar with?
  • Are you looking for tools that help you to take ‘time out’ to ideate in more detail or are you primarily interested in tools to save you time (for example, in creating representations you commonly use?)

Personally I am mostly on the lookout for tools and techniques that disrupt, or attempt to disrupt, my current thinking. I think that it is important for the tools to use the language that I am familiar with as a good starting point, otherwise you can't necessarily relate to what's new and make connection :-). If we sought out only what we knew as familiar it would make for a pretty boring professional existence ;-)

As far as ideation versus time savings go, I don't think that these are mutually exclusive. On the one hand I would love to be able to save time if I can, but then again, when designing a course there needs to be time alloted for ideation and brainstorming :-) I think it all comes down to a good balance :)

Apostolos Koutropoulos
22:57 on 26 January 2013

Different approaches to design discussion -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/sdXOas6KEoA

Apostolos Koutropoulos
17:21 on 29 January 2013

[Blog post] Quick reflection on Week 3 -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
14:21 on 30 January 2013

---- WEEK 4 ----

Apostolos Koutropoulos
14:22 on 30 January 2013

Discussion --> Your thoughts on Pedagogical Patterns:!topic/olds-mooc-open/6-STpCqmQdQ

Apostolos Koutropoulos
15:43 on 3 February 2013

Discussion --> Getting started with the PPC:!topic/olds-mooc-open/zWyF1OLHMsQ

Apostolos Koutropoulos
17:09 on 3 February 2013

[Blog post] Photos of my card sort activity -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
21:51 on 4 February 2013

[Blog Post] - Some sample TLAs -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
14:24 on 7 February 2013

------ WEEK 5 ------

Apostolos Koutropoulos
19:38 on 9 February 2013

Week 5 Blogpost -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
17:05 on 12 February 2013

---- WEEK 6 -----

Apostolos Koutropoulos
16:47 on 15 February 2013

[Blog post] Seek and deploy -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
16:48 on 15 February 2013

[Discussion] Seek and deploy -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/ywNx3Cl-gw8

Apostolos Koutropoulos
16:49 on 15 February 2013

[Discussion] OER: Is open practice more trouble than it's worth? -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/P2UkFveA4Ac

Apostolos Koutropoulos
16:21 on 18 February 2013

[Discussion] Comments on Week 6 hangout -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/SJiV3uVqRHA

Apostolos Koutropoulos
16:28 on 20 February 2013

[Cloud] --> Learning Design #ftb! -->

Apostolos Koutropoulos
18:17 on 20 February 2013

---- WEEK 7 -----

Apostolos Koutropoulos
18:05 on 23 February 2013

[Discussion] Evaluation - the heart of learning design or a tedious chore? -->!topic/olds-mooc-open/jR-foXarVYQ

Apostolos Koutropoulos
18:13 on 23 February 2013

Embedded Content


Apostolos Koutropoulos
12:06am 13 January 2013

At the "find team" Stage. Wondering how this will work...

Apostolos Koutropoulos
3:46pm 17 January 2013

There is one thing I wish CloudWorks had --> The ability to add headers. Instead of adding "extra content" to create a header, I would like to have the ability to organize my contributions.  I know I could create a Week 2 cloud, but that seems wasteful.  What do others think?

Helen Whitehead
9:41am 18 January 2013

I think your solution is ingenious :)


Lesley Shield
11:43am 19 January 2013

I don't like scrolling so I'm making clouds!


Apostolos Koutropoulos
12:47am 20 January 2013

Lesley, I thought about the scrolling issue afterwards :-)

I guess I could always consolidate most postings into other caterogies later on :-)

Lesley Shield
4:20pm 20 January 2013

It's an interesting issue, isn't it? Wouldn't it be nice if it were possible to move things around so that scrolling became unnecessary. I don't suppose 'manage sections' helps at all?


Apostolos Koutropoulos
8:13pm 20 January 2013

Lesley, where is the 'manage sections'? I am not seeing it :)

Apostolos Koutropoulos
6:15pm 23 February 2013

This isn't mine, but it was a great contribution, so I added it to my cloud:

From Thomas Reeves (evaluation discussion)

For me, it all goes back to decision making. We make decisions based on different bases depending on the situation. Sometimes intuition may be a great foundation for making a decision, especially in a creative activity like design. In the real world of education, decisions are often made on the basis of habit (we have always done it that way), politics (the IT administration has bought X course management system and we have to use it), personal preferences (we should go with iPads instead of another tablet because I like Apple products), etc. I believe and my experience tells me that evaluation activities that yield reliable and valid information provide a better foundation for decision making in most cases than habit, politics, personal preferences, and even intuition.


That said, evaluation does take more time and effort away from the design and development process than many people are willing to invest. And many times, evaluations are conducted simply to meet the requirements of a funding agency. In other instances, evaluation information is collected, but by the time the results are in, the decision point has already been passed.


Another problem is that evaluation results are sometimes completely ignored or even misused. My very first formal evaluation was in 1974-74, when I was a graduate student at Syracuse University. The hot technology at that time was the handheld four-function calculator costing over $100 each. A very well known company gave a professor at Syracuse a contract to evaluate an elementary school math curriculum designed around calculators, and he hired me and several other graduate students to conduct the evaluation. We evaluated the curriculum in several schools around Syracuse and found that it was just awful for many reasons. It had clearly been designed in a rush with the primary goal of selling calculators rather than providing effective math education for children. We sent the company our evaluation report, confident that they would make significant changes in the design of the materials or perhaps start over with a whole new design.  To our chagrin, instead of revising the curriculum, the company began to market the materials with full color advertisements in magazine for teachers and administrators. The ads included a statement to the effect that “These materials have been evaluated by education experts at Syracuse University,” implying that Syracuse had endorsed the program and totally omitting the findings that indicated that the materials were ineffective. No wonder some people are skeptical about evaluation.  

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