Provider: Harvard @EdX [course page]
Lecturer: Richard Elmore
Subject: Education + Leadership
Delivery: self-paced asynchronous study
Recommended Load: 4-6 hrs/week over 6 weeks
Completion Date: 08/07/2014
Description: This course discusses the role of our own learning theory plays in creating and organizing learning environments.
Strengths: Leaders of Learning discusses how learning environments are affected by theories of learning and vice versa. It discusses this in the context of the four modes of learning quadrants: Hierarchical Individual, Hierarchical Collective, Distributive Individual and Distributive Collective. These have very unique traits, and folks are encouraged to consider where they sit in these quadrants based on a questionnaire filled out during the first week of the course. Students are asked to consider education leadership, structure and environment in the following weeks. This concludes with a peer assessment where students are called to design their own ideal learning environment.
The course designers considered the logical way in which one’s belief about how learning works plays a role in the structure of a learning environment. This often creates specific challenges for students and teaching staff. If those involved in the give environment understands these traits, they can begin to plan ways in which to deal with some of the associated problems. In this regard, this course is about clarifying challenges and encouraging those involved to find solutions – which takes leadership and organization.
Weaknesses: Scary penguins may haunt your dreams… for no particular reason….
Conclusion: The release of this MOOC is timely given recent changes in distribution methods and content in the west. There is no doubt that there will be more changes in the next few years as countries and organizations attempt to catch up to existing technologies and knowledge about learning methods. This course is focused on those involved in education, but it will likely also benefit those involved in other areas as well. I recommend it for anyone interested in either teaching and/or leadership.