Getting up to speed on the history of education theory, and keeping up with recent developments in pedagogy is not easy, especially if you are a new Assistant Professor saddled with many tasks. It might also be difficult to learn how to become an excellent instructor if you are an Adjunct Professor, commuting from college to college. There is now a free online course created at MIT and produced by EDx to help educators understand active learning, inquiry-based learning, and integrating technology into the classroom in a meaningful way. The online course, MITx: 11.132x Design and Development of Educational Technology, runs asynchronously throughout the year, and you only need to sign up on EDx to participate. Despite the Course Overview, the course itself is more about pedagogy than actual technology.
To be effective, educational technologies must be designed based on what we know about how people learn. This course explores educational technologies, outlines the theories that influenced their development, and examines their use. We walk you through this exploration through video interviews with experts in the field, readings on educational theories and approaches, activity breaks where you try out ideas yourself, assignments where you put those ideas into practice, and the course-long project which you will develop into a product pitch. This course does not emphasize grades, but instead leverages the rich community we will create in the forums to provide peer feedback. At the end of the course, if you put real effort into the materials and activities, you will have a final project that can be part of an ed tech portfolio. This will demonstrate your level of understanding of the affordances and challenges of educational technology.