Course Production Newsletter #1 – September 2017

Welcome to our monthly newsletter on online course production and emerging initiatives. We think course design is a game changer, and we want to keep you informed with all the must-know news, insights, cases and technologies. Click here to subscribe.


Syllabus reimagined. The Fall semester is here, and syllabi are the subject of attention. Sean Morris, an instructional designer at Middlebury Digital Learning, reimagines the syllabus in an online environment, encouraging its use as a pedagogical tool.

Course performance. Recent research from the National Bureau of Economic Research with 4,000 student concludes that task-based goals  (i.e. completing online practice exams) have large and robust positive effect and increase course performance.

Credit for free. A non-profit initiative called the “Freshman Year fro Free” is offering an open catalog of 40 online College Board CLEP courses, intended to allow students to get college credit for free.

Science of learning. Coursera’s “Learning How to Learn” course, by Barbara Oakley, has become the most successful MOOC ever, with 1.8 million students in 200 countries. The New York Times dedicated an extensive column to this course.

Top 50 MOOCs. How many MOOCs have been produced? Over 8,000 from 750 universities worldwide. has collected the Top 50 MOOCs of All Time. Most of the courses are technology (19) and sciences (15); there are 6 on business and 8 in humanities.

MicroMasters. edX’s MicroMasters initiative is helping MIT’s and Harvard’s founded consortium to achieve its goal of being economically sustainable in 2020. This year MicroMasters will include 39 subjects from 24 universities. Top brands are endorsing the program.

Corporate Learning. There’s a shift happening in corporate learning: less professionals and face-to-face classes, new roles, and more asynchronous online classes, skills training and external sourcing. Elliott Masie, CLO at The Masie Center think tank, analyzes this shift.

Teaching Newsletter. The Chronicle has launched a weekly newsletter about teaching and learning called “Teaching”.

Transformation. In the same way electricity transformed manufacturing, digital technologies will change higher education. However, it might take a similar 50-year transition, writes Dr. Joshua Kim.

The Course Production is a topic-curated monthly newsletter compiled by Michael Amigot, Founder at IBL Studios & IBL Open edX. If you enjoy what you read please consider forwarding it to spread the word. Click here to subscribe. View this email on the web