The Monster Syllabus Reemerges: R678 Emerging Learning Technologies (the 20th Edition...first offered in 1990)

January 18, 2018

Capturing and then Taming the Monster...
The famed monster syllabus for my emerging learning technologies class came out two weeks ago and I updated it earlier this week. This is the 20th time that I am teaching this course since it was designed and taught at West Virginia University. My esteemed colleague Dr. Mike Reed and I had a very short syllabus back in 1990 when we first designed this course and called it "New Technologies in Education from a Cognitive Perspective." I miss my wonderful friend and mentor Mike; hard to believe that he passed away back in 2009. Since MIke and I originally taught it, the course has had many other names including "Interactive Tools for Learning and Collaboration" and "The Web 2.0 and Participatory E-Learning." Links to all 20 syllabi from all previous versions of this course from 1990 to 2018 can be found in the current syllabus.(Sidenote: 6-7 years ago, I blogged on the evolution of this class.)

The monster takes weeks to prepare. Can you imagine what it is like updating such a 78 page beast. I try to create a balance between main articles and news articles or tidbits as I call them. I want to inspire my students through those more practical tidbits. I want the content to come alive for them.

This semester, I am blending the course with 14 online students and 16 face-to-face or 30 total which is too many for a 600 level course. I also have 2 Fulbright scholars from Afghanistan sitting in and about a dozen visiting scholars from China (mostly English professors) sitting in as well. A few people from the USA are also in and out. So the room is packed once again. And it is tricky connecting everything in the room since I am combining two videoconferencing systems (i.e., Zoom and the old Cisco Crestron system already in the room)...long story. Not easy.

Use the monster syllabus as you like. Steal as many resources and ideas as you need or want. I hope that many people can use part or all of it. It can be a resources to find recent research on OER, MOOCs, AR, VR, AI, open textbooks, blended learning, flipped classrooms, mobile learning, etc. For a brief moment in time, it may be one of the most up-to-date and comprehensive documents on emerging learning technologies available on this planet. But that moment in time goes by pretty fast unfortunately. And so, I will have to revise and contract and expand this monster again next winter. Total ug!


There is new content on most (if not all) of the topics listed below including special journal issues on open textbooks, social networking, MOOCs, open education, etc. Here are some of the topics. Explore. Enjoy.

Navigation Links:
Skip to Week 1. (January 8) Introduction to the Open World: Visionaries and Visions
Skip to Week 2. (January 15) Alternate Reality Learning: AR, VR, Gaming, and Simulations
Skip to Week 3. (January 22) Open Textbooks, E-Books, and Digitally Enhanced Books
Skip to Week 4. (January 29) The Expansion of Blended and Fully Online Learning
Skip to Week 5. (February 5) Extreme, Nontraditional, and Adventure Learning
Skip to Week 6. (February 12) Open Educational Resources (OER) and OpenCourseWare (OCW)
Skip to Week 7. (February 19) Open Education and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Skip to Week 8 (February 26) More MOOCs and Open Education Around the World
Skip to Week 9. (March 5) Motivation in Informal and Self-Directed Online Learning Environments (including online language learning)
Skip to Week 10. (March 19) Connectivism, Social Media, and Participatory Learning
Skip to Week 11. (March 26) Interactive, Global, and Collaborative Learning (including wikis and learning spaces)
Skip to Week 12. (April 2) Shared Online Video and Audio
Skip to Week 13. (April 9) Flipping the Classroom
Skip to Week 14. (April 16) Mobile, Wireless, and Ubiquitous Learning
Skip to Week 15. (April 23) The Future: Networks of Personalized Learning and AI Agents

Here is a direct link to the online "monster" syllabus:

Till next year...
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