How It Works

Topics, Readings, Videos, Activities, and Discussion Prompts

On the main page, you’ll see lists of topics related to K-12 online learning. On each of the topic pages you’ll find one of more readings and videos, along with some static content, related to the topic. These resources are your starting point. There will also be some kind of activity to complete, and likely a specific discussion prompt for you to consider.


This course does not include traditional assignments. Rather, this course includes challenges. When you complete a challenge successfully, you a receive a badge. These badges can be posted and displayed publicly on your home page, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, etc. I will maintain an official list of individuals who have earned badges on this wiki. This way, wherever you display your badges, you will be able to link back to this page to verify that you really did earn the badge.

Blogs and Twitter

You participate in this course by blogging and tweeting (and in any other media you like – like YouTube videos – as long as you help us find them via your blog or tweets). After reading the articles and watching the videos – the passive part of the course – you engage actively by posting your thoughts, challenge responses, and questions in blog posts and tweets. You engage socially by reading, pondering, and responding to others’ posts and tweets. There is no quota for the number of posts or tweets that you respond to per unit time. These interactions should be organic and driven by your own desire and interest.

If you are unfamiliar with blogging and tweeting, you can review these resources.

First Steps
  • Sign Up. Once you decide to participate in the course you should add your blog address on the List of Participants page.
  • Subscribe to Course Updates. Follow all the tweets using the official course hashtag, #vsmooc12. Using the List of Participants you can subscribe to the feeds of all blog posts from each of the participants in your favorite feed reader, like Google Reader. This is the best way to track all the activity happening in the course. Don’t be left out! The social aspect of the course is just as important as the other parts.
  • Familiarize Yourself With the Challenges / Badges. Head over to the Badges page and read through the different challenges that are available so that you know what you’re in for.
  • Dive Into the Topics. Find the Topics list in the right sidebar and begin working your way through the topics. As this is my first attempt at doing this, and to try and give you some approximate deadlines, there is a specific schedule that we will be following (and you can see this schedule on the main page).
  • Help Us Find You. If you’ve added your blog to the Participants page, we’ll catch all your blog posts here. Just remember to tag all your tweets with the official course tag – #vsmooc12 – so that the rest of us can find them.

Adapted David Wiley's Introduction to Openness in Education MOOC.