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This blog highlights the work that I’ve done in developing the Community Course approach for the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at APUS.

The first CTL Community Course, Fostering Teaching Excellence within the Community of Inquiry Framework, will launch on September 3, 2012. The Community Course is designed to facilitate a cohort of 1,000 enrolled through the Course Commons, with 50 participants enrolled in each Study Group.

What is a Community Course?

Modeled after the MOOC concept, the Community Course is different from the other workshops offered through the CTL. The format of this five week course allows for individual work on readings, exploration of associated resources, publication of content, shared conversation on forum topics, and group collaboration on learning activities.

The Community Course consists of the following components:

  • Web Course Commons: Hosted on the secure side of the CTL Web site, the Course Commons guides participant progression through the Community Course, and serves as the hub for connections to learning resources and content curated from Community Course participants.
  • Study Groups: Participants are assigned to a Study Group, which is housed within a Sakai Project site. Within the Study Group site arefacilitated group discussions, and collaborative project areas. Each study group has a facilitator, who is responsible for keeping conversations on track, and helping out with the collaborative project logistics.
  • Weekly Special Topic Presentations: Course facilitators will host guest presentations live each week via Adobe Connect, to share their insight on effective teaching and learning practices related to the Community of Inquiry. These sessions will be recorded for review.
  • Q&A Sessions: Course facilitators and Study Group leaders will host a live Q&A session each week via Adobe Connect, in support of the collaborative projects and exploration of course content.
  • Library Course Guide: The Library Course Guide provides a centralized location for resources related to this Community Course. Links to all recommended readings are also in the course guide and will continue to be available after you have completed the course.
  • Facebook Page: Participants are encouraged to post to the CTL Facebook page throughout the duration of this course (and beyond!).
  • LinkedIn Group: Participants are encouraged to join the APUS CTL LinkedIn group, with an opportunity to connect with all participants in the course, and to share project ideas outside of the study groups.
  • Diigo Group: The CTL Community Course Diigo Group provides an area of shared resources for review and comment.
  • Blogs: Participants can add their names and blog URLs to the list of Community Course bloggers.
  • Other Social Media: Participants are invited to add to the conversation through other social media outlets, such as Twitter and Google Plus. All posts tagged with #CoICommunity are highlighted throughout the duration of the course.

Tracking Progress

Each week, participants have the opportunity to track their progress on the learning journey, and earn a variety of Community Course badges. Success in this course relies on earning at least 4 badges. Upon course completion, participants earn the Teaching Excellence Scholar badge.

You can email me directly for more information, or specifics about the Community Course approach.

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