These April MOOCs cater to faculty, IT admin, and campus leaders


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With all the MOOCs available today, including the number of platforms and higher-ed institutions offering courses, it’s sometimes difficult to navigate the most credible—and most interesting—MOOCs that can cater to your institution.

In the interest of saving you time, the editors of eCampus News have aggregated 10 new, free (and often generating a lot of buzz) MOOCs that apply to not only students interested in topics such as programming, but to IT staff looking to better manage hacking risks, faculty looking to develop their blended learning teaching skills, and campus leaders interested in how to categorize decision-making.

For example, this list includes MOOCs, all either available in April or have been newly listed in April, that range from “Tech and the Future” which helps manage change and innovation on campus in a strategic way, to “Performance Assessment in a Virtual Classroom,” which explores the myths and challenges of assessing performance virtually.  Look for other courses on blender course design, understanding the brain’s basic behavior, and much more.

The best part? All of the courses are free and from vetted platforms, institutions and instructors. This roundup is a part of our new monthly series that will bring you up-to-date on the MOOC courses you can’t afford to miss.

Know of any MOOCs coming up? Any favorite MOOCs still available that you’d like to recommend to your peers? Be sure to leave your comments in the section provided below the story, email me, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.

(Next page: April MOOCs 1-5)

[Listed by upcoming dates]


Title: Introduction to the Profession of Evaluation

From: Claremont Graduate University

Host: Canvas

When: Available now (self-paced)

What: Key topics of this MOOC include the various uses, purposes, and benefits of conducting evaluations, evaluation theory, evaluation design, evaluation methods, evaluation practice, and research on evaluation. Additionally, participants will be introduced to core concepts in international development evaluation, program design and redesign, developmental evaluation, and career opportunities in evaluation.

More info:


Title: Performance Assessment in the Virtual Classroom

From: UC Irvine

Host: Coursera

When: Available now (April)

What: This MOOC explores the myths and challenges of assessing performance virtually. Topics include effective measures of assessing students, compliance issues, feedback models for students, online gradebook functions, and data analysis.

More info:


Title: Technology and the Future: Managing Change and Innovation

From: Shaping Tomorrow

Host: Canvas

When: Available now (April) and runs through June 9th.

What: This course focuses on the application of theoretical approaches to the strategic management of technology and innovation. Concepts, tools, and process will be explored through lectures, readings, team activities, and case study applications. Major topics include: The importance of technological innovation; yynamics of technological change; factors affecting technological innovation and adoption; and organizational strategy and strategic management in the face of rapid technological change

More info:


Title: BlendKit2014-Becoming a Blended Learning Designer

From: University of Central Florida/EDUCAUSE

Host: Canvas

When: April 21-May 26

What: Blended learning (the strategic combination of face-to-face and online learning experiences) is growing in popularity within higher education and K-12 settings around the world. The goal of BlendKit2014 is to provide assistance to faculty and instructional designers in developing and designing blended learning courses through (1) a consideration of key issues related to blended learning and (2) practical step-by-step guidance in producing materials for a blended course (e.g., developing design documents, creating content pages, and receiving peer review feedback at one’s own institution).

More info:


Title: Core Concepts in Data Analysis

From: The Higher School of Economics National Research University

Host: Coursera

When: April 21st

What: Learn both theory and application for basic methods that have been invented either for developing new concepts–principal components or clusters, or for finding interesting correlations–regression and classification. This is preceded by a thorough analysis of 1D and 2D data.

More info:

(Next page: April MOOCs 6-10)


Title: Technology and Ethics

From: The Ohio State University

Host: Coursera

When: April 21st

What: The meteoric rise of technologies used in everyday life for profit, power, or improvement of an individual’s life can, on occasion, cause cultural stress as well as ethical challenges. In this course, we will explore how these multifaceted impacts might be understood, controlled and mitigated.

More info:


Title: Malicious Software and its Underground Economy: Two Sides to Every Story

From: The University of London

Host: Coursera

When: Begins April 28th

What: By mixing a practical, hands-on approach with the theory and techniques behind the scene, the course discusses the current academic and underground research in the field, trying to answer the foremost question about malware and underground economy, namely, “Should we care?” Students will learn how traditional and mobile malware work, how they are analyzed and detected, peering through the underground ecosystem that drives this profitable but illegal business. Understanding how malware operates is of paramount importance to form knowledgeable experts, teachers, researchers, and practitioners able to fight back. Besides, it allows us to gather intimate knowledge of the systems and the threats, which is a necessary step to successfully devise novel, effective, and practical mitigation techniques.

More info:


Title: Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life

From: The University of Chicago

Host: Coursera

When: April 28th

What: Learn how the nervous system produces behavior, how we use our brain every day, and how neuroscience can explain the common problems afflicting people today. We will study functional human neuroanatomy and neuronal communication, and then use this information to understand how we perceive the outside world, move our bodies voluntarily, stay alive, and play well with others.

More info:


Title: DQ 101: Introduction to Decision Quality

From: Strategic Decisions Group; Instructor Carl Spetzler, program director for Stanford’s Strategic Decision and Risk Management Certificate Program.

Host: NovoEd

When: May 8th-June 15th

What: Uncertainty and endless debate can inhibit people’s ability to make good decisions. Many squander their best opportunities to create value by making better decisions. What if we could judge the quality of our decisions at the time we make them, rather than waiting for their outcome? What if we could turn uncertainty to our advantage? Decision Quality (DQ) is a practical and systematic approach that methodically breaks down barriers and improves the quality and speed of important decisions.

More info:


Title: Programming for Everybody

From: The University of Michigan

Host: Coursera

When: June 2nd

What: This course is designed to be a first programming course using the popular Python programming language. The course will use simple data analysis as the programming exercises through the course. Understanding how to process data is valuable for everyone regardless of career. This course might kindle an interest in more advanced programming courses or courses in web design and development or just provide skills when faced with data for analysis. Participants can do the programming assignments for the class using a web browser or personal computer. All required software for the course is free.

More info:

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