Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Impact of Open Source

For this week’s assignment we were to choose a course from an Open Course website. Open Course websites allow learners to take quality online courses entirely for free. The Open Course website that I chose was Open Culture and the course I chose was Video Games and Learning which is presented by two instructors from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The URL for the course is: .

Here is the introductory video for the course:

This course stresses that video games can be powerful vehicles for learning.The class workload is 4-6 hrs/week and it is 6 weeks long. The course is targeted for undergraduates, but there is no prerequisite for completing the course. The course has a syllabus which appears to be thorough and appropriate for the course.

Each week video lectures, readings, and one or more assignments, and discussions in the forums. The instructors note that the learners can choose to focus on what interests them. This appears to based on Wedemeyer's Theory of Independent study which is that the essence of education is the independence of the student (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012). Wedemeyer's new guidelines for instruction appear to go hand and hand with the format of this course as seen in the presentation below:

Besides needing the internet, some of the assignments also allow the learner to play games of his or her choice so learners must have access to a computer, console, or portable gaming system. The learner's past experiences with the course content is also valuable to this course. "Newbies" are expected to challenge the instructors and fellow students with any questions or discussion points they may have. The "Experts" are expected to contribute to the dialog and expound on the benefits of games for learning.

In relation to our learning resources this week the course designers appeared to follow the recommendations that was discussed by our class this week. The designers provided a syllabus to go by. Readings and various multimedia was used. Did the designers of the course implement course activities to maximize active learing? Yes, learners are able to use the video games of their choice to see how they are important to educational process. Learners are encouraged to participate in discussion.

Most importantly this course empasizes the fact that the 21st-century learner requires educational oppotunities not bound by time or place, yet allow interaction with the instructor and peers (Beldarrain, 2006).


Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139–153. Retrieved from

Deutscher. J. (2012). Wedemeyers’s new guidelines for instruction [Video File].  Retrieved from

Steinkuehler,C.& Squire,K. (2013). University of wisconson-madison: video games and learning. Retrieved from

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