Free on-line courses evaluation by TechSoup

This morning I received TechSoup newsletter and the article Curriculum Evaluation for CTCs and Other Organizations really caught my attention. I sometimes felt there was a little lack of concretion, a kinda blurred focus that doesn’t help in finding out the real goal of the article (i.e. there’s a 12,000$ course along with plenty of free or low cost ones).

Anyway, I think the author’s effort is worth giving the article the maximum diffusion and, in my case, highlight the most relevant items I’ve found. Let’s go for it.

GFC Global Learning
“At GCF Global Learning, we offer Self-Paced courses and Instructor-Supported classes. All classes are free and conducted online.” Mainly MS Office courses.
Good one: have I told you before of the importance of e-teaching? ;)

Land-Grant Training Alliance Lessons
Just right. Free self-paced courses. I agree with the author of the article: guess no one else is giving a damn out of Microsoft: Corel suites found there.

Training Cafe
Mmm, oh, well, neither Microsoft this time! ;)
Macromedia courses for free. Con: self-paced again.

Technology For All
That one looks really great. It reminds me of the Campus for Peace but the sponsor relationship with SkillSoft gives them soooo much content… :)
The site is about free (or nearly free) content in an e-learning platform with coaching personnel: quite “full service”, but I don’t totally agree with this statement:

“CTC learning coaches can be volunteers or paid staff. They are not necessarily subject matter experts, but persons who can support and encourage individuals in the program. They are persons who are trained by TFA in the effective utilization of the SkillSoft e-Learning platform for the benefit of the individual student.”

It is right there are coaches, specially if they’re volunteers, as this is the way to close the circle of e-training for development at reasonable costs, but I’d like them not to be supporters or e-learning platform managers but teachers.

Anyway, Rome wasn’t built in a day: I’ll keep a very close eyesight to this project.

TrainingPoint
Course repository for non-profits.
Interesting the target approach: there are other repositories but usually targeted to the world of Education. In this case, it is not about training for educators but training for non-profit personnel, and this makes a difference.

WebJunction
Not really intended for non-profits, but you can use it anyway.
Free and self-paced.

Free-Ed
http://www.free-ed.net/
Course repository. Good organization.

Conclusion: again and again, focus on content but lack of e-teaching.

I think there are three steps in digital divide bridging (promise I’ll be back on this issue):

  • Infrastructure
  • Training and capacity building
  • Content and sercies

We first came with all complex infrastructures and wired the whole planet. That was right, but with no contents and services infrastructures are useless.

We then came with our contents and services, but they were not adapted to the target neither we intended sharing knowledge instead of information.

It is now time to have people things done their way. And this is about knowledge sharing, not information charity.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2003) “Free on-line courses evaluation by TechSoup” In ICTlogy, #2, November 2003. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=27

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