UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

‘Web Design and Usability’ is new UNCG MOOC

This summer, take an online course on web design and usability. It’s one of a pair of Massive, Open, Online Courses (MOOCs) UNCG is offering as it pilot tests the concept.

“It’s a guided experience. It’s self-paced,” says Dr. Anthony Chow, who along with UNCG’s Division of Continual Learning created the course. “There are hands-on projects and opportunities for discussion.” You will even learn a little about HTML coding and also the popular WordPress platform – and use them both. The course is not-for-credit.

The course takes on the question: How do I design, develop and evaluate usable digital environments? The emphasis is on usability and being user-friendly.

A UNCG Leadership Institute team last fall found that of UNCG’s 18 nationwide peer universities, six offer MOOCs. UNCG is testing the waters with two offerings. The first UNCG MOOC – “The Soul and the Search for Meaning” – launched in the spring.

The “Web Design and Usability” course opened June 30 – and learners may register at any time.

In general, MOOCs hold potential for online learning for a lot of people who may not have access to university courses. They can serve as a way for people who left college years ago to take an online course to see if completing a degree might be feasible for them.

You could finish in a few weeks. But most will take it at a slower pace. People may take advantage of particular units, or take the entire course in sequence.

A great benefit for those taking this MOOC is the opportunity to build relationships with other people across the world with similar interests, Chow explains. It will be a nexus of people, throughout the world, who can connect with each other. And UNCG will be a part of that connection.

Through the MOOC he can share his expertise and help make a positive impact. The experience will be helpful with his ongoing research. A professor of Library and Information Studies and director of online learning in UNCG’s School of Education, he notes it provides a learning experience for his Education students who take part in the online discussions. And it helps promote UNCG – the Spartan mascot and UNCG’s beautiful Taylor Garden are featured in the first video clip.

Even online, people like that sense of place, he explains. People prefer to be a part of universities’ MOOCs, he says, because “they like the brick and mortar of the university.”

Students can take the self-paced course online when they choose, from anywhere they want to learn. A certificate is available to those who complete the course in its entirety.
More information on the course may be found at moocs.uncg.edu. To register, visit moocs.uncg.edu/sign-up.

By Mike Harris