Guest Blog Post from Kimberly Seeber. Kimberly lives in Bloomington, Indiana, US. She is a licensed elementary teacher and a graduate student in the Instructional Systems Technology residential master’s program at Indiana University. Her interests include technology integration in the K-12 environment and online learning.

With the introductory week zero of the Designing an Exemplary Course MOOC well under way, communities are forming, old and new friends are networking, and Exemplary Course Directors are preparing for this open online learning experience.  All 1,926 of you (and counting) are eager to find out how one identifies, defines, and applies best practices when developing online courses.  But this week was all about YOU.  Who are you?

WHO ARE YOU?

It’s no surprise that everyone participating in this open course touches lives and shapes education either in a face-to-face, online or blended format.  So far the Higher Ed-Teacher Training group (123 members) and the Advanced Course Design group (68 members) are the largest groups while the Librarians (3 members) are the smallest group.  Among this diverse community are deans for online learning, directors for programs in technology and nursing, instructional designers, instructional technology coordinators, assistant, associate, adjunct and full professors specializing in a variety of fields, Blackboard consultants, K-12 teachers, corporate trainers, graduate students, novice and expert Blackboard users, mental health counselors, content architects, lawyers, and even a few Apple fans.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Participants are coming from all over the world. Canada, Mexico, and the United States represent North America. Paraguay and Peru represent South America. Melbourne, Sydney, and Queensland represent Australia. France, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom represent Europe. Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi represent the Middle East.

WHY ARE YOU HERE?

Teaching and learning is a mutual goal for everyone in the course.  Specifically, participants are interested in learning new ways to support faculty members in universities, learning and networking with other course designers, learning how to create an exemplary course and learning how to use Blackboard effectively.  Some participants just want to experience a MOOC for the first time.

IF YOU WERE AN ANIMAL (AND YOU ARE), WHAT ANIMAL WOULD YOU BE?

For week zero, you were asked to break the ice by sharing “if you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?”  Some participants knew exactly which animal they wished to be while others needed to consult an animal quiz like this one. Straight from the Animal Kingdom, here are a few of the most popular animals you said you would like to be:

Mammals

domestic cat, domestic and wild dog, giraffe, liger, snow leopard, lynx, dolphin, zebra, silverback gorilla, alpaca, cheetah, squirrel, wolf, tiger, platypus, narwhal, kangaroo, guinea pig, jaguar, lion, panther, polar bear, mouse, otter, elephant, antelope, monkey, badger, grizzly bear, hippo, koala bear, sea lion, mule, killer whale, beaver, sloth, bat, cow, seal, raccoon, horse, rhinoceros, chipmunk

Birds

owl, swift, eagle, hummingbird, stork, falcon, duck, pelican, loon, Tailorbird, penguin, Tern, hawk

Fish

stingray, shark

Reptiles

iguana, chameleon, alligator, sea turtle, snake, skink

Amphibians

Frog

Invertebrates

ant, fly, caterpillar, bee, snail, butterfly, octopus

Imaginary or Extinct Animals

phoenix, dragon, catbird, centaur, Saber-toothed tiger, bookworm, yeti, Parandrus

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