The Basics

The basics of this course can be found on the EdX introduction page. You probably read that months ago when you first signed up, but for a refresher go back and read about the basic purpose and instructors:

Data, Analytics, and Learning on EdX

So What is the Big Picture?

You basically have two choices before you, a red pill and a blue pill.


Only in this case, both choices represent reality – you just have the chance to customize the reality of your learning path more than other courses you have taken.

guidedThe Blue Pill

The Blue Pill is what you are probably most accustomed to in a standard educational setting. It is the typical instructor-led course, where you will be guided through a linear path of material, videos, and activities designed to give you a focused examination of the content from the expert’s view. Interaction is a factor, but not the focus.

socialThe Red Pill

The red pill is the reality of what the world is like. It is similar to workplace group work sessions where you will be given a problem to work on and solve in whatever method you agree upon as a group. This path is less linear with less instructor guidance and more reliance on connections with fellow learners.

Which Pill (Path) is Better?

Both and neither. It is all up to you and what your needs are as a learner. If you need guidance, you can go through the guided path. If you want more interactive self-determined learning, you can choose the social learning path. Or you can mix elements of both… or switch back and forth as needed.

So What’s The Catch For Each Path?

Both paths will learn about learning analytics. Both paths will practice with various learning analytic tools (to be discussed in the Tools section).

blue-pillThe Guided Learner Path will look more like a traditional learning environment. You will be guided by the content and given a chance to test your knowledge by various traditional and experimental tools. Your interaction with other students will not be required. Moving through the content in a pre-defined linear fashion according to a set path is the guiding principle.

red-pillThe Social Learning Path will look less ordered. You will be responsible for forming groups to work on problems. You will be self-guided and expected to connect with other students to form support networks. Your interaction with other students will greatly help you, as will sharing your learning process through social media. Determining your own method to demonstrate what you learned is the guiding principle.