Here at MakeUseOf, we’ve covered a variety of choices for when you want to find resources for online learning, like Einztein online study courses, Justin’s review of free online college courseware, and of course there’s FreeVideoLectures, where you can watch videos on over 700 course topics.
However, there is one online learning resource that goes beyond all of those sites, by providing not only online course materials – such as lessons and tests – but you’ll also find an entire community of like-minded students with a thirst for knowledge. Nuvvo is an online learning community that offers all of those things and more. Whether you’re a student or a teacher, you’ll want to check out this creative learning resource.
Creating Your Account & Profile
Signing up at Nuvvo is free and easy to set up – all you need is a valid email address. Nuvvo combines online learning tools with the look and feel of a social network, however it is primarily for creating online learning areas where students can read lessons, take tests, and participate in discussions about the subject with other students.
You can judge the credibility of an instructor, or the activity level of a student, by their “authority” level. Authority is broken down into both teaching activity and student activity. To improve your curriculum and teaching authority, simply get active in the many areas of Nuvvo.
Finding Topics To Learn About
Just about everyone has a subject that they are very interested in learning more about. For me, those include blogging and web design, computer programming and investigative journalism. Brainstorm the subjects that you’d love to learn more about, and start typing in keywords into the search bar on Nuvvo’s “Learning Communities” page.
I’ve always wanted to learn more about the Java programming language, so I decided to searching for Java learning communities, and discovered several. The “Java/J2EE Development” learning community had 70 other students participating and looked pretty interesting.
Joining a learning community, you’ll discover lessons, tests, trivia, discussions and more. These communities are created and run by experts who love the topic so much that they offer free lessons and other learning tools, so you’ll discover that there’s a lot of very useful information embedded into each of the lessons. For example, the lesson on basic Java concepts was detailed and provided a decent background on Java basics.
Once you’re done studying the lessons, you can take the tests that instructors created for the material, try your hand at answering some of the trivia questions, or discuss specific questions you have with the instructor and students in the discussion areas.
Becoming A Nuvvo Instructor
Now, if you have an area of expertise that you’d love to share with interested students, you can create your own learning community. I decided that I would create a learning community about how to blog, so clicking on “Start a Community” in your workspace takes you to the area where you can set up your learning area and associated subdomain.
Creating your first lesson is as simple as using any WYSIWYG web page editor or blogging platform. You can format headers, add bullet lists, include pictures and more.
When you create a lesson, you have the option to offer it as part of your overall learning community, or you can attach it to a “course” as part of specific courseware. You can do this in the right menu bar by selecting to publish the lesson privately in your courses.
Creating a course is an excellent way to offer a targeted lesson plan following a structured outline of lessons. If you plan to put a lot of effort in creating high-value courseware with instruction videos, lessons and more – you can opt to charge students for the course. Students pay (and you receive payment) through Paypal. Or, if you simply want to include free courses as part of your Nuvvo learning community, then leave the cost at $0 and select the community you want to attach it to under “Course Material.”
In the course area that students gain access to, they will see you as the instructor, as well as the curriculum you’ve created and a discussion area for students to ask you (or eachother) questions. Courses are similar to learning communities, except they are more focused on a particular sub-topic, and they include an outlined curriculum students can follow to learn new skills.
Whether you decide that you want to be a teacher or a student, Nuvvo is a very cool online community devoted to people with an interest in education and a thirst for information and new skills.
Have you ever tried taking lessons on Nuvvo? Do you know of similar online learning communities? Share your insight in the comments section below.