Friday, December 19, 2014

Alison : The Online Teacher

     Alison in my opinion is a decent at best option to get certified in any online course. It does not really teach everything very clearly in the sense that it assumes that you already know most of the details behind the course you are taking. In my opinion a codecademy type website teaches much better. It is much more thorough and much more learning base. That is one huge downside to the Alison certification process. It has a lot of content and it does not offer much chance for interaction. By saying this i mean that Alison uses mainly videos and definitions to teach the user about his or her course. I think this is very bad because most people can not learn off of just videos without doing any practice problems. It is mostly conceptually based. Also another downside to the Alison course I took was that the final assessment has the same questions. I think this is bad because someone could easily get certified without actually learning anything. For my learning experience i had to take notes to make sure that i was understanding all of the content. This leads me to me third downside to Alison, as mentioned earlier, there is a lot of content. This wouldn't be bad usually but in Alison, all of this content is crammed in to 8-11 mini courses. For my course there was a total of 23 hours worth of videos. I did not even watch 10 hours, i only watched three full hours and i still was able to get certified. This also shows how the final assessment does not cover all the topics that the course presents in its tutorials.
     Be that as it may, Alison does have some Pros. If you have enough time to go through all of the content thoroughly and completely and take notes as well(which is a lot of work, maybe around 30 hours) then i do believe that Alison does do a good job of teaching. Within the video tutorials there is a lot of information, useful information, and if you can understand it all then yes Alison would be a great tool. Another great aspect of Alison is that it has so many courses to choose from. When i typed in Android development, for my topic alone there were around 10 courses. This is very good because it allows many people with different interests to get certified. Lastly Alison is a very rewarding process. This is beneficial on a physiological point of view. Yes it is true that it is a lot of work, and yes it might get a little bit boring after 3 hours of watching tutorials, but when you finish the course and get certified, you feel very accomplished. That is my favorite Pro of Alison, the self reward.
     Moving away from the topic of certification courses, lets talk about my final project. As I mentioned previously, I plan to present my final app to the class. With all of my resources and pictures from codecademy, I also plan to walk my class through my own learning experience. I will have a series of pictures that i have amassed throughout the course, and when i show the class i plan explain step-by-step what the major aspects of JavaScript I learned, and how that aspect is used in coding, and why it is useful. For my final app, i plan to just download it onto my phone and show the class how you can interact with it, and what the purpose is. This part will be a very basic demonstration because the app itself is a very basic tutorial.