Category archives for Online Education

Wake-up Call?

What are the world’s top 10 university brands? UCSF ranks 40th in the World Reputation Ratings for 2013, down from 31st  in 2012. Within the UC System, UCSF ranks behind UC Berkeley (5th), UCLA (8th), and UC San Diego (37th). Harvard has the top brand, setting the bar at an overall rating of 100.00. UCSF’s […]

CTSI Online Learning 2.0

Moodle 2: The Next Stage in the Evolution of the CLE Second generation Moodle (aka Collaborative Learning Environment at UCSF) is currently being piloted here at UCSF. You might want to take a look at Convergence, a blog dedicated to supporting the adoption of Moodle 2.3 (we’re skipping right over 2.0 – 2.2x). I’m very […]

It is a happy moment!

Designing Clinical Research Online for physicians and researchers at Peking Union Medical College Hospitals (PUMCH) resumed this week following the Spring Festival break. To be honest, it wasn’t really all that much of a break. There was a significant amount of discussion forum activity every day, and even though we had all agreed that faculty […]

Online Class on How To Teach Online Classes Goes Laughably Awry

Fundamentals of Online Learning … OOPS! This disaster could have been mine. If I weren’t so swamped with my current online courses, I might have taken a stab at just this type of course. So I am very grateful to the people who took this huge risk with all good intentions, knowledge, skills, and vision. […]

Why You Need a “Course Concierge”

“What is a course concierge?” you might ask. Another good question might be, “What could be so hard about online education that you would need one?” Well … a lot of things, from design to delivery to evaluation. Let’s just focus on delivery for now. You have designed and developed your course site and you […]

UCSF CTSI Designing Clinical Research Partners in London, Beijing, and Shanghai

Thirty physicians and researchers at Peking Union Medical College Hospitals (PUMCH) and twenty-four researchers at Roche / Genentech in China are currently enrolled in the University of California San Francisco Designing Clinical Research (DCR) course. The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF has embarked on an initiative to provide its flagship clinical research […]

20 Tips On How To Work With Students Who Have a Hard Time Collaborating

This article caught my eye today. As we embark on Week 4 of our Designing Clinical Research (DCR) course with Peking Union Medical Center Hospitals (PUMCH), we find ourselves constantly reminding, encouraging, almost pleading with our learners to engage with their peers. While our assignment is not truly a group project, we do expect all […]

Colleges Are Warming Up to Online Learning (Teachers Are Not)

From The Atlantic: If U.S. colleges and universities are ever going to bring down their costs, it means that one day they’re going to have to buck up and embrace online learning as regular tool for teaching undergrads. And in order for that to happen, it means their faculty members will have to get on […]

Last one in the P.O.O.L. is a rotten egg!

Welcome to Perspectives on Online Learning, our new blog dedicated to conversation about online learning, teaching, design, and a little technology tossed in for good measure. Let’s talk and share — agree and disagree — teach each other and learn from each other — find opportunities for collaboration — seek and give feedback — think […]

Free Online Lectures by Leading UCSF Scientists

The talks are available at, and include lectures by Nobel laureates Elizabeth Blackburn, Eric Wieschaus, and David Baltimore, as well as an impressive group of UCSF biologists that includes Joe Derisi, Jonathan Weissman, and Cynthia Kenyon. Topics include: “How I Became a Scientist,” by Robert Ramirez, Professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology at San Francisco […]

UCSF Partners with Coursera Attracting Global Audience to Health and Science Curriculum

It’s great to hear that UCSF and other top universities are offering free, online classes through the website Coursera.  In a recent article UCSF announced: There has never been a more important time for students to learn about health and science, but many don’t have access to high-level classes,” said Joseph Castro, PhD, vice chancellor of Student Academic […]

From eLearning to WeLearning

When you think about online education, what comes to mind? I often hear things like: I don’t like online learning — I like to be in the classroom where I can interact with other students. I’m too social for online learning — online learning is too isolating and lonely. Online learning is boring. How about you? […]

Where Are We Going With Online Learning?

Here is an interesting post about “How Online Innovators Are Disrupting Education.” In fact, Education Department data from last year reported that ”students in online conditions performed modestly better, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction.” Other report findings include: According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, approximately 5.6 million students took at […]

Improving Clinical Research Training: New UCSF-CTSI Online Course Doubles as Research Study

August 1, 2011 marked the official start date for Designing Clinical Research (DCR) for Students and Faculty. The majority of scholars will assemble on Monday and Wednesday mornings in the traditional lecture hall at the Parnassus campus. Twenty self-selected learners will take the course completely online via the UCSF Collaborative Learning Environment, AKA Moodle. The online course site was […]