Course Hosting Sources

With our course starting time date line coming up, from a week ago, I have been preparing our course introduction material and structure but I am also looking for places to host our course. I think I commented this here before and I want to give you an idea of what is going on in this area. So, let’s go to some questions:

Why I am doing this research?

Answer: I am doing this research to find the best place for us to present our Mac OS X Home Server Course. I want to find a hosting place where the structure can satisfy my layout requirements to place the course online.

What is the criterion for hosting this course?

Answer: The criterion (standard) for me is to find a place that is:

  1. Open source and free for teachers/educators to host
  2. A good combination of editor/chat line where it will be easy for the educator to
    layout the course and make it interactive with the participants
  3. Synchronization with a forum with audiovisual support
  4. Easy for the students to sign-up and to understand and follow the course
  5. Allow the students to interact with each other as a social place

What is the curriculum structure of our Course?

Obs: It is important to say here that I do not teach by testing!

Answer: My system of teaching are based on:

  1. Displaying the course information in a structural order,
  2. Students research on actual and supplemental information
  3. Using the information of the course in an (empirical) experience environment
  4. Students evaluation of the course, during and in the final stage of the course
  5. Teacher’s evaluation of each student achievements
  6. Recycling of the course curriculum
  7. Repetition makes things better. Take the course again.

Important Disclaimer: Please, if you’re teacher/educator, do not take my word for, this is my “personal” impression and that should not influence you in making your test on any of these platforms.

Therefore, during this week, I have been signing up to different hosting places and placing the course in places that I find intuitive.

1. The first platform I sign-up was Eliademy. I expend on a few minutes with Eliademy and I already figure out that is not a good platform. They are trying to make money by placing advertising banners all around and at the teacher’s editor place. There is nothing more annoying than trying to write a course’s curriculum and having some banner flashing in front of you. So, I say goodbye!

2. The second one was “Open” Edx and here is my impression about the Edx structure.
I did not like the Edx platform. The layout structure is ok, academic, but everything is based on tests. I do not like this type of teaching. I think this is the old style of teaching. Like I said before, tests do not qualify you to anything. What qualifies you are the real-life use of the materials that you learn. The platform by itself is too complicated to operate (not intuitive) and if a teacher needs to expend too much time learning programing to use the platform, it defeats the purpose of expending necessary time preparing the course. Then, they make it too difficult for the educator to sign-up to their software they call studioX. It is ok, but I do not have all this time studying complicated teaching software. This is how I think about this type of platform.

“I can make myself look very smart by complicating the life of others when I teach or I can be creative and show people that they can learn by cutting the fat of some teaching materials. If I can make things easy for others to learn, you bet I will do it.”

3. The third platform was OER, Open Educational Resources. I like very much their platform and philosophy, but their editor needs some improvement. If they can make the course’s layout editor better, it will be a great place to host and teach a course. The future is bright there. You can see the course display here;

4. The forth platform is Google Class Room. Google Class Room is light and good but their platform also needs a lot of improvement all around. Their editor is kinda of separatist. One cannot design images and text on the same editor. We, educators, need a complete editor, able to do most of the necessary tasks of communication. Layout text, images, video, forum chat line plus having access to the editor’s source code so we will be able to fix or change anything we find it needs to be changed in the final layout. The Good thing about Google is that we can unify our class with their hangout feature. What I do not like about is that Google is not open source and at some point will try to sell us a product. For our type of education, it will not work. We will see how things work in the future. Come and see for yourself;

5. The editor of our forum could be perfect for our needs. However, I do not know if anyone ever tried to display a course curriculum using the forum. I did read this post from Nico Koenig that expose this issue on December 18. Sorry, I was not here to participate of the debate @nico_koenig. Well, this post here it is an extension of your post Nico and I will love your opinion on this subject.

Hosting topic-specific resources for learners

Learning Circle Insights are now available!

We could use a combination of the open discourse forum and Google hangout. That is a good combination right there of a good editor plus a chat line. One will have to login into the Peer2Peer University forum and at Google Hangout at the day when the Course Start. You would be able to read the instructions and I will be able to talk to each one of you online giving instructions as we go.

It is an idea, I need to question if that will be ok to do it. Please, if anyone from the direction of Peer2Peer University is reading this, please, do not hesitate to jump in and give your opinion. Hi, @nico_koenig, these few last lines are for you. I appreciate your input.

Eduardo Bonsi
Learning Circles

1 Like

Hello @Eduardo_Bonsi,

Nice summary of online course hosting platforms.

I recommending reading through our post about how P2PU creates open courses. There, you’ll learn about the steps we take to create courses, how we use our course in a box tool, and details about a script we created that automatically converts Google Docs to markdown and uploads them to a Course in a Box Github repository.

Regarding using discourse for your course, there is a forum thread that you can add your notes too already, and we welcome input from those who attend your learning circle.

One facilitator created an online course for their learning circle using wordpress -> Learn To Write Fiction

If you want to have more complex discussions specifically about your topic, you might consider creating your own discourse forum to pair with your own online course once it is developed.

Good luck with creating your own online course,


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Thanks so much @Nico_Koenig,

I started this on Github a week ago and did not have time to finish it. I ran into some issues but now I am getting it! Thanks again for all the links! :slight_smile:

Hi Eduardo,

Have you tried Moodle? Moodle is an open source LMS that you can host on your own server at no cost. It’s supported by an energetic community of users and is constantly evolving.

If you’d rather a hosted solution, or to get a taste of Moodle in action, then you could try MoodleCloud which is free for classes up to 50 participants. I’ve hosted classes there in the past and found it really easy and intuitive to use. I think it meets all of your requirements depending on your class size.

Just an idea :slight_smile:


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Thanks, Chris,

Yes, I saw Moodle on Bitnami. Good to know they have a free cloud-free for up to 50 participants. I might try that. However, right now I am getting familiar with the "course-in-a-box hosted by Github. It takes a little time to get it and it does have a learning curve to get all the structure running. Thanks so much for these tips! Right now, I am using Google classroom because they offer the Google Hangout. My class participants still getting around configuring it. Since they’re all in different times zones, I have been recording short videos with instructions and they can get the info in their own time.

Talk to you soon,