I was impressed by how rapidly I could move my existing content to the Fedora system. My new course looks good and functions well. (Much better, I’m embarrassed to admit, than the WordPress delivery system I created a few years ago.) Most importantly, potential students can register and start learning quickly. I emailed Ankur Nagpal, founder of Fedora, to convey my appreciation for his new course builder. Ankur got back to me and yesterday we discussed by phone how and where Fedora fits in the online learning space. Essentially, Fedora makes it possible for content experts with limited design or technical skills to create a course. You can share what you know for free or get paid for your work. You bring the content and Fedora delivers the rest, including hosting and payment processing. The primary audience is hobbyists, freelance teachers and entrepreneurs, not institutions. Individuals or independent teams can use Fedora to set up a single course or an online school with multiple courses.
I led my first online class as a university professor in 1997 and have designed or taught a few dozen more since then. I’ve used or tried a number of course builders and course management systems, but haven’t found anything as easy to use as Fedora. However, Fedora is relatively new to the market, so there are a few shortcomings. There is no guide or tutorial, though Ankur assured me one is being developed. More established course authoring tools offer better support. Fedora is just getting started. There is also a Facebook group. Right now, paid classes must be set up for monthly or annual payment, though additional options are planned. You also won’t find extras such as polls, quizzes or assignment exchange, which is fine. Feature creep is a problem for too many applications. Fedora is uncomplicated. Too many options could spoil this promising product. Ankur recognizes this and is working on ways to add capability without complexity.
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