Looking at the new iTunes U from an instructor perspective

After the launch of new iTunes U in January,  I tried it out as a student (see my thoughts in the post ).   In this blog post,  I would like to share my experience of creating a course as an instructor .

As a non-Mac user, I had to create an Apple ID in order to create an Instructor account.   Although it seems that credit card info is needed in order to create an Apple ID,  it is avoidable  – Creating an iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store account without a credit card.

Once the Apple ID is created, you need to create an instructor profile before creating courses.  The process of creating a course is easy:

  1. Select course type: In-Session or Self-Paced
  2. Provide basic course information
  3. Create course contents
  • outline
  • posts

To me,  iTunes U course is like a book, the course outline is the table of contents.  Under each outline point, you can add a number of posts.  A post is a structured learning unit which can have various media items including web pages, videos, or audio files.  The outline and posts are constructed using a HTML editor, which seems to be very basic though.

Once a course is created, it can be previewed or shared.  However, the course can only be viewed on Apply devices, e.g. iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc.

Overall, it was a bit of mixed experience to create iTunes U courses. On one hand, I was impressed by the modern and stylish user interface (UI) as well as the simple and easy way of building a course.   On the other hand, the terms used in the course system is confusing: posts, pages, courses, assignments.  In addition,  I discovered a bug – I was not able to delete a page from a post.

If my experience sounds a bit less positive, here is a blog post from a Mac user (i guess) – Will iTunes U Change the Way We Buy Books for School, or Is It Just Another Bookshelf App?

Have you used the new iTunes U as an instructor? If so, please share your experience by using the comment box. Thank you.

Posted in learning technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply