We are a Canadian, not-for-profit company producing flexible, mobile-friendly, interactive learning courses, educational experiences, and assessment solutions that can be distributed across the wide variety of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms, open source learning platforms, and Learning Management Systems (LMS) used by academia and industry. Onlea is the world’s first MOOC production company.
Onlea will advance quality online learning experiences around the world by crafting interactive products that promote student success, engagement, completion and retention. We are the first choice for educational and commercial institutions who seek creative and mindful online adaptations of their learning material for students, employees, and lifelong learners.
Onlea produces and markets quality online and blended courses powered by pedagogy, assessment, research, and innovation for post-secondary, professional development needs for industry, community service, and K-12 for Canada and internationally. It specializes in the production of high-performing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) with experience developing diverse course formats in free, certificate and tuition-based post-secondary environments. Onlea’s founders were partners in the production of the University of Alberta’s successful MOOC, Dino 101, which set a new standard in digital learning quality by more than tripling the average completion rates for MOOCs, implementing successful incremental monetization streams, and creating the first MOOC marketing framework.
Here’s how we can work with you to achieve superior learning outcomes:
Dino 101 is the University of Alberta’s first Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) and is available on the Coursera MOOC platform. It is also Canada’s first MOOC made available for credit to both University of Alberta students and members of the general public.
It is led by Dr. Phil Currie, internationally renowned dinosaur expert and Canadian Research Chair in dinosaur paleobiology. We drew on the reputational strengths of the University of Alberta’s world class palaeontology team in order to create a new new type of engaging and exciting MOOC with unprecedented levels of interactivity.
Leveraging Alberta’s rich fossil resources, students are transported right into the field, seeing dinosaurs bones literally unearthed before their eyes. Lessons reveal numerous secrets held within the bones of these once pervasive animals. Video instruction is liberally interspersed with interactive quizzes, visits to museums, guest speakers, a 3D fossil viewer, and much more.
Dino 101 enthralls individuals and their families from all walks of life around the globe. But Dino 101 is just the start. Our new MOOCs are building greater levels of interactivity and engagement than those we pioneered in our first MOOC.
The sum of our formula towards MOOC v2.0 is akin to a digital learning “gesamtkunstwerk”, a “total work of art”. We honoured the students’ investment of many hours of their time and aspired to achieve a balance of academic rigour with moments of wonder, surprise, and delight through the course’s pacing, interactive learning objects, formative quizzing, and inspirational location-based learning.
These ILOs are based on the learning outcomes defined by the Dino 101 pedagogy team for the non-mobile version of the Coursera platform. They are optimized for desktop or laptop interaction. Mobile-friendly ILOs are coming soon.
Navigate through the history of earth and explore important events in time.
3D Fossil Viewer Reveal new fossils as you work your way through the course.
Start from the hips and assemble a Tyrannosaurus skeleton.
Start from the hips and assemble a Parasaurolophus skeleton.
Match the pieces to their labels on the tree.
Dino 101 achieved the highest completion and participation rates published to-date for a free MOOC.
97% of the students surveyed strongly agreed or agreed that they would recommend Dino 101 to a friend.
Jennifer Griffin Chesney is a Founder of Onlea, leading the growth and strategic business development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and digital learning experiences for academia and industry. She also serves as the Associate Vice-President of University Digital Strategy at the University of Alberta, the first such unit in a Canadian university whose research and applied focus in on the convergence of the web, digital learning, mobile, and social media in student-centered products and experiences.
Jennifer co-chaired the Canadian landmark joint-development, research-based relationships between US online course providers, Udacity and Coursera with the University of Alberta. As co-Executive Producer at UAlberta of the world’s first paleobiology MOOC, Dino 101, she oversaw the creation of MOOC 2.0, a holistic approach to interactive learning engagement that resulted in more than tripling the average completion rates for MOOCs, successful incremental monetization streams, and set a new bar in digital learning quality.
Jennifer is a digital product development & marketing innovator with over a decade of executive management of research & development teams in industry and academia. Her previous 20 years of digital business and technology strategy roles include leading Customer Strategies, R&D, Product Development and Analytics units at firms in Vancouver and Edmonton as well as serving as Vice President, Institutional Securities Marketing at Morgan Stanley in New York City. In 1998, she founded and was CEO of one of the first open source virtual media companies, NewsTrolls, Inc. Jennifer received her M.M., Yale University, B.M., Indiana University, and is a classically trained musician.
Glen R. Loppnow is a Founder of Onlea, leading the transformation of learning effectiveness and teaching innovation in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and digital learning experiences for academia and industry. He promotes a diversity of learning opportunities for students as the inaugural Associate Dean for Learning and Innovation in the Faculty of Science and as a Vargo Teaching Chairholder at the University of Alberta.
Glen has served on the Executives and Boards of Directors of both national and international teaching and learning societies and has consulted for universities across Canada on the development of innovative student programming. He is a recipient of the prestigious Canada-wide 3M National Teaching Fellowship (2009), as well as teaching and research awards from the University of Alberta, including a McCalla Professorship (2009), and a Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2008).
Glen received a BSc in chemistry and an MSc in analytical chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, a PhD in biophysical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and completed an NIH post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton University. In his research career as a professor in Chemistry at the University of Alberta, Glen has focused on developing new spectroscopic probes of nucleic acid damage and characterizing the ultrafast molecular dynamics in DNA, vision and photosynthesis. Glen is also a professional photographer.
Jonathan Schaeffer is a Founder of Onlea, leading the research and analysis opportunities for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and digital learning experiences for academia and industry. He brings the senior university administration perspective to the online revolution swirling around Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOCs will disrupt post-secondary education (and other sectors): it is not a question of “if” but “when”. Jonathan is concerned with addressing the academic issues that are technical, historical, and psychological impediments to the radical shakeup to education that is coming.
At the University of Alberta, Jonathan is currently the Dean of Science, and previously served as the Associate Vice President and Vice Provost for Information Technology. He is a professor in Computing Science. His research is in the area of artificial intelligence, inventing algorithms that facilitate computers creating the illusion of intelligence. Much of his research has been demonstrated using games. The checkers-playing program Chinook was the first computer to win a human world championship (1994), a feat recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records and appearing as a question on the television show Jeopardy! and the popular board game Trivial Pursuit. In 2007 he announced that checkers was solved — the result is a draw given perfect play. He has helped develop superhuman programs at poker (two-player limit Texas Hold’em — also in the Guinness Book of World Records). Since 1999, his research group has been developing new ideas for the video game industry.
Jonathan received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto (1979) and his M.Math and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Waterloo (1980 and 1986). Since 1984, he has been at the University of Alberta. He is a former Canada Research Chair, iCORE Chair, and NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Fellow. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
The University of Alberta is a Founder of Onlea, participating in the formation of this independent, not-for-profit spinoff company focused on the production of high-quality, engaging, effective digital courses that enhance the ability of teachers to teach, and of learners to learn. The University of Alberta is a leading post-secondary institution in integrating in-person classroom presentation with emerging digital teaching and learning techniques. It is widely recognized for excellence in teaching and has a keen interest in formulating and advancing new pedagogical frameworks.
The University of Alberta supports the principle that creation of successful spinoffs is a university objective, and envisions that Onlea’s forward-thinking tools and digital learning experiences will be for use by the University and for other post-secondary, industry, community service, and K-12 clients in Canada and internationally.
Jim Armstrong is collaborating with Onlea in his role as an executive with a proven ability to develop and implement technology strategies that support business and financial objectives. He has started, led, and sold several technology companies including Edmonton based Mecca Media Group, which received the Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award and Alberta Venture’s Award for the third fastest growing company in Alberta.
Jim has deep roots in education and has pioneered and implemented a broad range of learning solutions across a wide variety of industries including aerospace, oil & gas, pulp & paper, and most recently in the sports and entertainment industry where he has worked with organizations such as Disney and the PGA Tour.
Here’s how we can work with you to achieve superior learning outcomes:
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