Easily the best online learning experience I have had was #ds106, a digital storytelling course which was (at the time) run out of the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.
Briefly I liked it because:
– it was of the web, not just on the web. The focus on what essentially amounted to web cultural and technical literacies helped here, but it inserted itself into the way I used the web rather than tried to move me into a less “resident” mode of interaction.
– huge efforts were made to build and cohere a strong community – in terms of promoting comment, interaction and reaction.
– it was fun! Even though we dealt with a fascinatingly broad range of theoretical content (drawing from film and cultural studies, radical pedagogies, sociology and literary theory) alongside some fairly in-depth technical practice – the spirit of anarchy and playful intertextuality was compelling and refreshing.
– it was non-prescriptive and unbounded. There was no concept of “drop-out” (indeed, it was more of a “drop-in” course…) and it was possible to take what you needed from the course.