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State University of New York

iMOOC101: Mastering American eLearning

State University of New York via Coursera

This course may be unavailable.


When taking online courses at a U.S.-based university or  telecommuting for a U.S. company, foreign-born students and professionals oftentimes run into pitfalls, no matter how technologically savvy they are in their native environments. This is because U.S. online environments tend to be based on American culture and American ways of doing things. This may make even ordinary things confusing to non-Americans abroad. In order to better understand and master American eLearning and other U.S. virtual environments, international students and foreign-born professionals need to know how American universities and companies use the Internet to organize work and study, develop and execute projects, communicate ideas, collaborate and solve organizational and technical problems. By taking this course, you will learn how to enhance your cultural knowledge and assess potential skill gaps that may hinder your online experience or negatively impact your performance in U.S. virtual work environments. Throughout the course you will systematically review competencies required for online work, come to better understand common barriers for non-native students and professionals in U.S. virtual work environments, learn about effective strategies and develop plans for self-improvement

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

·         Recognize six key competency areas (domains) that you should better understand in order to master American eLearning and U.S. virtual work environments.

·         For each competency area, you’ll systematically review and examine required levels of proficiency in terms of awareness, knowledge, skills and attitudes.

·         Examine how gaps in awareness, knowledge, skills and attitudes can cause barriers to learning and work performance in American eLearning and other U.S.-style virtual environments.

·         Identify and explore effective strategies, best practices, skill-building techniques and helpful resources that can be used to eliminate gaps and alleviate barriers; discuss those with peers across the globe.

·         Self-assess your perceived level of mastery in various levels of competencies, identify gaps in your awareness, knowledge, skills and attitudes and develop personal strategies for improvement.

·         As a result, perform more effectively in American eLearning and U.S. virtual work environments, develop self-directed learning skills and enhance employability skills.

The course can be used in a variety of ways. It can be taken as a stand-alone course on Coursera or it can be integrated with credit-bearing courses offered by the State University of New York’s Empire State College (see Module 8 for details). In addition, it may be integrated with orientation courses offered for incoming and on-campus international students by SUNY and other U.S –based universities and adopted as part of credit-bearing activities by international universities outside the U.S.

Download course poster.


The course consists of eight modules.

Module 1:   Introduction: Learn about barriers to effective online learning in U.S.-style virtual environments and how a competency-based approach can help overcome these and other barriers

Module 2:   Review technology-related competencies

Module 3:   Learn how to overcome barriers of language and culture

Module 4:   Learn how to communicate ideas effectively

Module 5:   Understand the United States academic system

Module 6:   Examine the specific competencies and prerequisites required to successfully navigate American professional contexts 

Module 7:   Conclusion: Learn how to make sense of self-assessments and to plan for the future

Module 8:   Find out how you can get U.S. college credit for this course

Taught by

Valeri Chukhlomin, Lorette Pellettiere Calix, Anant Deshpande, , Jeannine Mercer and Bidhan Chandra


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