Online Learning Update

July 14, 2013

MOOC Profs Supplement Coursera Online Learning Discussions With Town Hall

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

David F. Carr, InformationWeek

The discussion forum is an important feature of any massive open online course (MOOC), but when Ohio State University professor Jennifer Cowley was developing a course on technology and urban planning she decided the Coursera forums weren’t quite what she had in mind. For the TechniCity course on Coursera she taught with Thomas W. Sanchez of Virginia Tech, they instead tapped MindMixer, a “civic engagement platform” for hosting virtual town halls used by municipalities, school districts and other public institutions such as hospitals. “I was familiar with MindMixer from a city planner perspective, and when I decided I was going to teach a MOOC I was looking for an alternative to the typical discussion forums that are within Coursera,” Crowley said. One reason for the switch was that she wanted to add some structure around the discussion, because when that’s lacking “nobody focuses attention on anything,” she said.

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