Pathways through the English Common Law Mooc
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Methodology Design Narrative Template

(Information about the template at


  1. Situation

This Coursera Mooc comprises videos, forums, quizzes. Varying patterns of consumption - different use of videos.

Each week had core content (which you would be assessed on), then optional / peripheral stuff, and finally fun stuff. The idea was an hour of stuff each week if you wanted to take the assessment at the end. Eg submit the law that your country has passed most recently, and the law you would like to pass in your country (drafted as authentically as possible).

Made all content available for download in week 1. Everything was mobile friendly.

In Week 4 we asked what would you change? People asked us to make it harder, so we had an essay competition. I posted them all online (there were 100) - the most commented ones (assuming the comments were more than a few lines) were effectively shortlisted. Tended to be about religious issues. Working on adapting this to different language groups.

Logically you'd watch the videos and then go to the forums. The forums were not so difficult because we assumed them to be quite heated and divisive (eg should religion influence law?). We offered a place to ask the lecturer questions (able to vote up questions which were of most interest). There were also more curated discussions, and sometimes closed down threads. 6 forums for each week - 24 in total.

The organisers collect the statistics at the end. The goal is to change it to the extent that people would want to do it again.

Many points at which students solicited for feedback - tended to get about 1000 responses each time?). In the Feedback area, 3 sections: things we have changed; things we will change; things we can't change.



  1. Task

To make a Mooc that adapts to meet different learning demands eg  you can complete whether or not you have web connection, whether or not you are eg watching the kids at the same time (eg audio as well as video). This is a question of meeting our original philanthropic obligations. Another angle on this is where the course meets the brochure .



  1. Actions (How did you try to address the issue?)



Activity goal(s) or intended outcome (“X”)


 To abandon a Fordist singular approach towards adaptability and customisation.

Activity title & description


Activity materials



The “how” (steps A, B, C, that lead to Y or the activity outcomes)


(All pretty simultaneously and do not depend on order)

A. Make all materials in different formats.

B. Make all materials downloadable from the beginning.

C. Divide materials into assessed, optional, and fun.

D. Introduce extra challenges.

E. Introduce different forums to allow people to argue, avoid arguing, ask lecturer questions and vote up questions.

F. Consider abandoning the weekly rhythm in favour of topics (does synchronicity matter).

Activity outcomes (“Y”) (positive)




A highly flexible course.


  1. Reflection




Author(s): Trabi Mechanic
Published at: 27 May 2014 10:43 GMT
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