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In a social, non-linear MOOC (e.g. a cMOOC or a project-based MOOC) interaction between participants is essential to the success of the MOOC. However, participants approach activities in a different pace, and sometimes even a different order, making it hard to synchronise their experiences.

Some participants diverge into independent explorations branching out of the MOOC activities. Sharing these could enhance the social learning experience, but at the same time it makes synchronisation even harder.


cMOOCs or other MOOCs which have a strong social element and flexibility in the activity flow.


Create regular "checkpoints", which offer participants oportunities to synchronise with the course flow and pace, catch up on the social vibe and notice the recent highlights.

Such checkpoints could be synchronous events, recorded for those who cannot attend at the time - such as FishBowl sessions or webcasts. They can also be asynchronous events, such as forum posts or mails.

Checkpoints are:


 The OLDS MOOC used several such checkpoints:

Related patterns

Data and References

Robertson, J. (2014). Pattern: Showcase Learning. In Y. Mor, H. Mellar, S. Warburton & N. Winters (ed.), Practical Design Patterns for Teaching and Learning with Technology (pp. 67-71). Sense Publishers


Author(s): Yishay Mor, Steven Warburton
Published at: 23 Jan 2015 15:12 GMT
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