Facilitating large diverse groups

Design Pattern


Have learners build group artefacts as sparks for discussion forum participation. 

Name: Sparking Forum Participation

Creating small individual tasks that help in producing an artefact which contributes to a group product, around which learners can interact and begin discussions.


Active partipaction is desirable and beneficial t learning, for example when collaboration is needed, or co-creation of learning is desired, as well as where interaction serves a supportive social function. Yet it is not always straightforward to help learners overcome their initial reluctance to post or visibly participate in fora. 


In the early stages of a MOOC, when learners have not yet developed relationships within the learner body, or might not have confidence to participate visibly.  Development of trust between learners is desired to support the increased peer-peer interactions. It is necessary to facilitate learners making their participation visible without undertaking risky or overly challenging tasks.  To achieve this specific tasks are created that are individual tasks, but which are shared and benefitted from by the whole group, increasing participation and deriving a sense of value from the interaction.


1.  Define a simple task that is relevant to the learning in this MOOC.

2.  Ensure it is do-able by the level of learner for this MOOC.

3.  Establish a linked site within the platform for learners to post their artefact where others can see it.  .

(Possibly create a site such as Padlet for learners to post their artefact )

4.  Create a thread in the forum for discussion on the contributions, make suggestions to take them further.  




h8717open - Openness to Education had learners created artefacts as a response to a learning activity, the media used was the learners' choice and they were encouraged to experiment with the form of response.  This catalysed considerable discussion in the various social media forums, e.g. Google+




Data and References


Author(s): Yishay Mor, Steven Warburton
Published at: 18 Mar 2019 14:39 GMT
Original link (login required): https://ilde.upf.edu/moocs/pg/lds/view/2119/