Special interest discussions
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Design Pattern




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Context: Discussions are a good way to engage learners. In MOOCs too, discussions are used as a pedagogical tool to provide the opportunity for the learners to co-construct knowledge by “talking to” other learners.

Problem: Finding a group of participants with similar interests to one’s own can be difficult in a MOOC discussion. This creates a large number of posts to the discussion but without there being a dialogue. That is, the participants post their views but hardly anyone notices them as there are too many posts to read in order to get to a post that is of interest to you.

Forces: MOOC platforms may or may not support introduction of divisions by the educator team.

Solution: In a MOOC where participants are expected to post in a discussion where the course team identify/anticipate different areas of interest or levels of learners, providing structure to the discussion by grouping discussion areas for special interests groups helps facilitation and learner experience.

Examples: Both in the “H817Open” course and “Begin Programming” course (“Priming the forum” and “Experts’ Corner” narratives) we have observed a marked improvement by introducing structured discussion areas.

Related Pattern: “Drumbeat” http://ilde.upf.edu/moocs/pg/lds/view/2166/

“Celebrity Touch” http://ilde.upf.edu/moocs/pg/lds/view/2398/




Data and References


Author(s): Paige Cuffe, Eileen Kennedy, Yishay Mor, tharindu, Steven Warburton
Published at: 03 Jun 2015 10:35 GMT
Original link (login required): https://ilde.upf.edu/moocs/pg/lds/view/2434/