The Mechanical MOOC and OpenStudy

This post is part of a series that expands on Dave Cormier’s Youtube video “Success in a MOOC” and applies his advice to the upcoming Mechanical MOOC about the Python programming language.  Cormier breaks down online learning success into five steps: Orient, Declare, Network, Cluster and Focus.  This post offers a quick orientation to OpenStudy.

Belinha has more than good looks

You’ll get through the course with a little help from your friends!

An Atlanta-based company made up of folks from Emory and Georgia Tech, OpenStudy has received support from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Georgia Research Alliance (pretty impressive endorsements!).

To use the site, you have to set up account and user profile.  You can connect your OpenStudy account to your Facebook profile, allowing you to log in using your Facebook credentials.  I found the Account Settings page a little glitchy in Chrome, but it works fine in the Firefox browser.  Once your account is set up, you can start asking and answering questions.

A quick way to find the pages for the MIT OCW courses is to visit the mMOOC’s profile page and look at the “Most Active Subjects” section.

Many of the questions and answers posted are from people who have been reviewing the OCW materials on their own, though a few recent questions were clearly posted by participants in the mMOOC.  There are also students posting questions who are taking the same MIT course on EdX, which started this week.  I’m interested to see how these groups interact on the site.

Open Study has a Code of Conduct which they summarize with the three points below.  The CoC is very readable (not legalese or “fine print”) and is worth the attention of both experienced and novice learners.

  • Be Nice
  • Give Help, Not Answers
  • Thank Others for Their Help

photo credit: betta design via photopin cc


About Claudia Scholz

Higher education professional in Atlanta, GA specializing in faculty development and research administration.
This entry was posted in Learning to Code, MOOCs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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