MOOCs are social: It is often envisioned that a MOOC is a series of videos from a teacher that commuters look at distractedly on their way to do other things.
This is far from true. Of course, videos are a necessary starting point but what this experience reinforced is that the MOOC can be a highly social activity, with the forums that went on form day one, where participants discussed topics of the course.
Some participants naturally emerged as experts and actively participated in the discussions by providing answers, which enabled the teaching team to take a back seat from time to time and intervene only when necessary.
This showed in many circumstances that collective intelligence may be greater than that of the teacher, however expert he or she may be. Towards the end, some participants even suggested to organize real meetings in different cities, and five such meetings took place creating new in-person relationships.
This post originally appeared here.