When organizers launched the University of Iowa’s first Massive Open Online Course — better known as a MOOC — they figured participation would rise initially and then level out.

That hasn’t been the case, the Iowa City Press Citizen reports.

Now in its second-to-the-last week, participation in Every Atom: Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” continues to rise, reaching more than 2,100 people at last count. The six-week course offered through UI’s International Writing Program has used video lectures, live breakout sessions and moderated online discussions to guide participants from across the globe through Whitman’s epic poem.

“We had hoped for great conversation, but it has been extraordinarily exciting to see how deeply engaged people are and posting so many different perspectives,” said Susannah Shive, IWP’s distance learning coordinator. “We thought it would be a gradual evolution of interest. It’s exciting to see so many people wanting to share.”

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