Learning on the internet can be quite a lonely activity. Although invented in 2012, when the social web was already fully blooming, Massive Open Online Courses completely missed out on the opportunities that social media could have provided to enrich the learning experience. Unfortunately, so did iversity in its first years on the market.
When I took over the product lead, I decided to shift the platform from lonely learning to social learning. At that time, our course development team was already recommending an approach called participatory pedagogy to our course partners, viewing the learner as an active constructor of knowledge who learns with and from others. However, the platform didn‘t reflect this yet.
The core idea to change this was a feature called learning journal: a course blog that students could use to take notes, collect assignments, share them with the course community and follow other people‘s learning process. Later, we even added a feature called video journal, allowing students to record video post directly from their browser.
Over the course of two years, the learning journal completely changed the way we thought about course design. Creation and discourse became the center of our courses and this approach was well adopted by course partners and learners alike, even those in a corporate context.
Role: Product Lead