Why we did the Groups service.
We believe, Self-organized learning groups must become new trend in the near future.
In recent years we have seen a MOOC boom, however, it didn’t change an education a lot. We expected more from it. There are different reasons. On our opinion one of biggest problems is motivation of online learners. When you are alone it is really difficult to choose the right way to study online. Too many different offers, a learner is lost and disappointed.
In our vision of future of education important role will play self-organized education groups without tutor. It is the way to confront disorder in offers of MOOC providers. A group of people who plan to learn same subject will join to study together.
Such model of learning must be the golden mean between traditional class with a teacher and individual online learning.
As an option, a group can invite a mentor who points a group to correct resources/projects without controlling each action as a teacher does.
The aim of the Groups service is to make a group self-administrating as easy as possible. Usually, in such groups there is no a teacher or a tutor or a person who is responsible for doing a process organization work. So we created the service to automate administration and management of a self-organized groups. So learning of a group of beginners can be effective without a tutor or instructor. But having a “mentor” in a group is also good idea and will be supported. For mentors we offer functionality to save his time and when direct a group members in a correct education way.
How does it work:
a group is created by a user registered on MyEducationPath.com. This user becomes a group administrator;
a group can be public or private;
a group is world wide or local in some area;
a group is specified with a description, keywords, target, associated subject and jobs, work language;
sections of a group are: events, challenges, forum, resources, courses.
Group forum. This is the discussion board where a group members discuss what to learn what what sources to use for learning. This is the main place to exchange thoughts and plan a group work.
Group events. The tool to schedule group events like video calls, voice calls, web chats, real meetings etc. A group members can comments events, declare if they will take part and so on.
Group challenges. This are the list of tasks/steps to learn the subject. Members discuss challenges and an administrator list them. After this each group member should complete a challenge and mark as completed or skip. This group functionality is needed to understand a path for learning and to show a group members progress. Challenges can be to learn some online lesson or course, to read some book chapter, to do some project etc.
Group resources. While learning or discussing a group members can find useful web resources and share with other. So each group has the list of resources . The list is modified and extended all time during learning.
Courses. A group can find some good online courses most useful for members and agreed to be favoured in the group. The list of courses is created while learning and groups too. This list can work as recommendation for a “next generation” of a group members.
All these tools helps to organize and manage a group. Such format of learning allows to study without a tutor or instructor using the “Collective Intelligence” to find the right direction for learning.
As an alternative, a group can invite some expert to help to find the right direction. And this expert will not need to spend a lot of time. Just point members to correct resources and prepare correct challenges using existent web resources. Then back next week, see questions, explain errors and point to next set of resources.
Read the Group service manual