OCW People's Choice Award Winner: Best Student Participation
Aug 17, 2011
One concern that often arises with OpenCourseWare is how to best simulate classroom interaction. Students learning online often don't have the same opportunities to engage with their peers and instructors that students in a traditional classroom do. The nominees in this category are improving the interactive quality of OCW for all learners.
Our readers voted this innovative online study group to the top of the competitive Best Student Participation category, and it's easy to see why. Harnessing the collaborative powers of the Internet, OpenStudy allows students to give and receive homework help from other members of what voter Rachel Nyingi calls a 'learner-paced' site. Participation isn't limited to students, though - this site works like a social network in which anyone can participate.
There are seven main categories in which you can interact with others, asking, answering or browsing questions and topics. Each category tells you how many students are online in that area, and you can see questions being answered in real time. This is a highly interactive community, with users working on questions, chatting together in the group chat and getting help with everything from math equations to grammar questions.
Finalist: P2PU School of Social Innovation
'I was a student on P2PU School of Social Innovation, and it has helped to shape my perspective and what I think it possible!' -Erin Krampetz
P2PU School of Social Innovation is an innovative new method of self-driven education, P2PU allows users to create different types of communities - from study groups to entire classes - focused on issues they're passionate about. The site's users can involve themselves in the communities that interest them, all of which are focused on social innovations like project management and conflict transformation. Because all courseware is open, it's all available to be transformed or 'remixed' into a format most helpful to each user.
SNOWBALLS was designed for Japanese college students, SNOWBALLS turns learning technical English vocabulary into a game. Students can compete against each other for high scores, earn points to make their in-game avatars look spiffy and test their own knowledge of skills in a fun way. Throughout its entire developed SNOWBALLS has been driven by student input; they're the ones who suggest helpful and fun features to benefit the next wave of users. One voter called it an 'effective and entertaining way to learn the nuances of English vocabulary.'