Hi, I’m Vanessa and I build learning communities for Peer 2 Peer University. We’re using Discourse for our internal community and for our project-based moocs like Learning Creative Learning. We’re also working with Mozilla on setting up their Discourse install for Webmaker and NYU for Play With Your Music. We’re very “discursive”
I’m looking for some help / advice for designing the UX with some thinking towards pedagogy. To wit:
- Cohorts: what’s the most graceful way to form cohorts? I was thinking of a.) assigning separate threads within a category (but then learners don’t cross-pollinate), b.) asking people what their interest is (metal music, css) and waiting until 3 people like it to create the sub-category (but then they feel less in control of it/it’s not emergent). Other suggestions?
- Categories: We’ve decided to make a category for each module–that way we can run the courses over and over. Is there a better way to do this?
- Adding resources: Should this be its own category or woven throughout the topics?
- Category display: what’s the benefit of showing the top 5 posts in each category? Diversity within the topic? Sample posts?
- Avatars per category: do the top 5 posters automatically show up? Is there a way to change this to make it more inviting to new folks / doesn’t look like a select few are dominating the conversation?
- Moderation: when folks complete the course, we were thinking about giving them full moderation privs. Benefits and drawbacks to that?
- Accessibility. We try to think about Universal Design for Learning, so we like that links expand and that the information appears contextually. What other ways have folks used Discourse to be inclusive of different types of community members (shy, color-blind, visual learners, etc).
Learning communities are really communities of practice, so there’s a lot of overlap as far as community design principles. Thought folks here would have some tasty expertise. Merci!
EDIT: I bet @lightyear has some good ideas here