MOOC Profs Supplement Coursera Discussions With Town Hall
Here's how Ohio State University's online course on tech for city planning used MindMixer's civic engagement app.
The result of the MindMixer civic engagement structure was a deeper discussion and "five to 10 times more engagement than we expected," Crowley said. "I've enrolled a number of other MOOC courses to see what works well, and our students are by far the most engaged in discussion [compared to other] courses I've participated in."
The instructors tried to estimate how many "engagement points" students were likely to earn in a week through the MindMixer gamification system, making those points redeemable in a "rewards store" where rewards included things like a one-on-one Skype session with Crowley. But it turned out their estimates were way too low. "The rewards store sold out in a day," she said.
MindMixer CEO Nick Bowden said he is interested in MOOC environments as a potential additional market for his software. High engagement is "one of the missing components in MOOCs" and one MindMixer was able to supply in this case as "an engagement sidecar to Coursera."
MindMixer is designed to allow city planners to solicit ideas for specific urban challenges and identify those worthy of taking action on. It also includes a photo sharing feature, which, in the context of the course, was used to solicit ideas about technological adoption in a city, with photos of instances of those ideas being put into practice. "It's a platform for broadening discussion of good ideas," Bowden said.
MindMixer worked with the Coursera engineers on the integration, but the service did not actually replace the Coursera discussion boards. Instead, the integration was at the level of single sign-on, allowing students to sign into the MindMixer service with their Coursera accounts. Crowley said the class still used the Coursera discussion board for technical support issues with the course, but students were directed to click through to the MindMixer app for the course's more topical discussions.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
CIOs Get Smart About BIIT’s tried for years to simplify business intelligence efforts. Have visual analysis tools and Hadoop and NoSQL databases helped? Respondents to our 2014 InformationWeek Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Information Management Survey have a mixed outlook.
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?