By Steve Kolowich
In a pilot program with Coursera, the New York Public Library plans to organize meet-ups at which people taking massive open online courses can gather and discuss the courses with help from “trained facilitators.”
The partnership is part the MOOC company’s effort to build an infrastructure for in-person learning around its free online courses. Research has suggested that MOOC students who receive offline help earn higher scores on their assessments.
Coursera is not paying the library to provide this service, says Luke Swarthout, the library’s director of adult-education services. The library plans to foot the bill for weekly discussion groups as part of its own public-service mission, he says, adding: “There’s no money exchanging hands between anybody.”
[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/new-york-public-library-plans-face-to-face-classes-for-mooc-students/52147 ]