Online Classes Get a Missing Piece: Teamwork

Marguerite McNeal, EdSurge, Sept 30, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Audrey Watters gasps, "Can you believe no one has ever thought about adding 'social' to online education until now?!" It boggles the mind, to be sure. But Carolyn Rosé's project is a bit more interesting than that. The EdSurge article discussing Bazaar misrepresents the real story. Of course, everyone would like to see more social interaction in online learning and people have been working on this for decades. What's unique here is that students can "enter an online chat group where they discuss and apply what they learned [and a] computer agent—a chatbot—prompts them to discuss amongst each other." The chatbot is the focus of the Bazaar project mentioned in the article. Here's the GitHub. It's related to their wider DANCE project - Discussion Affordances for Natural Collaborative Exchange, which is an effort to promote similar interactivity inside EdX.

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