Features

iversity designs courses so that they offer interactive elements, keeping you in touch with other users and the professors. After reading the previous two articles of our series, Breaking Down the 90-minute Lecture and Customising Learning, maybe you found yourself thinking, “Ok, you had me at free, accessible and adaptive online education, but interacting with professors and other students is crucial for learning.” We could not agree more.

Discussion Forum: Don’t hate, rate!

Linked to either the overall chapter platform or to the individual unit, users and professors can communicate via a discussion forum. Here you can post a question or answer questions already posted. Users can then rate the answers, causing the best ones to “bubble up” to the top of the list. Besides being made aware of the hot issues inspiring the course, the professor can mark an answer as correct, pushing it to the top of the list. This isn’t about trolling, this is about taking the course material even further by sharing knowledge with each other.

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Peer-to-peer assessments: Two heads are better than one

There are three types of assessments offered in our MOOCs: quizzes, homework assignments and exams. Quizzes are an element of a unit, simply there to keep you on top of the course material. A course unit can also present you with a homework assignment instead of a lecture video. An exam is a chapter of its own, normally given at the end of the course. Homework assignments and exams can follow three types of assessment forms: multiple choice, open answer or peer-to-peer. Peer-to-peer assessment is another feature that facilitates course user interaction. This means that you will be given coursework from other users to assess, while others assess yours. So, not only are you are able to receive feedback from the professor, but from your fellow students as well.

Extra resources: Sharing is caring

Finally, you also have the chance to interact via extra course material: you, other users and the professor can share papers, articles, videos and other helpful materials as the course moves along. In the end, every MOOC develops a unique collection of knowledge as shared information is expanded upon by you and the other users while the course advances.

Want to experience what learning at iversity is like for yourself?  Find the MOOC that fits you and enrol today!

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Courses at iversity are adaptive. This means: Material can be customised to fit the different levels of knowledge that students have when entering a course. If you followed our previous blog post, Breaking down the 90-minute lecture, you already have some idea about what iversity’s online-learning course structure looks like. Now we want to take you a step further and highlight the adaptive learning features that are available to enhance your learning experience.

It’s not you, it’s me: Shaping the course material, not the user

iversity orients its units in order to keep you engaged and this means keeping you interested in the material. So how do you make one course maintain the interest of so many different people?  Unlike at the university, where prerequisites make sure that participants are more or less on the same level, with MOOCs, students come from all over the world, from all sorts of walks of life. iversity doesn’t want to change this – it is our core belief to make our MOOCs accessible to everyone – but we can change how you interact with the material. Adaptive 101 is a feature iversity offers course professors to allow you to manage course material according to your own educational background.

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Adaptive 101: Focus on what you’re ready to learn

So what can Adaptive 101 offer you exactly? Let's say you enrol in a course about photography. First, you have to start with the basics, learning about what a camera is, how it works and how to hold it. It might be rather boring for a trained physicist to learn about what a camera is, while likewise, learning how to hold a camera might simply be repetitive for an experienced amateur photographer. Adaptive 101 allows you to take a pre-quiz, and if you pass, you can skip that unit’s material and it will be marked complete. Therefore, you have more time to concentrate on the things that you are ready to learn, by skipping over the things you already know.

But pre-quizzes are not only beneficial because of the possibility of skipping a unit, it may also serve as a helpful primer: whether you pass the pre-quiz or not, you are able to get an idea about what to expect in that unit and it may even awaken a new interest in the given subject.

Can’t wait to start your next MOOC? Try out the learning experience for yourself, browse our course catalogue and enrol today!

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If you’re new to iversity, it may be helpful to know a bit about what our MOOC-based online learning platform looks like. Not everyone is familiar with online learning, and indeed, one can become easily overwhelmed by all the different platforms that vary in both style and structure. So, let’s take a closer look and make sure you have a better idea about what to expect after enrolling in your first MOOC.

Course chapters: Learning works best when it comes in small doses

Falling asleep during a lecture is embarrassing, especially if you snore or wake up after the lecture hall has already emptied. But at iversity, courses will keep you on your toes. This is possible because our MOOCs break down lectures into digestible, interactive and engaging pieces. Courses are made up of chapters, each constituting the equivalent of a real-life 90-minute lecture. But instead of listening to the same dull voice for 90 minutes, these chapters are broken into approximately 10 units, each unit with just a 3 to 5-minute segment of the entire lecture. Therefore, our MOOCs make new information easy to handle and exciting.

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Courses are broken down into chapters

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Course units break the content down into smaller pieces

Chapter units: Get a quick grasp on the course content

The units within a MOOC chapter first provide you with a main lecture source, usually a video clip of about 3-5 minutes. This video can come in the form of a lecture, an interview or even a discussion, depending on how the professor envisions the best way to introduce the unit’s material. Units also test your knowledge with a quiz, making sure you stay on top of the new content. Once you have passed the quiz, the unit is marked complete. If you want to take the topic even further, you will find additional resources, articles or video links, allowing you to dive even deeper into the material.

You may be telling yourself now: a lecture hall may be boring, but at least I can engage with other students. We do not want to replace the university system, but we do work to make our MOOC units interactive. You can find a discussion forum that allows you to post questions, respond to your fellow course participants' posts and even rate the best questions and answers. Some MOOCs even offer peer-to-peer assessments of user coursework. We will get to that in more detail soon, so stay tuned!

Check out the iversity learning experience for yourself and enrol in your favorite courses.

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