This semester, I have the good fortune of sitting in on Cathy Davidson and Dan Ariely's meta-MOOC, Surprise Endings: Social Science and Literature. The class explores the ways we understand the world and ourselves–and the many ways we deceive ourselves about what we think we know. Perhaps most importantly, the class is designed to be student-driven, to integrate technology like blogs and videos effectively, and to be shared with the world via a student-created MOOC.
Each week, the students prepare for class by reading literature and social science science articles - augmented with relevant sources like movies, TV shows, or videos on YouTube. Then, the students analyze and synthesize the lessons and themes by posting to the public facing course website, contributing to an active and on-going discussion. Their comments and questions are incorporated into class, where a team of students interviews Ariely and Davidson and edits the interview into a video for the MOOC. Students can also gather questions from the general public from sources such as Twitter (using hashtag #dukesurprise).
The course was featured yesterday on Duke Today, in a story called Teaching 2.0: Make a Class do Cartwheels -- a reference to Cathy's views about student involvement and engagement. I'm embedding the video from the story below so you can get a sense of just how fun and interactive this class can be -- and the kind of stellar thinking the students are doing as they lead the discussion each week.
If you can't see the video, try refreshing the page.