Mohamed Noor ran a second Google Hangout On-Air as part of his second run of the Introduction to Genetics and Evolution class offered on Coursera. The hangout was a follow-up to Duke’s first-ever Coursera hangout, and gives small glimpse into the widely international audience that have actively participated in MOOCs taught by Duke faculty. Nine people from around the world joined with Professor Noor and course teaching assistant Heidi Cederholm. Students from Belarus, Spain, Australia, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, and all parts of the United States introduced themselves and got to know each other better through this video conversation. While their backgrounds and motivations for taking the course were numerous, many of the students voiced their appreciation for the interactive elements and content of the class, and for the time and effort put forth by Professor Noor and the Duke staff working to develop the course.
The discussion also included insight from a student in one of Mohamed’s classes, who talked about her experience taking Introduction to Genetics and Evolution in the “flipped classroom” model and how the Coursera class materials factor into the class offered on campus at Duke. You can read more about the “flipped classroom” in Mohamed’s on-campus Duke course in this article from Duke Today
In this example, the Google Hangout video broadcast is embedded on the Coursera course site homepage.
How does a Google Hangout work with a class of thousands of active students? Students taking the course are notified of the Hangout date ahead of time and can submit a request to participate. The participants are emailed instructions for preparing to join the hangout, while the rest of the class receive a link to view the live webcast when it begins. Course staff embed the video broadcast on the course site homepage for easy accessibility when it begins. Students watching the webcast live could post their comments or questions on the course Discussion Forums, the Google+ social network, and the YouTube video comments. A recording of the webcast is available shortly after the broadcast ends, and students who missed the live broadcast can watch it at their leisure.