LearnTogether - Online Study Groups for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

Created by Michael Kolodny.

I'm a Developer in New York, NY. I work at theCoursepack. I earned a B.A. from McGill University.

Project Description

LearnTogether provides online study groups for students who are taking Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Students can use LearnTogether to find great online courses to take. Once you sign up, you are enrolled in a study group that happens once a week. These study groups can be used for mutual help and support with your courses. A game layer is provided on top of these study groups, with students giving each other points for great participation.

The attrition rate for MOOCs is ridiculously high - only 10% of students who start MOOCs finish them. Lifelong learners get excited to start online courses, but don't have the support group to finish them. When you take a MOOC alone, it's easy to sign up for courses, and then never look at them again. We hope that LearnTogether will give students of MOOCs the community they need, and raise the attrition rate even a few percent.

We'd love to make the study group experience really fun. We're providing gaming elements which incentivize great, continuous participation. Getting help expanding that gaming layer would improve these study groups dramatically, and, we hope, significantly increase the number of students who finish their online courses.

Project Goals

  • Release a first version of the study groups for community feedback.

  • Add gaming elements to make online study groups fun.

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Gary Foley

This is just what I have been looking for. It isn't either/or on-line course work.. we need both to really offer students an outstanding educational experience. But, the greatest fear is the way on-line courses will be used in communities of color and communities of poverty.
Join online learning with company.


Lisa Huang

Hi Michael/Dawa - I've been very interested in a similar concept for a while now, and am looking to build a company/organization around it. Would love to discuss more if you're still interested in getting involved in some capacity. Ping me at lisaxhuang at gmail



Godslove Chinekwe

so are you still looking for a designer for this?


Michael Kolodny  PROJECT CREATOR

Hey Godslove,

We've put this project on hold for now. I'll definitely let you know if we pick it back up again.



Audrey L.


I'm exploring the space of web apps to enhance and support MOOCs such as this one that you created. I was wondering what your experience was like in creating this app: What challenges did you encounter and what was the response/reaction like? I'd appreciate any feedback you have. Hope to hear back from you soon.



Michael Kolodny  PROJECT CREATOR

Hi Audrey,

I'd say that our greatest challenges were:

How can we structure these online study groups to encourage participation and communication?
What will students talk about during the study groups?
How can we get students to keep coming back?

The response was positive, but we still hadn't really ironed out our answers to those questions. I was also surprised how few people out at the hackathon had hear about MOOCs.

Hope that helps!


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