Creating Community Via Synchronous Video Chat: MOOC's and more!

Concurrent Session 8

Brief Abstract

Learn how the Cornellx MOOC team and Bryan Alexander, commonly creditted with being on the founding members of the MOOC, are utilizing Shindig's interactive video chat to create interactive and engaged communities.


Dr. Prusko has over 15 years of experience developing innovative pedagogical approaches using multiple modalities. She holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.), and Business Management (MBA) from Union College, and Curriculum and Instruction (Ph.D.) from University at Albany. As Associate Director of Learning Design within the Harvard Graduate School of Education Dr. Prusko oversees the design, development and project management of online and technology enhanced courses. Prior to her current role, Dr. Prusko worked as an Instructional Designer at Cornell University in the Center for Teaching Innovation, and as a faculty member at State University of New York, Empire State College, Center for Distance Learning and International Programs. Her current research focuses on course and system level structures that support inclusive, transformational learning experiences for all students, especially first generation and underrepresented student populations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. She is passionate about increasing global access to STEM education for all women, and believes by increasing access to education for women we can enable more communities across the globe to thrive and flourish.
Bryan Alexander is a futurist, researcher, writer, speaker, consultant, and teacher, working in the field of how technology transforms education. He completed his English language and literature PhD at the University of Michigan in 1997, with a dissertation on doppelgangers in Romantic-era fiction and poetry. Then Bryan taught literature, writing, multimedia, and information technology studies at Centenary College of Louisiana. There he also pioneered multi-campus interdisciplinary classes, while organizing an information literacy initiative. From 2002 to 2014 Bryan worked with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), a non-profit working to help small colleges and universities best integrate digital technologies. With NITLE he held several roles, including co-director of a regional education and technology center, director of emerging technologies, and senior fellow. Over those years Bryan helped develop and support the nonprofit, grew peer networks, consulted, and conducted a sustained research agenda. In 2013 Bryan launched a business, Bryan Alexander Consulting, LLC. Through BAC he consults throughout higher education in the United States and abroad. Bryan also speaks widely and publishes frequently. His two most recent books are Gearing Up For Learning Beyond K-12 and The New Digital Storytelling.

Extended Abstract

Building relationships online isn't easy, building communities is event harder. No more than ever online learners demand an interactive and dynamic experience. The interactivity void in traditional modes on online learning grows larger and larger. Now teachers and innovators are turning to synchronous interactive video to create meaninful bonds and social inclusion within online learning enviroments to combat poor retention rates and help increase student satisfaction.

While asynchronous video is a prominent method of delivering course content to students it does not enage them in the exchange of ideas. Tt is a one way method of communication and learning. For auto-dydacs this is sufficient, for the remaing 90% of students who rely on collaboration, peer guidance and interaction this is not an appropiate method for learning.

Bryan Alexander, futurist and an early pioneer in MOOCs, and Patrice Torcivia Prusko, Design, Production and Support MOOCs, Online Courses and Digital Initiatives at Cornell University will review leading tools and technologies that are helping educators and innovators to creating online communities leading to better learning outcomes and satisfaction.