CHS: Small: Learning Communities in the Crowd: Scaling Participation in Online Courses through Social Live Media Composition Grant uri icon


  • This project will develop and evaluate techniques for scaling participation in online education through social composition of live media learning experiences. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have grown engagement in remote education. Yet, MOOCs have primarily been based on the one-way talking heads model, serving curricula using bite-sized chunks of pre-recorded video. The problem is that education has been shown to be based on legitimate peripheral participation in learning communities. This research has the potential to transform online courses beyond talking heads, making them more participatory. Expected significant outcomes are: (1) understanding how social live media composition (SLMC) supports engagement; (2) methods for fostering legitimate peripheral participation in online learning activities; (3) techniques for forming small collaborative groups in online communities; (4) computational techniques to support qualitative and quantitative analysis of live media experiences; (5) techniques for supporting rich expression in online remote computer-supported cooperative work. This research will investigate a new medium of social live media composition that affords collaborative authoring of diagrams connecting live streaming, chat, screen sharing, and web content. As evidenced by recent popularity of live streaming, live media affords the sharing of rich participatory experiences within online communities. Composition is the freeform assembly of component media and annotations to form a connected whole that supports creative cognition of relationships. Composition has been shown, in laboratory and field studies, to support ideation, that is, the imagination, generation, and development of new ideas. The long term objective is to develop new roles for computing in supporting creativity, learning, and participation. The principal research question is how engagement in SLMC will constitute legitimate peripheral participation in online courses and so improve learning. This research will involve these specific aims: (1) Design and develop a social live media composition environment to engage learning communities. (2) Enable participation in learning communities from the crowds of online courses through social sharing and construction of live media compositions. (3) Conduct an iterative crowdsourced study to identify and investigate emergent phenomena in which SLMC supports legitimate peripheral participation in online courses.

date/time interval

  • 2015 - 2020