Hi Everyone!

I’m Barb Oakley, an instructor on Coursera. I’ve learned so much about MOOCs from Dhawal and Patsy. I have trouble finishing MOOCs that I start–in fact, although I love the Mountains 101 MOOC, I’ve only gotten halfway through it! I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy the camaraderie of this group–and it will help me finish the course!



It’s so nice to see you here, Barb! Coincidentally, I’d just brought up LHTL in my own introduction, a bit higher in this thread. :blush:

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Part of what’s so nice coming here is seeing so many old friends here!


Hey All , Dilrukshi from Colombo Sri Lanka , currently a postdoc in Tokyo Tech
I did my Ph.D. researching MOOCs, and particularly how do we bring social presence to the participants.
I started MOOCing :wink: in 2012 and finished 56 courses and unfinished about 100+ :wink: I love the early MOOCs where there were many conversations back n forth discussing, networking than just content. I miss that.


It’s lovely to see you here Dilrukshi! Your Ph.D. research sounds interesting :owl:

Hi everyone - my name is David Hik, and I am one of the instructors and co-creators of Mountains 101 (along with Zac Robinson and a talented group of colleagues - you will meet them in the course). And I am really looking forward to meeting all you as part of this Study Group! I think this is a great idea, so thanks to Class Central for organizing this.

I have been conducting research on the ecology of mountain environments for over 30 years in Canada and other parts of the world. Mountains 101 is our attempt to provide a wholistic overview of mountain environments from a variety of different perspectives. In creating Mountains 101 we had a number of important partners including Parks Canada, the Alpine Club of Canada, the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, and our production team at Onlea. Since we launched the course in January 2017 over 60,000 students from 180 countries have participated, and nearly 10,000 have ‘graduated’! So @barboakley welcome back! And you too Pat! And of course welcome to everyone else who has introduced themselves so far.

In addition to Mountains 101 I have been involved in the production of another MOOC as well - Sheep in the Land of Fire and Ice - Free Online Course: Sheep in the Land of Fire and Ice from edX | Class Central, and in my day job as Associate Dean (Academic) at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia have been exploring opportunities to capture (or package) some of the new online teaching materials that were created over the past year during the pandemic into new MOOCs. So would love to hear from you what new courses (and formats) you would like to see in the future.

But for now, looking forward to meeting as part of this Mountains 101 Study Group. And please encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up too - the more the merrier!


Welcome, @DavidHik ! I loved Sheep in the Land of Fire and Ice too :sheep:

Hello everyone. I’m Hamish. I’m from the UK, but have been working as a private tutor in Thailand for quite a while. I’ve been doing MOOCs continuously since 2011 and have finished around 400 so far, from pretty well every platform I can find…coursera, edx, futurelearn, canvas, udacity, udemy, saylor, open2study (sadly gone now) and others. I mainly do humanities, social science, and environmental courses. I’ve also been a TA/mentor on a range of courses. As has been noted, the community aspect of MOOCs has declined, although some courses on futurelearn still have it.
Mountains 101 is a course I started when it first came out, but did not complete (there have been many more than those 400 like this). So this seems like a perfect time to try again, especially as we are in effective lockdown in Bangkok for the foreseeable future.
Good to see Barbara Oakley here, and I promise to re-engage as a mentor on LHTL now I’m freer again.


That’s really impressive. Welcome to the study group!

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Barb! How can you even have the time to do a course! Don’t you have books to write or new courses to record???

For those who don’t know Barb check out her body of work here:

Thanks @DavidHik for being so gracious and joining our experiment. Really looking forward to starting the course.

Hi Hamish, I think we’ve met in some mooc somewhere, maybe philosophy? You seem to have taken pretty much all of them (wow), so the odds are high we’ve crossed paths at some point.

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It’s very encouraging to see one of the instructors here - thanks for joining us!


Hah hah–it’s not me here, it is actually my pre-programmed simulacrum! It’s bots all the way down…


Hamish, it would be great to have you back! Actually, it might be even better if you were a pre-mentor on the specialization “Uncommon Sense Teaching” that I’m working on now. It would be wonderful to get your feedback on how it’s developing, and new ideas you might have to make the course even better, arising your vast repertoire of how others are creating their MOOCs.

Barb, I would be honoured (or even honored) to help in any way I can. I have read the prepublication blurb for your upcoming book. It sounds fascinating and I’ll be especially interested to see what you recommend about motivating students to learn online. Here in Thailand, the more often the schools are closed for covid (third time currently), the harder it is to motivate most of my students. Yet with some, the isolation seems to motivate them more to study online. I’d love to be able to understand why this happens.
Let me know the best way to contact you.

Hello …I am Armando from Toronto, looking forward to learning and having meaningful conversations with all of you!


Hi Everyone,

I am Talha - a grad student from Pakistan. To be honest, the Friday Greetings from Learning How to Learn got me anxious about this course. It would be a special experience to share a class with Prof. Barbara herself and so many amazing people.


Welcome, @ArSan ! Lovely to meet you from the other side of the world.

Hello @talhairfan ! Learning How to Learn is one of my favourite courses :grinning:

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