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In Massive Online Course Offered By Stanford, Teams ­nleash Diverse Approaches to Creativity

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Stanford Professor Tina Seelig

"This course was . . . the students' crash course on creativity, and it was my crash course on online learning," says Stanford Professor Tina Seelig.

Credit: Stanford University

An online course on creativity open to thousands of students worldwide proved a unique teaching and learning experience that will help shape the future of online education, says Stanford University professor Tina Seelig, who offered the eight-week course in the fall quarter.

One of the largest challenges was forming global teams, and Seelig allowed some teams to form on their own and also relied on Venture Lab software to create teams using algorithms based on self-submitted student data. Some teams with large discrepancies in time spent on class work experienced frustration, and Seelig says next time she will allow students to choose teammates themselves after completing a few individual assignments and will keep the same teams intact throughout the course.

Seelig says her student survey provided invaluable feedback and she has ideas to improve future courses, such as using teaching assistants to help provide feedback and offering one-week modules in lieu of lectures to enable students to access class information at any time. "This new platform gives us the opportunity to rethink every variable of teaching: the number of students, the number of classes, the length of each class, evaluations," Seelig says.

From Stanford University 
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