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We will organize our work in MOOC-based courses as described below.

This organization gives students an educational experience similar to the Oxford tutorial model.

Study groups

Students taking a MOOC should form study groups. (See NovoEd.) Each week, each study group should get together and discuss the homework assignment for the week. The purpose of a study group is to help its members understand the material, complete the assignments, and prepare for their discussions with me.

Each group member should take it as his/her goal to prepare all the other group members for their meeting with me. Do what you can to help the other study group members do well when they meet with me. You might organize the group meetings along those lines: practice how you will explain the homework exercises to me.

Meetings with me

Everyone taking the MOOC should plan to get together with me to explain the weekly assignments. These explanations (not the grades from the organization offering the MOOC) will be the basis of evaluation at CSULA.

We can do these explanations either in person at school or via Google Hangout.

I'll leave it to you to tell me when you want to do your explanations—although it will be better if we settle on a regular time for each person each week. I'll do my best to accommodate your schedules. I will be available at various hours during the day, some evenings, and over the weekends.

You can schedule the explanations either individually or in groups, but with no more than 3 people in a group. If you do the explanations in a group, each person is responsible for the entire assignment. The point is not to split up the exercises among the group. The purpose for meeting in a group is mutual support so you won't feel that you are facing me all alone. I may ask anyone in the group to explain any exercise—and perhaps to explain an exercise that someone else already explained.

When we get together, bring your computers so that you can demonstrate your running programs and so that we can experiment with alternatives. (Google Hangout supports shared screens.)

Although this is not a hard rule, let's plan for approximately 20 - 30 minutes per person.


Each week I'll give each person one of the following grades.

  -   no credit for the week. I'll expect you to try again later. To get credit for the class, all weeks should have grades of either C or E. A "-" is not really a grade and does not count against you if you get a C or E later.
  C   credit for the week. If each week eventually has a C grade, no matter how many "-" marks preceded it, your course grade will be B.
  E   excellent explanation. If you eventually receive all E grades, your course grade will be A. (Combinations of E and C will be averaged to a grade in the A - B range.)

It is possible to pass the course even if there are some weeks with only "-" marks. In that case your grade may be less than B.