It seems clear that the Coursera forum tool was built to facilitate factual questions and answers, not conversations or connections. Our EDCMOOC participants are trying to push it much further, and the cracks are definitely showing. Here’s my shortlist of things that Coursera could do to make their forum tool more conducive to networking and conversation. We’ll be passing these on to the Coursera team. Many of these points are pulled from suggestions in the EDCMOOC ‘feedback to Coursera’ forum, and additional suggestions or comments are welcome. I’ll probably add to this post over the next few days, too.
Implement a ‘follow’ button so people can keep track of others they want to read more from.
The profile page should show all of the posts from that person.
Need to be able to favourite and link back to particular posts and store those favourites.
Results need to indicate which subforum a thread is in.
Subforums should be searchable.
Need the ability to search within a particular thread.
Need to be able to search by member of the class including yourself and see all of someone’s posts.
Should be collapsible for easier reading.
It should be possible to reply to a comment.
As many threads are very long, subscribing to just a post and its comments would be useful.
Daily summary of forum post threads to which you subscribe.
When a new post notification arrives by email, the link should take you directly to that post (not just to the thread).
Sort across a forum or all forums to see posts in date order.
The ability to sort by top votes.
an optional grouping mechanism, where randomised groups of any size (determined by the teachers?) can be either automatically created, or people can choose to be allocated to one.
a mechanism for people to create groups (geographical, topical and so on) and invite others to join.