SOLE meets MOOC: designing infrastructure for online self-organised learning with a social mission

Hanna Celina, Ahmed Kharrufa, Anne Preston, Rob Comber, Patrick Olivier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We present the design, deployment and evaluation of three configurations of an online learning activity for would-be social innovators and activists, with the aim of understanding the factors that are critical to the design of an infrastructure to support such communities of learners. Our research was inspired and motivated by the example of SOLEs (self-organised learning environments) and builds upon the experiences of early connectivist MOOCs (massive open online courses). Our configurations were used to deliver three pilot courses on the topic of Sustainable Development, in partnership with United World Colleges (an organisation of international schools). Our work is distinctive in putting a focus on civic engagement and the autonomy of student learners throughout the course. Our primary design goals were to enable activist empowerment, self-organized learning, and the creation of social bonds to facilitate a lasting and self-sufficient international activist community. We base our analysis on a sample of 114 active learners and 33 mentors; including data from 223 applications, 705 Facebook posts, 48 participant survey responses and a variety of quantitative metrics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems
EditorsWendy Ju, Ronald Schroeter, Stephen Viller
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450340311
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventDesigning Interactive Systems 2016 - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 4 Jun 20168 Jun 2016


ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems 2016
Abbreviated titleDIS 2016
Internet address


  • Activism
  • Civic education
  • Civic engagement
  • E-learning
  • MOOC
  • Online learning
  • SOLE

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