Design your course

The Mechanical MOOC is built around the idea that the web is a pretty good platform and that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Because of that approach using the Mechanical MOOC for a course will require using multiple tools for the different pieces of a big open online course.

The landing page. The Mechanical MOOC gives you a place where you can tell people what your course is about. If you use the recommended deployment method this page should be able to hold up to reasonably high spikes in traffic.

Signup. This is also part of the Mechanical MOOC. Users sign up right on the landing page, fill in some info if you want and then they are watching Vanilla Ice! Nice!

Sending emails. The next bit the Mechanical MOOC does for you is send out emails to everyone who signed up for a course. You can author your emails in a WYSIWYG editor and schedule them to be delivered in the future.

The content. While it is possible to put some content on the Mechanical MOOC itself, this hasn’t been the way we used it, most content lived on other platforms. For the content you need to host, you can use a tool like WordPress or GithubPage.

The community. The Mechanical MOOC gives you some tools to help users establish identity in your course in the form of a collaborative class photo. But hosting the community is best done using an existing social media site. We’ve used Google+, Twitter, SoundCloud and OpenStudy in the past. The right tool will depend on the community you are targeting and what they are comfortable with. You may end up using more that one tool.

There are many other good tools that you can use that will depend on the way your course is set up and the topic of your course. We’ve used online sound editing tools, online coding sites and a few other tools in a bunch of different courses.

If running your course like this makes sense to you, you should proceed with setting up the Mechanical MOOC. You can find instructions on how to do that here. If you need assistance with this, you can reach out to us for help, advice on this thread in the P2PU forum.