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Harvard Asks Alumni for Help With Humanities MOOC

Harvard University on Monday asked alumni who had taken a certain humanities course at the institution to volunteer as online mentors and managers in a free version of the class that the university recently opened online. The course, “The Ancient Greek Hero,” is being offered on edX, a platform for massive open online courses that the university founded last year in concert with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The university’s e-mail to alumni said the work would require three to five hours per week, and volunteers who express interest will be screened before participating.

Claudia Filos, editor of content and social media for the course, said that in some MOOCs, discussions “tend to run off the rails.” The hope for the Greek heroes class is to have enough people monitoring — asking pointed questions, highlighting smart comments — to prevent that from happening.

About 10 of Dr. Nagy’s former teaching fellows in the class will direct discussions, with help from a larger, still-undetermined number of former students. Both groups will work unpaid; the e-mail to alumni said the work would require three to five hours a week.

Read more at: www.nytimes.com

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