Report on the 2019 Synergia MOOC

The 2019 MOOC was a great success. Marketed through practitioner networks, Synergia attracted some 1100 participants, from 40 plus countries.

The participants posted over 1500 discussion entries during the eight modules, some succinct, some pages long!

The development of this MOOC (Towards Cooperative Commonwealth: Transition in a Perilous Century) started in 2016. We designed and pre-tested a prototype with 40 colleagues working in different sectors ( solidarity economy, commons, environment, community development and more) from Europe, Oceania and North America. Based on what we learned, we started extensive revisions to prepare for a free public offering for 7 weeks in April and May 2017. That offering attracted 500 registrants from every continent. Evaluations were positive but we collected feedback on many ways to improve. We redesigned with a sharper focus on systems change. We added more open source materials. We included new exercises. We added a module on work and livelihood. All volunteer work, this took us much of 2018. The new version was loaded online in early 2019.

Promotion of the 2019 MOOC began three months before start up. Practitioner team members leveraged contacts across regional, national, continental and international networks where we already had some profile as leaders, speakers and authors. Of the 1100 people who registered, we estimate 90% came from this effort. Working with networks and alumni is strategic to advancing our work with you to generate systems change. Athabasca University and Canvas also help us with marketing.

In 2019 we changed up the pacing based on participant advice. We ran the first four modules of the MOOC for 4 weeks (we scheduled 5 hours per week), took a four-week break, and then offered the last four modules. We started March 25 2019 with a plan to end late June. Participants asked us to keep the course open, so we did so until late mid-September, 2019. Overall, 800 registrants actually dug into the MOOC, some for a few hours, some for hundreds of hours. (See full report here).

Most important, starting with the 2nd four-week set of modules until the end of the course, some 368 people remained engaged on line. Their feedback has been especially helpful, filled with suggested new resources, calls for additional directions, a few well-placed critical prods, and some amazing positive endorsements encouraging us to continue the work.

LINK to course materials and you tube videos