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Class Central

Class Central Study Groups: Common Questions

They’re like a book club, but instead of reading books, we take online courses with learners worldwide.

Study Group for the online course A Life of Happiness & Fulfillment
Study Group for A Life of Happiness & Fulfillment (ALOHAF)

What are Class Central Study Groups?

Study Groups are an ongoing project at Class Central. You can think of them like a book club, but instead of reading a book, we’re taking an online course together with learners worldwide, supporting each other through a discussion forum, and meeting weekly for a Zoom chat.

How did Study Groups come to be?

In 2020, a group of Class Central colleagues formed an internal study group: we began taking online courses together and meeting via Zoom to discuss what we were learning. The new, open Study Groups are simply an attempt to expand the experience to learners worldwide.

How do Study Groups work?

The Study Group has three main components:

  • An online course — that we’re all taking, following a common study schedule.
  • A discussion forum — where we discuss our learning and support each other.
  • Weekly Zoom sessions — where we chat with other study group members.

For instance, in our inaugural study group, we took the online course Mountains 101, following this schedule, supporting each other via this forum, and holding five Zoom sessions.

Mountains 101 Study Group: first Zoom session

How do I enroll in a Study Group?

Combined, the course, the forum, and the Zoom sessions form the Study Group. However, these elements live on separate platforms. For example, in the ALOHAF Study Group, we’re:

  • Taking the online course A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment via Coursera.
  • Discussing the course and supporting each other via a Discourse forum.
  • Chatting with other study group members and the instructor via Zoom.

Therefore, joining a study Group involves three steps:

  1. Registering for the Study Group on Class Central.
  2. Enrolling in the course on the provider’s page.
  3. Downloading Zoom.

Note that we might take courses on different platforms — for instance, Coursera or edX.

What is Class Central?

We’re a search engine and reviews website for online courses founded in 2011. We focus on MOOCs and free courses. Our catalog includes over 40,000 online courses from close to 1000 universities, 40 providers, and 400 companies and organizations.

We also write The Report, our publication about online education. Over the years, we’ve written close to 1000 articles, and we’ve helped over 40 million learners find their next online course.

And recently, we began organizing Study Groups.

Does Class Central offer online courses?

No, we just make them easy to find. The courses we take in our Study Groups are offered on separate platforms — for instance, Coursera or edX.

What do you do during Zoom sessions?

Depends on who’s there. If the instructor is participating, he might do a mini-lecture or take questions from learners. Otherwise, a guest speaker might talk about a course topic. And sometimes, we’ll simply have a friendly chat among learners.

Are course instructors always involved in Study Groups?

We wish! Some instructors are very keen on getting involved: they lead the Zoom sessions and post in the forum. Other times, it’s just not possible.

Should I turn my camera on during Zoom sessions?

You can if you want. But no pressure. It’s entirely up to you. If you prefer, you can just lurk.

Manoel Cortes Mendez Profile Image

Manoel Cortes Mendez

Software engineer and online graduate student in computer science passionate about education, technology, and their intersection.

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