Closing the door on an open course?

Hello all

I’d welcome any guidance on this conundrum…

Our open course (Mental Wealth: know it and grow it) is proving to be of interest (nice) and with 131 sign ups (nice, but also yikes!) we still have a week left to go before we begin.

I know that with many open courses, a % will be happy lurkers, so whilst we’re anticipating that not all who have signed up will be active participants, I feel we are straying into that territory of having to make a quantity vs quality call. Too many in the course site might reduce the participatory enjoyment? The original plan was to allow sign-ups until the course ended.

Options I can think of:

  • leave the door wide open (“the more, the merrier” option)

  • close the door at XXXX sign ups (any suggestions on what this holy grail of numbers might be?) and keep a record of those who missed out and run it again in 2014 if possible. (seems a little wrong when the idea is to be open?)

  • close the course, then clone the course and run 2 or more co-horts simultaneously in different P2PU course sites, and encourage the combined cohorts - the ‘mega cohort’ to interact more massively in a Google+ community and other social media attached to the site. (would this be practical though?)

Or some other very sensible idea that I haven’t listed.

Any thoughts and suggestions are very very welcome! :slight_smile:

Cheery bye


1 Like

Hi Angela,
First of all thank you for this course.
Being a web based course, where every one will be working from his computer, I do not think it really matters what the strength is. Probably you may have to close the course doors two to three days before the start. Thats my opinion.
If you need any assistance in running and managing the course, count on me, I am always there.
Regards, Kumar

Hi Angela

This is really interesting, and one of those “problems” that’s good to have, right? At P2PU, we’ve thought about this stuff quite a bit, and I guess the first question I would ask is why you might want to close the course.
Is the material the kind that requires consistent week-by-week progress? Or do you want to keep a good community going within the course, which might require people meeting and working together right from the start?
Depending on the answers, this might help you to decide how/if you want to close the sign-up for the course.

Great problem. How about letting everyone sign-up, but asking them to form small cohorts of 10-15 people (using a platform of their choice). I would keep one central space for coordination and questions about the course, but you could distribute the interaction between participants.

Cohorts could work together on each week’s assignment and then post their collective response (or plethora of responses) in the course comments. That way you have some central way of keeping track, but the community is free to self-organize.


And a note from the Tech side - signup doesn’t mean that much. Course material stays open for anyone to view and anyone can comment in the disqus forums without signing up.

The main benefit of signups is that it allows you to send them announcements about the course.

Thanks for the great suggestions everyone, and words of support Kumar - and yes, we are very excited about the interest in the course. It’s fantastic!

@1L2P @bekka yes, I think optional cohorts could work with this particular course, because although it is possible to work through the course week-by-week, there are those who will enjoy the opportunity to work as a community.

Thanks again everyone. I’ve been a lurker for a while on P2PU, but now that I have something to contribute, I hope I can provide some useful tales of our experiences with this course. It’s the wee hours of the morning in Adelaide when you have the Community Calls, but I do try to keep up with how it’s all going.

@dirk yes, I can see that ‘closing’ the course isn’t like shutting the door really in a tech sense… that’s a good point, and there is also a psychological element to sign-up - being ‘officially’ part of something, so even closing the sign-ups when the course begins feels like taking away some part of participation.