Proposal for HASTAC Conference

Hey crew, since I was a HASTAC scholar back in the day, I thought I’d submit a talk for the HASTAC conference in April:

Here’s the talk proposal–definitely tried to keep the “open learning hub” perspective in mind.

Peer 2 Peer University hosts open learning experiences that are project-based, interest-driven, and rely on peer feedback. To date, we’ve built a strong community of 67,000 learners in 600+ courses since 2009. But in an educational landscape dominated by acquiring “professional skills,” we’ve taken a step back and thought about how to reframe open learning experiences in terms of creative expression, where peers learn technical skills in the service of artistic projects.

On October 15, we launched Play With Your Music ( a collaboration between P2PU, the MIT Media Lab and NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. This is our first humanities-focused course using our open Mechanical MOOC platform, which creates small listservs for learners to nurture social presence in the e-learning experience. These cohorts are based on musical taste, and peers work together in these “learning ensembles” by playing with the music they already love, and making their own mixes. Currently, 5000 ensembles are working together in groups of 30-40 learners.

This 15-minute talk will walk through the learning design behind the course, the open tools and technologies used (Soundation, SoundCloud, Google+ and the Echonest API) and summarize our results and findings. The end of the talk will present a roadmap for developing open online humanities courses where peers collaborate and make creative projects together.

The talk will be 15 minutes with slides. Ideally I would be able to demo some of the projects learners made in the course, so that would require A/V.

Vanessa Gennarelli is the Learning Lead for Peer 2 Peer University, leading experiments in 21st century education. She has worked on such innovative projects as Badges for Lifelong Learning ( and a Gentle Introduction to Python ( She holds a Master’s in Educational Technology from Harvard University and is a former Research Intern at the MIT Media Lab, and a HASATC Scholar. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

I would love to hear this talk!

One small thing:

I don’t completely understand the numbers, should it be 172 ensembles - the number of groups we have?