Massive online classrooms bring together students from around the world in one connected classroom. Is it possible to teach the millions of students in an online class as well as the students in a traditional, physical classroom? Is it possible to teach them better?

We think this is possible, and that the key to this answer lies in the network of peers in these courses. Over the past three years, we have created both pedagogical styles and software systems that embed them to leverage this network of peers

Software Free and cloud-based; requires no installation

To date, tens of thousands of students have used our research systems in over 50 physical and digital classes.

  • Talkabout connects students in massive classes through scaffolded live video discussions. Talkabout discussions are incredibly diverse, most six-person discussions have students participating from five countries. Diverse discussions encourage reflection through self-reference and comparison of perspectives. To date ten massive classes and 3000+ students who have used talkabout.
  • PeerStudio provides students qualitative feedback on open-ended work. It also enables instructors to incorporate peer-supported learning with little setup. It can be used both in massive classes, and in-person ones, and has been used in multiple classes at UC San Diego.

Our vision

Google[x] invited us to give a moonshot talk; here's the 'landing'

Resources open source, and adapted widely


For other publications from our group, check out Scott's and Chinmay's research pages.

Courses that have used our tools:

  • Learning How to Learn w/ Barbara Oakley @ UCSD
  • Social Psychology w/ Scott Plous @ Wesleyan
  • International Women's Health and Human Rights w/ Anne Firth Murray @ Stanford
  • Organizational Analysis w/ Daniel A. McFarland @ Stanford
  • Think Again w/ Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Ram Neta @ Duke
  • How to Change the World w/ Michael Roth @ Wesleyan
  • Understanding Research Methods w/ J Simon Rofe and Yenn Lee @ University of London
  • Human-Computer Interaction w/ Scott Klemmer @ UCSD
  • Critical Perspectives on Management w/ Rolf Strom-Olsen @ IE Business School
  • Design and Development of Educational Technologies w/ Eric Klopfer @ MIT
  • Giving 2.0 w/ Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen @ Stanford
  • What Future for Education w/ Clare Brooks @ University of London
  • u.lab 1x: Leading From the Emerging Future w/ Otto Scharmer @ MIT
  • Preparing for the AP Spanish Exam w/ Molly Monet-Viera @ Boston University
  • Conversational English Skills w/ Glenn Davis @ Tsinghua University
  • JuryX: Deliberations for Social Change w/ Charles Nesson @ HarvardX
  • Tangible Things w/ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich & friends @ Harvard
  • Project Planning & Management w/ Yael Grushka-Cockayne @ U of Virginia
  • Negotiation Strategies w/ Barry Nalebuff @ Yale
  • Business Strategy Specialization w/ Jared Harris and Michael Lenox @ University of Virginia
  • Songwriting w/ Pat Pattison @ Berklee College of Music
  • Basic Spanish for English Speakers w/ Ana Gimeno @ Universitat Politècnica de Valencia
  • Palliative Care Always w/ Kavitha Ramchandran @ Stanford
  • Game Changer Intensive w/ Tracy Apple & Mario Trigueros @ Pachamama Alliance
  • Social Visualization w/ Karrie Karaholious @ UIUC
  • Technology for Learners w/ Karin Fossell @ Stanford
  • Distributed Cognition w/ Tyler Marghetas @ UCSD
  • Hands on Computing w/ Jeremy Karnowski @ UCSD
  • Cognitive Ethnography w/ Melanie McComsey @ UCSD
  • Human-Computer Interaction for Health w/ Nadir Weibel @ UCSD
  • Designing Learning Spaces w/ Karin Fossell @ Stanford
  • Cognitive Design Studio w/ Nan Renner @ UCSD
  • Learning with Peers at Massive Scale w/ Chinmay Kulkarni @ Carnegie Mellon
  • Cognitive Ethnography w/ Nan Renner @ UCSD
  • Special Topics in Cognitive Science w/ Lera Boroditsky @ UCSD
  • Cognitive Science Seminar w/ Lera Boroditsky @ UCSD
  • The Beauty and Joy of Computing w/ Dan Garcia @ UCB
  • Strategic Philanthropy w/ Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen @ Stanford
  • Distributed Cognition w/ Nan Renner @ UCSD
  • Cyborgs Now and in the Future w/ David Kirsh @ UCSD
  • Medical Education in the New Millennium w/ Larry Chu @ Stanford
  • Intro to Typography w/ Anther Kiley @ California Institute of the Arts
  • Pro Tools Basics w/ Chrissy Tignor-Fisher @ Berklee
  • Jazz Improvisation w/ Gary Burton @ Berklee
  • Interaction Design w/ Scott Klemmer @ UCSD
  • Contact

    To use our software, or for press inquiries, please contact us at We also welcome your contributions to our open-source code. Here's our contributor license.

    You're welcome to reuse our slides for publications in your class/reading group, and there is no need to ask for permission.

    Last updated on May 31, 2017. Our research is made possible by the generous financial support of the National Science Foundation, Google, Hasso Plattner Research Program, and Media X.