"scheduled "courses" that run for 6 weeks and cover university-level topics. Learning takes place in small groups of 8-14 students. Each course package contains the syllabus, study materials and a schedule. See this page for more detail on what it is like to learn in a P2PU course. Most materials are stored on other servers and linked to - the P2PU does not want to become a content repository. Once they have been designed, course packages can easily be duplicated. This way, one structured set of materials can spawn many learning communities."
Now I'm thinking a couple of things...first...having just come from the SCORM 2.0 workshop, this kind of model really tears at existing learning industry biz models doesn't it? Second, I like the small groups, the ability to copy and distribute the packages...but then comes this...
"Courses are designed by someone with expert knowledge, a "sense-maker", and facilitated by a "class tutors" who is familiar with the content, and can support the group of students. Sense-makers identify the key readings, pose the big questions, and structure the content. For sense-makers the P2PU offers an opportunity to do what they feel passionately about - share knowledge. Tutors could be graduate students or amateurs with expertise in a particular field. They seek out a sense-maker to develop a course, and do most of the preparation work. Once the course starts, the tutors act as guides, facilitate discussions, answer questions, and providing feedback."
And this is where George argues (and where I agree) that the model starts to fall back on the old ways. "Sense-Makers"? Really? First, sounds a bit like "Learning Shaman" or something but really feels like "teacher" or instructional designer. If the intent is to establish a peer-to-peer university (yes, just like George says - we centralize accreditation) then wouldn't sense-makers just be the peers? Wouldn't you seek out your own "sense"? Who establishes the credentials of the sense-makers? Shouldn't the community?
I'll close for now but I do want to say that I think P2PU is onto something here (and its good to see David Wiley on their Advisory Board) and I applaud their getting to this point...I just want to urge them to put out more. ;-)