Although FinalsClub has covered more than twenty-seven courses in three years, we have yet to repeat the success of one of our earliest collaborative efforts with Steven Pinker and Kyle Thomas in the context of The Human Mind (spring 2007). Our team, with the support of Professor Pinker and Mr. Thomas, a dedicated teaching fellow, created a free and open course companion that nearly 90% of the students read (and continue to read each to this day). These notes have attracted more than 220,000 page views from 51,629 unique visitors in twenty different countries and have even received distinguished praise from Professor Pinker as a veritable “textbook on evolutionary psychology.”
We are excited to announce that Professor Pinker has agreed to let FinalsClub “disrupt” his class again this Spring 2012 in his course, The Human Mind at Harvard College. Using our new collaborative, online learning tools, we aim to help students engage with each other and the course material while creating better notes than anyone could ever craft alone. Stay tuned to learn more about the human mind.
Though there is a growing interest in online education, no platform has managed to help significant numbers of young scholars to collaborate, learn and share knowledge freely. Here, at FinalsClub.org, we have developed the tool (aka, our Simposium Editor) to lead this collaborative effort. The Simposium Editor is designed to encourage the formation of comprehensive notes with a collaborative text editor for small groups to take real-time class notes. With our Simposium Editor, students can also post questions and comments for their classmates (or even their professors) to promote, answer or flag.
Even better, our tools are available as free and open source software. We believe that while useful applications are an essential first step toward networked learning, they are simply tools. The success of open education relies as much on society as technology. In short, FinalsClub aims to shift the default settings on higher education from privilege and privacy to freedom and openness. Thanks to contributions from curious minds everywhere, we strive to revolutionize higher education, one classroom at a time.