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Saturday, March 19, 2011

U. of Pennsylvania Students Build Course-Management Software by Josh Keller

Mr. Cohen and a classmate, Dan Getelman, have launched Coursekit, a stripped-down online learning-management system that offers a discussion board, a calendar, a syllabus, and related resources for courses at Penn.
Mr. Cohen says he hopes Coursekit’s simple interface and Facebook-inspired tools will help make online discussions in a course as social as the course itself.

Joseph Cohen says he’s fed up with Blackboard. The leading course-management software is overloaded with features and dreadfully designed, making simple tasks difficult, says Mr. Cohen, a student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He’s not much kinder to other solutions: “It’s ridiculous,” he says, that some professors still post syllabi as clunky Microsoft Word documents.

About Coursekit
We’ve re-imagined what a class should look like online. We give you all the information you want right away — your next assignments, exams, and lectures — and we make it unbelievably easy to interact with your teachers and classmates.
We believe that there’s a lot more to class than lecture. Post links, videos, files. Start discussions. Write a blog post. Ask about an assignment. Classes are meant to be social, but rarely are they. We’re changing that.
We’ve designed every aspect of the experience, down to each pixel. We forgot what we knew about clunky university software and built something that rivals the most modern of websites. We’re students, and we’ve worked with top professors to make Coursekit awesome for both sides.
Where we are now is just a start. We’re busy building awesome tools to make the whole experience even more awesome.
If you are a teacher, student, or administrator and want to get involved or learn more, reach out.
Email with questions, comments, and feedback.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education