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Free Group Learning Platform

Published 04/06/2012 and rated Ratingstars5 5 out of 5 stars
by Shel Gatto
What can you use the app for? is a group learning tool. Users can join the community and begin learning anything in almost any subject. The application encourages users to join together and work as a group to further knowledge and experience in specific areas. Featured learning opportunities and a feed of user activity is presented on the homepage. The user can begin by browsing groups and courses, which range from social innovation to writing, activism and image retouching. If the user doesn’t find the subject they need, they can begin their own group or course. Courses include group discussions, tasks, descriptions and stats. The user can start a challenge, which is essentially an exercise or homework assignment. New users can join to learn or contribute what they know. screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

P2PU, which stands for the “Peer 2 Peer University,” was created as a grassroots open education project. The service was intended to provide learning beyond college and university, which can be extremely expensive for some students. Users can progress through courses and learn from one another. The application hasn’t been widely discussed, but currently houses an active community of learners and contributors. Users can discover courses on many diverse subjects or create new courses.

What are the differences to other apps? stands out because it offers a versatile way for users to learn or set up learning courses. The community opens its arms to any internet user. All materials are available online and the user can join discussions with others who are also trying to expand their knowledge as well as those who are knowledgeable. The service is user-driven, which means it has the ability to cover an enormous selection of topics.

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How does the web app look and feel to use? utilizes a colorful, yet professional design that includes vibrant orange, lime green, blue and red. The logo includes a university font, which gives it an ‘educational’ feel however the rest of the site feels more like a friendly gathering than a strict learning institution. This combination of elements works well. The user doesn’t feel intimidated, the interface is easy to master and the learning potential is limited only by the size and diversity of the user community.

How does the registration process work?

A new user can join the community by clicking one of the large colorful buttons found along the right side of the homepage. The top button takes the user to a list of existing groups and courses. The bottom button allows the user to create a new course. Learners can click the green “Join the Community” button corresponding with the course or group they wish to join. The form on the next page asks for a display name, username, password, email address, preferred language and Captcha code entry. The user must check their email inbox for an instruction email to complete registration. Users can also sign in with their Open ID account.

What does it cost to use the application? is intended to give everyone the opportunity to learn without restrictions. Charging a fee would go against its open university format. Anyone can join the P2PU community and begin participating in or creating groups and courses. There are no limitations and all users receive the same access to the same content and courses. The free format is definitely a great way to convince more users to sign up and contribute or learn.

Who would you recommend the application to? is a great learning resource for anyone who wants to discover a new subject or expand what they already know. The application provides many learning opportunities. Users should note that while they won’t earn a degree and quality may vary based on the contributor’s experience and knowledge, there is a lot of ways a user can benefit from working through a course. The service is easy to understand and completely cost-free.

  • Search for courses that are interesting and informative
  • Create new courses that others can join
  • View and participate in group discussions
  • Accept challenges to begin working on a course
  • Access all content online for free

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