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DartmouthX: One Course Underway, One Coming Back

May 28, 2015   |   by Hannah Silverstein, MALS '09   |   Dartmouth Now

Thayer School of Engineering Associate Professor Vicki May isn’t used to teaching 9,300 students all at once—but that’s how many she reached in week three of the six-week “The Engineering of Structures Around Us,” her DartmouthX massive open online course, or MOOC, and she’s adding more every day.

Vicki May ENGSx Dartmouthx
Vicki May, an associate professor at Thayer School of Engineering, during the production of her DartmouthX course, “The Engineering of Structures Around Us.” (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Though the class is online, May’s students—who are participating from all over the world—are engaged in hands-on learning, actively applying key concepts of design, tension, and compression.

“People are actually sharing and building things,” says May. “They’ve tackled the ‘marshmallow challenge’ and built cardboard chairs; they are building cable-stayed bridges and working on anti-funicular forms. They are also sharing images of structures from their communities, so we’re seeing a huge range.”

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