Start your own online course collective

group discussing at a table, view from above

What is it?

An online course collective (OCC) is a group of people who choose a single free online course to take together, and then meet regularly for rich discussion, review, and encouragement.

It’s the best of both worlds: the great selection of free courses available online, and the collaborative fun of learning in person together.

How does it work?

Your collective starts with your own group of friends and acquaintances who love to learn and discuss new things. We have tips on pulling them together as you read on.

Once you have your initial group, you all collectively choose an online course on Coursera, edX, or the like. (You’ll find tips for that, and a selection of courses and reviews here too.)

You then agree how much to cover before your next meeting. You meet regularly, in person if you can, and discuss the material that you agreed to cover. And repeat! When you’re done, choose another course.

Nice! So what’s this site for?

I started an online course collective in Lexington, Massachusetts, USA in 2019. It’s been going strong since then. About ten of us meet once a week (online during the pandemic). We’ve covered a range of free courses from Astrophysics to Shakespeare.

So many people have liked this idea that I finally created this site just to share how we’ve made it a success. It’s here to give you some tips and resources to start your own. So far there’s no business plan here!