The idea of integrating CQA system Askalot into edX was emerged at CSCW'15W, where the team mentor Ivan Srba was presenting Askalot. He met there Joseph J. Wiliams from Harvard University and after a discussion they agreed that Askalot would be a great replacement for discussion system currently used in edX. Afterwards the team AskEd was formed. It consists of six students and their mentor Ivan Srba. Their goal is to integrate Askalot into edX system.
Askalot is a community question answering system that was developed by team naRuby as a part of their team project in years 2013/2014, and it is currently used at Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies at Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. This project also won the TP CUP award.
Community question answering systems (CQA) are a popular part of the Web. Among the well-known systems belong Yahoo! Answers, Wiki Answers and Stack Overflow. Everyone, who has problems or unanswered questions can use these systems to ask new question, and let the community to find the answer. Other users help to choose the best answer by voting on the answers and or can post a new answer if no good answer is present. Once the user, who has asked the question, gets satisfying answer, he/she can mark it as accepted. This provides other incomming users with additional information about the correct answer to that particular question. As the problems in human daily life repeat it is much easier to find the answers to the most common questions thanks to CQA systems.
Askalot implements all main features of popular community question answering systems and extends their functionality to support the education domain and its processes.
EdX is one of the leading providers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) that was established back in 2012 by MIT at Harvard University. By April 2015 the approximate number of users is over 4 milion and it is being used at more than 70 universities and non-profit organisations.
MOOC is a course that is provided to unlimited number of participants and is available via Web interface. The course usually consits of several presentations and tasks. Additionally, it supports some kind of community discussion or forum. These courses are results in the field of remote education.