Category Archives: qcommons

Qrumbs proposal to Digital Media and Learning Competition

The MacArthur Foundation is sponsoring a competition for innovative Digital Media and Learning applications. I had learned of it through my colleague Derek Lomas who won last year for his Playpower project.

This year the applications are posted online with open commenting. The word limit on applications is 300 words (not the abstract, the whole application) which makes it easy for anyone to read through it and give feedback. It also makes it easier to write one and they have over 1,000 submissions last I checked. Judges will select which entries advance to the second phase for which a demo video is required.

With research partners I proposed Qrumbs, a system for social collaborative learning around any web resource. I’m glad to be working with Connexions, Curriki, and the PSLC DataShop, leaders in open educational resources and educational data mining. Below the fold is the full text of the proposal, springing from my work in question authoring. With so few words to work with, I used a narrated scenario to communicate concisely how the system works. I’m including the full text below and encourage you to leave comments both here, or even better on the application’s page.

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QCommons opens to all content areas

Today I rolled out a big update to QCommons, implementing  support for many more content areas than Chemistry.

The key new feature is groups. Each group has its own set of content, its own forums, and its own classification terms. (Because “rational” doesn’t mean the same in Economics as it does in Algebra.) Each group can also have its own permissions system and administrators to support more private uses such as school district curriculum committees. If you would like to host a new group, please contact

To keep a handle on the growth of the site, I’ve switched registrations to requiring administrator approval. Please register and sign up for the mailing list. You’ll go into a queue that I’ll process regularly to allow more users.

Stay tuned to this blog for more!