This is the P2PU Archive. If you want the current site, go to www.p2pu.org!
The Peer 2 Peer University is a grassroots open education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements. P2PU creates a model for lifelong learning alongside traditional formal higher education. Leveraging the internet and educational materials openly available online, P2PU enables high-quality low-cost education opportunities. P2PU - learning for everyone, by everyone about almost anything.
Two years ago P2PU started with five people and has since grown into a community of about 1,000. During this time, P2PU has run three cycles (semesters) of courses, with the number of courses offered doubling each time. Organizers of P2PU courses are volunteers who submit their course idea and receive guidance from a wide array of experts and community members to create a comprehensive syllabus of open materials and a social structure around them. Our current trajectory involves designing a community-supported mentoring system for organizers and participants as we scale. At the next level, we are partnering with external organizations to cluster courses and create reputable schools of open learning with definitive career trajectories. A shining example is the P2PU/Mozilla School of Webcraft. Synergistic partnerships with organizations of clout provide P2PU participants with a credible open education.
While learning in itself is a valuable goal, getting credit for what you've done is also important to gain social and economic opportunities. As P2PU develops, we are experimenting with new ways of recognising learning. Assessment of each other becomes intrinsic in the community learning process. Like open source software communities, the participants in a learning group provide feedback to each other, reviewing and improving each others' work. Peers in the course will assess each others' work and P2PU online certificates will be offered to signal that you've completed a course. We want learners to get recognition for their achievements, but we don't issue any kind of accredited or official certificates ourselves. We are working on cross-accreditation with a few partners, but P2PU certificates are more "artworks" than "degrees".
P2PU is largely run by volunteers, however we have also gotten seed funding to cover some basic costs from both the Hewlett Foundation, and the Shuttleworth Foundation. The University of California at Irvine has generously offered to incubate us and help with administrative and legal support. You can learn more about our fantastic supporters here. Thanks!!!
P2PU is working with a number of different people and organizations on many different facets of its development. In particular, P2PU would like to recognize the efforts of: the staff of Creative Commons for their advice and collaborative awareness-raising and research support; etc.
As P2PU is in its beginning phases we are open to others who wish to monitor our progress for research purposes. The field of online learning and open / peer2peer learning and collaboration is in rapid development, both when it comes to available technological platforms and social models for organizing. We have been inspired by a number of very successful pilots and see the P2PU as building on these pioneering courses. We will be continually monitoring and evaluating the progress, making many changes along the way and hopefully developing new models of collaboration which not only benefit P2PU but also other projects in which communities of volunteers attempt to work together. We will actively promote and support research, especially action research, on the P2PU model and make it a priority to share information and reflections with the larger community on a regular basis. The P2PU will look very different in three or five years from how it looked when we started it, but the only way to get there is to jump in and try. We invite anyone interested in doing research on the P2PU to contact us.