Minerva

by Danielle Green

During the course of my interviews for the final project (including some that were later discarded since my project shifted direction from education to nutrition), I was informed of an online university called Minera that’s developed a dynamic and immersive proprietary learning platform to rival that of Zoom. While Zoom has features that attempt to reimagine and optimize the classroom for the digital medium, I was told by one interviewee that she had wanted to pivot students to the Minerva platform. However, because the learning curve was already high with online learning and Zoom was the standardized platform of choice, she decided not to do so. Minerva is said to be much easier for educators and instructors to use in the classroom. Minera is built and optimized for 21st century digital learning. For example, instructors can form individualized breakout rooms, but unlike in Zoom where you have to drop into a breakout room which can feel disruptive since your appearance is signified with a doorbell, Minerva allows you to more surreptitiously join breakout rooms and listen in on various conversations. This “control room” feature allows you to observe the interactions in any group. Secondly, Minerva allows for the use of collaborative software in the main classroom as well as has Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides already embedded in the software rather than a feature you have to enable via screenshare or links in the chatbox or email. Ultimately, Minerva greatly succeeds at being carefully calibrated for the online environment. This may convey the principle of psychopleasure as the platform is easy to use and removes the cognitive/brain cycles involved in reimagining learning for the digital age.

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