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ITP Students Organize "Drive-By Seminars"

ITP students, Christina Goodness and Meghan Trainor conceived of the DriveBySeminars as a way to create peer-to-peer teaching at ITP during the summer of 2004. They utilized an online signup board (Wiki - online community website where anyone can post comments, links or other text) to organize the classes. On the Wiki, students could sign up for classes they wanted to teach and classes they wanted to take, and since everyone is a peer, students had to volunteer to teach a class if they signed up to learn from someone else. The idea behind the seminars is that every ITP student has something they are brilliant at and something they haven't tried yet.

In the end the student organizers selected the a good mix of classes based on most interest. Teachers then could decide to create class Wiki pages where resources could be listed, students could go to post questions or they could request specific topics they wanted to be covered.

There were two main goals with this project. Because ITP has such a diverse student body -- with computer programmers, musicians, artists, engineers, etc. -- there is a huge diversity in the technical skills of students in a given area. Christina and Meghan tried to create a casual atmosphere where folks could catch up in an area they hadn't quite mastered yet. The second goal had to do with harnessing the knowledge of the student body itself, which is arguably quite tremendous. Using the Wiki technology was a great way to identify skills people wanted to share, reveal new skills people wanted to learn and let the shared list evolve organically over a period of time.

The DriveBys have continued and the updated schedule can be found here: