The H2O project is building an interlocking collection of communities based on the free creation and exchange of ideas.
The H2O system consists of two components -- the Idea Exchange and the Rotisserie. The Idea Exchange includes all features necessary to host a course entirely on H2O, including resource (readings, notes, videos, etc) uploads and traditional, adhoc discussion boards. More interestingly, the system now facilitates the collaborative development of course syllabi, allowing project leaders not only to upload course materials to the site but also easily to browse, search, and import the materials of other projects into their own projects. Since all syllabi created on the Idea Exchange are covered by a Creative Commons license, project leaders are free to share their ideas with others and thereby to create a community around the free exchange of educational syllabi and content.
The Idea Exchange projects include support for Rotisserie discussions in addition to traditional, adhoc discussion boards. Rotisserie discussions represent an innovative approach to online discussion that encourages measured, thoughtful discourse in a way that that traditional threaded messaging systems do not, in the process solving some of the universal complaints about online discussion boards: that the substance of discussions is poor, that participants post quickly rather than thoughtfully, that participation is uneven (most people lurk, and a few posters dominate the rest), and that discussion forums are segregated into balkanized communities of people with similar thoughts and beliefs.
The best way to learn more about how H2O works is to join some projects and participate in the discussions. Here are some interesting public projects that you might consider joining:
For more information about how H2O works, who is responsible for H2O, answers to frequently asked questions, and access to the H2O code, visit the About section of the site.