Stack Overflow is a Q&A tool imposing a certain structure in the way the dialog is handled between OP and the rest of the community.

But let's say a bunch of site users are following a Coursera or iTunes U class and they want to talk about course homework or other matters. What's the best way to open discussion about class topics?

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    SO is not well-suited for this in its present form (and it is probably beyond the stated mission of SO). – spring Jul 28 '12 at 20:41
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    There is a tool for this called chat. – user1228 Jul 28 '12 at 21:14

I haven't used iTunesU, but every Coursera class has its own Q&A discussion forum. I think it's better to use that resource along with other people who are in your class rather than try to start a discussion on a Stack Exchange site.

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If you prefer the Stack Exchange Q&A format, use one of the Stack Overflow clones.

For instance, it only takes a few minutes to create a site on Shapado (they claim it only takes 8 seconds). Tip: use the free plan at the bottom:

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