MOOC on Coursera: Creative Writing

moocIn the beginning of my blogging life, I tried to find out what to write about and mainly focussed on Massive Open Online Courses, MOOCs. I took several courses on several platforms and loved them all. It really is a great opportunity to either advance your career, or, if you’re old like me, learn about topics that always interested you but were somewhat out of reach. Not any more: MOOCs make it possible to study almost every topic online, very often for free.

As my writerly friends may have noticed over time, I’m not the most confident writer and always want to improve and learn. At some time I read so many books about writing that I didn’t have time for writing… err… I’m still short on time, which seems just the right time to look into MOOCs again. So I was browsing  Coursera and found the specialization for Creative Writing. This consists of several courses about writing. It also offers the opportunity to interact with other learners or contact the instructors. While the specialization itself isn’t cheap, it’s possible to audit the course (click on ‘Enroll’ and then on ‘audit’ at the bottom of the window). You can see the lectures, participate in the assignments, and more. Needless to say that I’ve been jumping on it. Maybe some of you are interested, too. Check it out: Specialization: Creative Writing

Edit: Joy Pixley kindly looked up the price for the subscription: it’s 41$ per month (or 49? or maybe different for different courses…)?As I understand it, you pay as long as you take the courses thus the faster you are the cheaper it gets. However, the audits are free (not all specializations offer free audits, that’s why I’m so pleased about this one). I’m planning to audit these courses and will write a bit more about it. I can see the assignments, I’m not sure though if I can participate in them, or in the discussion forums. This isn’t something that bothers me too much, but it might be interesting to know, so I’ll keep you posted.



MOOCy Monday: My Write101 online course

1A few weeks ago I wrote about an online course, Write101 on EdX, from the University of Queensland. It focuses on grammar and style. I announced that I’d audit it actively (this means no pay, but participating in the assignments), but I’ve since changed my mind.

I’ll continue auditing the course, but I’m not going to submit the assignments. This is not an easy course. There are grammar MOOCs out there where you can simply rush through with a minimum of work, and the quizzes are simple enough. Not so this one. Continue reading “MOOCy Monday: My Write101 online course”

Look, a Moocy Monday – Write101

1One of the reasons for starting this blog was my obsession with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Imagine, courses about anything and everything online and free for everyone! Not just quick tutorials, but professional, usually university-based courses. When I discovered these, I felt as if I’d discovered heaven. To finally get an idea about things that interested me, but for which I never got the opportunity to learn about–here was the chance to do just that.

I took many courses, learned a lot. But eventually I wanted to get back into fiction writing again, and I don’t have enough time to do both seriously. So I cut back on the MOOCs and focussed on writing. But now a course has started (again, it runs regularly) that has interested me for some time, and I thought, now or never. It’s about grammar and style, and as a non-native English writer, I really need it…

The course is Write101 from the University of Queensland. If you’re interested, check it out. It is available as a verified course (for a fee), and also as a free course without certificate. I will probably post the assignments for this course here. These are peer-reviewed and don’t need to go on a blog, but I would appreciate your feedback, too.

I could just audit, but I want to go through the assignments, that forces me to keep at it. As does posting about it here.


Moocy Monday: What’s going on?

1I haven’t written about MOOCs in a while, and feel slightly guilty. The reason for not writing is that I’m not participating, or even auditing any MOOCs at the moment. I’m just not in the mood. There are so many interesting courses, and one of my problems certainly is, that instead of focussing on one thing, I have to have them all, hopping around, and then not doing anything. That’s how I function, sorry about that. Jack of all trades and master of nothing, that’s about it.

I’ve been thinking about adding a ‘Meandering Monday’ to my posting schedule, in order to be more flexible. Maybe later, maybe not, I’m not sure yet. Despite all the whining, there is a bit I can share: Continue reading “Moocy Monday: What’s going on?”

MOOCy Monday: This and That

1What is going on in the world of learning for me?

A lot, and not so much. 🙂

I’ve signed up to a lot of astronomy courses, but didn’t follow up. I download the videos to watch them later, always in fear that the courses won’t be repeated and if I don’t sign up now, I won’t get another chance.


This is silly, I know, because by now there are a lot of courses about so many topics on so many platforms.

Continue reading “MOOCy Monday: This and That”

MOOCy Monday: Still learning design

Introduction to graphic design is still far too much fun. I talked about this last week already. I’ll probably talk about it next week, too.

I’ve done my homework and designed away. I also made images for my four themes. Feedback of peers is good, there’s a friendly sharing and learning atmosphere. And, since there isn’t much else to say, I’ll just show what I did.  Here are the four theme designs. I’m certain there’ll be changes over time, but for now, I like them.

Continue reading “MOOCy Monday: Still learning design”

MOOCy Monday: Introduction to Graphic Design on OpenLearning

1What does she want with graphic design? You ask after having seen my list of courses about space, and writing. The short answer is: I can’t give up dabbling in artsy stuff even though I lack practice and knowledge. I like good design, pretty fonts, colours, shapes– and wish I knew the secret of what makes design good, bad, or mediocre–which is not the same as taste. And so I’ve signed up for this self-paced course on Open Learning: Introduction to Graphic Design.

The course features the free online software Canva. You find a multitude of layouts, stock images, fonts, shapes, lines there, and much of it is free. The course–I’ve only taken the first two sessions so far, features the program and shows what you can do with it. You are also invited to share your designs and discuss with your peers. There are exercises, but there is no peer-reviewed assignment, at least I didn’t find one. And this is something I already miss. Continue reading “MOOCy Monday: Introduction to Graphic Design on OpenLearning”

MOOCy Monday: A Comparison of Learning Platforms

coffeemoocAfter a bit less than a year of auditing and participating in various online classes, I have a general idea about how the different MOOC models work. I have, so far, looked at: coursera, FutureLearn, Open2Study, Iversity, Open edX, Stanford Online, and Alison. I find all of them very good, all of them offer a variety of interesting subjects. Most of them work after similar principles. Chosing one will mostly be a matter of personal preference, language offered, or type of courses offered.

I’m offline some evenings of the weeks, and that’s also the time when I have time to study. Too bad, then, that most course material is only available online. Having easy access to the material offline is therefore a major criterion for me to chose a platform; an app that allows offline viewing is ideal. The only platform with apps is coursera, and that’s why I take most of my courses there. The other platforms I’ve checked out so far do offer good courses, and, in any case, are worth a look. I’ve picked a few criteria and compared them for the different MOOCs. This is neither an official comparison nor will it be complete, there may be information that I simply couldn’t find by just looking at the About pages and the FAQs. But if you’re interested in MOOCs, maybe you’ll find it helpful.

Continue reading “MOOCy Monday: A Comparison of Learning Platforms”

MOOCy Monday: Imagining Other Earths on coursera

Warning: What you are about to read may sound like the newest infatuation of a teenage girl.

otherearths-logoIn a sense, that’s what I feel like whenever I find something as exciting as the course ‘Imagining Other Earths’ on coursera. And that’s why I have to talk about it. It’s the best course evah 11tyoneone!!!

Seriously, all the MOOCs I’ve seen so far, on different platforms with different themes, were carefully designed, interesting, educational, and mostly well presented. But there are some that are outstanding in the good crowd. Imagining Other Earths is one of them.

Can you imagine being confronted with topics and themes that always seemed somewhat dry when you learned or read about them? Watching long and complicated mathematical formulae certainly isn’t exciting for people who aren’t mathematicians, physicists or astronomists, right? Wrong!. Professor David Spergel from Princeton understands to present these themes in a way that make every new bit of information interesting and captivating. Watching how he ‘plugs in’ data into formulae and determines distances, the power of impact and the speed of objects all of a sudden makes you want to  brush up on your algebra and follow the calculations. These, certainly, are the attributes of an excellent teacher.

Continue reading “MOOCy Monday: Imagining Other Earths on coursera”