One Writer’s Journey

December 13, 2017

MOOC: An Opportunity to Learn and Generate Story Ideas

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 4:50 am
Tags: , , ,

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the phrase, an MOOC is a massive open online course.  These are online classes often with video-taped lectures, readings and quizes, papers or projects.  These courses are a great opportunity to learn something new.  And with that knowledge, I often gain a handful of stories ideas per course.

The majority of courses I’ve taken have been through Coursera. Top institutions around the world offer courses through Coursera.  I’ve had classes through the Smithsonian, University of Virginia, Duke and Northwestern.  Although you can pay for credit, I’ve always taken the free version.

My husband and I also took a class on comic book history through edX.  edX was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012.  The class was through the Smithsonian and featured guest lectures by Stan Lee.

Two other sites that offer MOOC are:

The Khan Academy which partner with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, and MIT.

United Nations Institute for Training and Research which is a training arm of the United Nations. UNITAR courses that are open to the public include courses on Environmentalism and Climate Change.  I’m considering several of these but most likely won’t be signing up until after Christmas.

What interests you? I’ve taken a wide variety of classes including:

History classes like “Luther and the West,” “Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization,” “The Kennedy Half Century,” and “Age of Jefferson.”

Anthropology classes including “Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones” and “Human Evolution: Past and Future.”
Science classes such as “Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life” and “Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology.”
As well as “Copyright for Educators & Librarians” and “Art & Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies For Your Classroom.”


Some classes I’ve enjoyed more than others.  The Astrobiology class just about lost me.  It was more chemistry than “oh look a planet” but I learned a lot and came out of it with some ideas.

I’m a firm believer in life-long learning.  Besides don’t you want to know the latest and greatest info on various topics so that you can stay in step with your readers?


1 Comment »

  1. What a great post, SueBE! I love a good MOOC. I just finished one run by the University of Iowa (Iowa Writers’ Workshop) called the Power of the Pen: Writing Identities and Social Issues in Poetry and Plays. They had various writers giving video lectures, and I discovered some wonderful poets like Gabrielle Calvocoressi and Dana Levin. Will definitely check out the MOOC sites you mentioned!

    Comment by rhcwilliams — December 13, 2017 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

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