Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What is a MOOC?

We're still floundering a bit, trying to find our feet again after this summer's Big Life Changes. We're sure we'll get back on track soon enough. In the meantime, we soldier on.

On Sunday, we were fortunate to hear an hour-long piece on Sunday Edition (CBC Radio) about MOOCs. That acronym (gotta love acronyms) stands for Massive Online Open Course. There's an attempt to democratize (great word!) learning by making available FOR FREE courses and lectures from some of the best learning institutions around the world. We've signed up for a 10 week course in Modern and Contemporary American Poetry from the University of Pennsylvania. It's been 40 years since we sat in a university lecture hall, but we are finding this method of study very enjoyable. The course just started so if anyone else is interested, please join us. There are 30,000 other students there already. We're starting with Emily Dickinson. How can you go wrong starting with her?

Copyright © Cheryl Coville 2011

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

(Emily Dickinson 1830-1886)


  1. Good for you:) I went and took some night school courses and I loved them. Got the old brain cells working overtime that's for sure.

  2. Good ol' Emily has been a friend of mine for years. I also have a confession: I've been on your blog any number of times and it just clicked in today that you KNIT. And so I need some advice. How do I teach a three year old to knit??? She determined to learn, but won't slow down to do the stitch like I've showed her. PS. Lovely drawing.

  3. I hope you really enjoy your course. Love the drawing and sometimes I wish I could climb a tree with my coffee and just sit and take nature in ;)

  4. Look at you, Grandma. You are getting all cultured on us.

  5. You know how when you see something new, everything inside starts to jangle? Well, thats what your post about free education on the internet did for me! I signed up and am taking History of the World from 1300! It starts TODAY! and there is so many more course coming in subsequent months! I can hardly wait to send an email to my son to tell him, he loves the sciences and I bet he finds something there, too! THANKS!!!


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