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Taking a Class I Usually Teach

I’m taking a class I normally teach … sort of. I signed up for “English Composition I: Achieving Expertise,” a Coursera-hosted MOOC taught by the Duke University professor Denise Comer. The course started on March 18.

I signed up for a number of reasons. One is pure curiosity. So much information has been going around about massive open online courses that I wanted to see what they were all about for myself. Also, not only do I want to teach online, but also I think I need to teach online if I want to remain relevant in education’s future. Unfortunately, I’ve been hard-pressed to find adequate training nearby. There’s really not a whole lot of training anywhere that I can find. Sure, I have read about teaching online and how to do it effectively, but I’d rather have a little more than that.

I had signed up for a different MOOC at first, another Coursera course called “Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application.” A little research showed that the course had its own problems and was in a redesigning stage, so I wasn’t sure when the course would actually start. So I unenrolled.

Taking a class I usually teach will allow me to experience a MOOC and, hopefully, learn some valuable lessons about teaching online. It will also give me a chance to evaluate some of my teaching methods and, furthermore, to keep my writing and research skills fresh. Sounds like a win-win. Now I just need time to watch the videos, read the materials, and complete the assignments.

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