After making a strong start with Modern Poetry (nicknamed ModPo) last fall and feeling really enthusiastic, I ended up crashing and burning midway through the semester. However, since it was completely a falling-down on my part and not at all related to the course, I’m giving Coursera another try this summer, as well as enrolling in ModPo again for the fall. This summer I’m signed up for:
The Fiction of Relationship: not totally sure I will be able to complete this one, as there are several books on the reading list I’ve never read and don’t own! But I’m very curious about the class, and what they will discuss for the books I am familiar with, like Beloved and Ficciones.
This time around, I’m planning on taking more of a cherry-pick approach; I’m definitely aiming to complete the Latin American class, but if I don’t get to every assignment, I’m okay with that. With the fiction class, I’m planning to start off as more of an interested observer, and if I get hooked, then I will do my best to complete what I can. I think this is probably the most realistic approach for me, and I think it will also help ensure that I do feel I’ve gained something for the hours I end up investing in the class.
The next big Coursera development that intrigues me is their entry into professional development courses for K-12 teachers; I’m especially interested in this course on Brain-Targeted Teaching because I’m familiar with some of the professor’s work, and she is the former principal of the elementary school my daughters attended until this year. I also added this course on museum teaching strategies for the classroom to my “watch list,” so that Coursera will alert me when future sessions are scheduled. I have no idea whether MOOCs are a good venue for effective professional development, but I’m fascinated to see how this unfolds.