The fantastic Writing Magazine (UK), introduced me in its latest edition, to MOOC’s – Massive Open Online Courses. (See Writing Magazine, June 2016, pg.85).
A MOOC is essentially an online, university-level course which offers ‘high-quality learning materials‘ that have been compiled by ‘prestigious universities around the world‘. What’s more, a vast number of MOOC’s are FREE. The courses run entirely online and cover a huge range of subjects – great for us writers for both research and learning purposes.
There are several websites which offer these courses – www.coursera.org being one of the largest – but I opted to try out www.futurelearn.com which is run by the Open University.
With very little searching I found a free course dedicated to online researching techniques. The course is only two weeks long and comprises exercises which can be completed whenever it is most convenient. The course is due to start on 6th June and I am already excited about what I will learn.
hyena reality via freedigitalphotos.net
I also discovered a course on forensic science – a field which fascinates me – and so I have registered my interest for that one too. There is no start date as yet but it is a longer and more in depth course again, about which I am truly excited.
As far as I can understand with the free courses there are no costs – if you would like a certificate at the end however, there is often a charge for these. This being the case and having spent a few minutes browsing the courses, I can see myself taking more of these in the future. This, however, is where my dilemma comes in.
I love learning. I love research. I love to know everything that there is to know about everything, yet I can also do a heck of a lot of procrastinating. My concern, therefore, is that I am going to be spending so much time learning that my procrastinating will increase and I will forget to actually write – which, after all, is what my love and passion is all about.
For an answer to this dilemma though, I am going to turn to Henry Ford:
courtesy of refe99.com
I think I am going to keep learning, stay young and take my chances with procrastination.
And sign up to as many MOOC’s as I have time for…
What about you? What is your approach to learning?