Summer School Is In: MOOCs 101

Posted on June 9, 2013 by Miranda B

Enroll for Your Summer MOOCs!Alice Cooper might have declared “School’s out for summer,” but for a successful freelancer content writer, this might be the best time to get an education. Online courses called MOOCs (massive open online courses) are popping up everywhere and causing quite a stir in the collegiate community. After all, when you can take Shakespeare After All via Harvard or Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade via Mt. San Jacinto College for free, there’s reason university financial offices everywhere are fuming. Yet if you are a parent who has little free time during the school year, or a freelancer looking for a way to escape from the rigors of web content and blogging, MOOCs may be your golden ticket.

Why Go MOOC?

Writers interested in perfecting their craft have quite a few resources including books on writing written by writers, writing conferences, and one-on-one feedback from writing coaches. However, nothing compares to the free and easy educational opportunities afforded by MOOCs. Say you are traveling overseas for a week this summer, but want to keep learning and writing while away. Sign up for a MOOC that takes place around the time of your vacation, and you’ll find yourself watching lectures while sipping mojitos poolside. Perhaps you find yourself with a bit of free time this summer, but you can’t afford to do much in the way of traveling. Give yourself the gift of knowledge by taking a free online course offered from such schools as Berkeley or Princeton. Here is a list of the programs offering MOOCs:

  • iTunes U
  • Coursera
  • Udacity
  • Open Learning
  • MIT Open CourseWare
  • Open Yale
  • Webcast Berkeley

Courses for Writers

Tools of the trade for writers include composition, research, creative writing and publication. Several online courses for this summer are targeted at writers of all skill levels including:

Explore, Expand and Experience

Writing classes aren’t the only sources of learning that apply to freelance writers. Consider picking up a course in something that intrigues you, such as History of Rock or Latin American Culture, both available via Coursera. You might pick up an idea for your next article or a theme for your novel-in-progress. Other topics of interest include:

A final note—if you are a college student or planning to get back into school, check out the offerings of MOOCs that are accepted for college credit. For instance, with Coursera, five courses including pre-calculus, algebra, and introduction to genetics and evolution are now accepted for college or vocational credit.

Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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