Saturday, 7 September 2013

Have you done a MOOC?

  Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

"The New York Times dubbed 2012 'The Year of the MOOC,' and it has since become one of the
hottest topics in education. Time magazine said that free MOOCs open the door to the 'Ivy League for the Masses." (Source Wikipedia)

I've only discovered MOOCs recently. While searching for information on Flaubert I found a free online course on called The Modern and the Postmodern, which includes an introduction to Kant, Rousseau, Marx, Darwin, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Nietzsche and many more. The selection of courses available on Coursera is vast, from Exploring Quantum Physics to History of Rock.

Anyone for quidditch? Opposite Auch cathedral, Gers, France

I decided to enrol on this course: 14 weeks of readings and lectures brought to my sitting room by Professor Michael S. Roth of Wesleyan University. The readings are mostly available online and the video lectures are posted every week.

From the course syllabus: 'We shall be concerned with the relations between culture and historical change, and our materials shall be drawn from a variety of areas: philosophy, the novel, and critical theory (with possible forays into music, painting, and photography). Finally, we shall try to determine what it means to be modern today, and whether it makes sense to go beyond the modern to the postmodern.'

Although I don't want or need a final certificate, it is possible to get an accreditation from this prestigious university. There are essays to complete which are peer-graded. There is also a forum and it's interesting to read comments from students of all ages and nationalities. For my purposes I'm content to do the readings and watch the lectures, or 'audit' the course, as they say at Wesleyan.

So far I'm finding it excellent, and inspirational, and would recommend both the course and the method of learning.


  1. Oh, sounds like a lovely way to stretch a brain!

  2. Hi Tracey,
    Sometimes I think we're so lucky to live in this age where we have access to so much via the internet.
    Thanks for your comment and for joining the site,