This Massive Open Online Course provides a foundation in the principles of the formats and methods of fictional storytelling.
The reasons this online course attracted me are:
- The topic interests me: I’m beginning to write again, and I want to learn more…
- The method of access interests me: I work in eLearning, and using a new Learning Management System is fun and educational in itself.
- It’s largely self-paced, and absolutely free.
The course is organized into Chapters, each containing a number of Units of instruction. The format of each Unit is the same: each unit contains one brief video presentation (usually 10-12 minutes in length) where the host introduces the Unit topic, and provides examples, animation, or brief explanations from famous works of fiction or professional writers or storytellers.
Adjacent to each video is a tiny, one or two question quiz (often multiple-choice) which you must answer correctly to “pass” the Unit.
Below the video and quiz are links to optional further readings, references to articles or books, or other supporting videos. It doesn’t get much easier than that. I think this course is a bit too easy so far, but it is also very well-designed, nice to look at, and easy to use. The videos are extremely professionally-made and fun to watch. So far, the course has been a very enjoyable experience.
Apparently, this course has over 65,000 enrollees from all over the world, and (with the exception of a technical problem in Unit 2 of Chapter 1) seems to be well-liked by its users.
My only concern is the “apparent” level of interactions online in the course’s discussion forums. I say “apparent” because in my opinion, the discussion forums in the iVersity MOOC platform don’t really seem to adequately show the amount of interaction between students, and I don’t get an obvious sense that the Instructors are online and available.
This may be unfair of me, as I admit that I haven’t spent much time in the forums for this course, but in my memory of taking a different MOOC hosted in Coursera (“eLearning and Digital Cultures”), the Instructors seemed to have a more obvious presence online in the course’s discussion boards, and in monthly Google Hangout sessions.
I’m really looking forward to taking the rest of this MOOC…