I’ve made a mid-year resolution viz. MOOCs that I hope to follow through. Join only one blessed MOOC at a time and stick to it until it ends. Ever since I got into this MOOC craze last year, I’ve become irrationally excited, enrolling in loads and competing just a few. I’m currently enrolled in Brown University’s The Fiction of Relationship on Coursera and faithfully completing all the prescribed reading and assignments (just finished Melville’s Bartleby). I’ve even set up my very first Meetup. But, I’m already on the verge of violating this resolution. I’ve also enrolled in Introduction to Public Speaking which started several days ago. I might just end up “auditing” this course – I’m more interested in how they’ll run a course like this online and I’m already pleasantly surprised at their ingenuity with using makeshift tripods (using a pile of books) to give your laptop webcam a height boost and getting learners to post their assignments as unlisted Youtube videos for peer-review.
If you haven’t already tapped into Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the potential they offer for professional development, here are some upcoming ones to get you started. All are free and some are offered by leading universities. A few like Introduction to Business Communication and AccountableTalk(R) are directly relevant to what we do. However, I think rather than waiting to find MOOCs that are specifically on ELT, it might be more beneficial to look at topics that are outside our field. I found most of Jun Liu’s IATEFL Liverpool plenary talk dry and dated but I do agree with him about broadening horizons and building breadth of knowledge alongside the depth of expertise we may have in language teaching.
1. Introduction to Public Speaking – from Coursera
2. Introduction to Business Communication – from Canvas.net
2. Game Elements for Learning – from Canvas.net
3. Games in Education: Gamification – from Open Learning
4. Thinking like a Writer – from Michigan State Univ. on Canvas.net
5. Stunt Writing for Personal Growth – from Canvas.net
6. Design Thinking Action Lab – from Stanford Univ on Venture Lab
7. Art and Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies For Your Classroom – from the Museum of Modern Art on Coursera
8. AccountableTalk(R): Conversation that Works – from Univ of Pittsburg on Coursera