Saturday, April 20, 2013

More MOOC lurking

Report from the MOOC front: Ohio State's Writing II: Rhetorical Composing is starting on Coursera on April 22. The instructors are by Susan Delagrange, Cynthia Selfe, Kay Halasek, Ben McCorkle, and Scott Lloyd DeWitt. The instructors address the concept of "global Englishes" in their introductory material. I'm excited to see the instructors acknowledge that these courses have a global audience! In response to the introductory videos, one of the very first students to post asked if accepting more than one "English" will water down the course. A staff member replied and noted that this course will "foster a learning community that welcomes English speakers from all around the world." This is a great question to have raised and discussed right up at the beginning of the course. This may head off some problems that have developed in other courses where U.S. students have not known how to deal with writers from other regions. The instructors say that they will be spending time suggesting ways to give feedback. Official hashtag for the course: #wexmooc

In the meantime... I've continued to check out the discussions in Duke University's English Comp I (also on Coursera). One student noted that the instructor in one video referred to "inches" when talking about indenting citations. There was no corresponding equivalent for "centimeters" mentioned in the video. The student's version of Word uses centimeters. Another student supplied the conversion to centimeters, but there you go! The question about what to consider when developing a course for a global audience was raised! While APA and MLA citation styles mentioned in the course are used in many situations, would it have been worth mentioning styles used in other countries? For example I gather that ABNT (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas) is used in many universities in Brazil. Maybe acknowledging the existence of some other styles would be enough?

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