In the past decade or so, online education and online learning resources have seen a surge in popularity. More and more people are seeking the benefits of accessible and mobile avenues for learning and personal growth. Really, this trend has been happening for many, many years.
Since the advent of the internet, social networking, and mobile media, our society has been hooked to the speed and ease of technology on the go. Where online degrees and mobile learning once held a social and academic stigma of illegitimacy, today more people are entering the mobile classroom than ever before. While online education is important in its own right, it also illuminates the greater concept of accessible education for all.
This is where open courseware opportunities come into play. Whether you are a nurse wishing to expand your academic knowledge with sociology classes or you're a full-time blogger wanting to perfect your craft with writing classes, online open courseware has something to offer anyone and everyone. These three open courseware writing classes offered by big-name universities are valuable tools for writers and bloggers hoping to improve the quality of their content.
Expository Writing: Autobiography- Theory and Practice- MIT
This class originally taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001 offers insight into the autobiographical writing process. The class focuses on several readings from autobiographical prose throughout history and then explores how writers recall, select, shape and present these stories. This open course offers the class syllabus, calendar, readings, and assignments. Bloggers can use this course to perfect their writing craft and to better understand their approach to personal or autobiographical writing. While not all blogging is autobiographical, of course, much of our writing can involve autobiographical elements. While this class focuses specifically on autobiography, writers can benefit from the general writing practice it provides.
The Creative Spark- MIT
This MIT class provides writers with insight into the creative spark. Writing—whether its non-fiction, narrative, journalist, or anything else—relies on some level of creative inspiration. Creativity is what drives our writing, forms our sentences, selects our words, and inspires our ideas. This course takes a look at the ways creativity has been understood throughout Western culture. Students will explore how writers, artists, scientists, and inventors have described their creative processes throughout history. By examining the creative process, this course encourages writers to better understand their own creative process and better facilitate it in their writing. With 25 different assignments, a list of various readings, and several different study materials offered for free, this class can be extremely useful to writers and bloggers looking to explore their creativity.
The Purdue writing lab is somewhat different than the MIT course discussed above. This online resource is more than just one class offered online. Purdue offers numerous resources for writing and composition for free through this lab. Users can access resources for the writing process, academic writing, common writing assignments, mechanics, grammar, punctuation, visual rhetoric, conducting research, using research, APA style, MLA style, Chicago style, and much more. This resource is endless in its possibilities for writers. The resources provided in the “writing process” section are specifically useful for bloggers in my opinion. In this section, you can find information on prewriting, writer's block, outlining, proofreading, and much more.
This guest post comes courtesy of Mariana Ashley, who frequently gives advice on applying to online colleges to prospective students. Reach her at email@example.com.