At the end of January 2014, I enrolled in an MOOC on corpus linguistics offered by the U.K.-based Open University’s Future Learn. CorpusMOOC, as it was affectionately known and hashtagged on Twitter, was billed as a “practical introduction to the methodology of corpus linguistics for researchers in social sciences and humanities” (See the video introduction here). Tony McEnrey, a leading scholar in the field, aimed to deliver a hefty eight learning objectives in as many weeks. One in particular, to “demonstrate the use of corpus linguistics in the humanities, especially History” aligned nicely with my prior work using corpus linguistics as a digital history methodology. I am happy to report that I beat the odds (or rather, fit most of the profile of a successful MOOCer) and successfully completed the course.
CorpusMOOC was top notch from start to finish. Each week consisted of a series of video lectures, complete with PDF transcripts and downloadable powerpoints. Participants gained access to many resources including proprietary ones. The range of expertise was impressive, especially in the video interviews between McEnrey and leaders in the field. The realtime online support from paid course mentors offered an astounding 12 hours of coverage on weekdays and 5 hours on weekends.
As I proceeded through the course, marveling at how well it was all going, I realized that I was learning as much from CorpusMOOC about teaching online as I was about corpus linguistics. I blogged the full eight weeks, but have distilled the top five lessons learned about teaching online from taking a MOOC. <Read more.>