Despite having a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications, I’m always looking for ways to improve my thought process and hone the mechanics of writing. I believe there is always room to grow and become better, especially at writing. I love storytelling, but spelling and (occasionally punctuation) have not always been my forte.
Now, for the most part, I know where to stick a comma (see!) or spell their/they’re/there. But there’s still a few writing mechanics that I’m still trying to smooth out. I was trained in news writing, so it was always about being punchy and concise in news articles. I’m still working on being concise, and there are other things, like making sure I correctly differentiate between affect or effect correctly or remembering the difference between nauseous vs. nauseated. It can be exhaustive, but I push myself to become better. It’s not just about the writing either, I want to be a better problem solver and critical thinker.
The other day, I had a discussion with my mom about taking a college course in writing. I thought a refresher course on the basics would do me some good. But I think I’ve stumbled across something even better: Coursera.org. It’s a website that offers FREE online courses from Harvard, MIT, Penn State, and other high caliber universities. In case you missed it, I said these are FREE courses.
Although, Coursera is a for-profit organization, it has managed to offer these online courses at no cost to interested participants, all you have to do is sign up. I’ve already signed up for a modern poetry course at Penn State. I’m not sure whether it’s sustainable or long-term, but I think it’s a brilliant idea for people who can’t afford the classes or don’t have access to universities.
Right now, it seems you can’t earn college credit. But if your goal is knowledge and experience–then credits, schmedits.
I just love the idea of learning without having to pay. I’ve paid enough already. Take that student loans!
I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted on how the courses go. Let the free learning begin.