You may have heard about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). These free courses, taught by faculty to students all over the world, are changing the face of higher education.

I will offer a four week session in the principles of writing the personal essay. This is my experiment and contribution to the principles of Open Access education.

While the material we cover will be tailored to the genre known as “creative non-fiction”, the skills can be generalizable to most types of writing.

Your participation will help me better understand more about the benefits of an online learning environment.

Sign up below for the course that will start October 1.

There are two tracks:

Learners – for those who want to access the materials but not submit assignments.

Scribes – for those who will complete writing assignments and want feedback on their submissions.

What can I expect?

A four week tutorial on the fundamentals of essay writing.

How much does it cost?
MOOCs are free! So tell a friend. You can work on your writing together.

What will I have to do?

Each week you will have to watch at least one video, take a content quiz (related to topics covered in that week’s video) and complete a writing assignment.

Do I need to buy any books?

All you need is access to a computer and an Internet connection. The materials you’ll need will be in the online forum.

What if I don’t have time to write?

Well, this is a writing module, but if you would like to have access to the course content without doing the assignments, simply choose the Learner option when registering.

Who will be able to access my materials?

The learning space is a private space, accessible only to those who have registered for the module. Any content you share will not appear elsewhere.

Reader Comments

  1. Victoria Zumbrum

    I am really interested. I have been wanting to try to write a book for a while now. Do you have to watch the video at a certain time of the day or any time? I work a full-time job and was wondering if the writing assignments are due pretty quick?

    • Mohana

      Hi Victoria: That’s great to hear. You’re exactly the type of person I am trying to target. All of the assignments can be completed at your own pace – including watching the videos. The syllabus will be posted week by week and you’ll have 7 days in which to complete a reading, a video, a content quiz, and piece of writing. Let me know if that makes sense. And hope to see you in the MOOC.

    • Mohana

      Thanks Lisa. I’m excited as well to start this journey together. The week will run Sunday to Sunday but by the end of the month, all the content will be up, so you can do do them at your own pace (I’m traveling over Eid as well). The flexibility may be the best part about online learning. We shall soon see!

  2. Mr. Govindarajan Venkatesh

    Thank you very much Mrs. Mohana, for this act of altruism. I am a voracious reader of non-fiction and keenly enjoy the stimulation of the process of writing, non-fiction, whether it be the commercial correspondence at the office, a letter to the editor of the local English newspaper, even the routine email to friends, relatives and the personal commercial contacts or the imaginary essay constantly churning in my fertile mind.

    I eagerly read your blog posts every week on Mohadoha and look forward to learning the finer aspects and skills of essay writing from a professional and published writer like you.

    Hope to hone my writing skills over the weeks to come.

    Thanks and kind regards,

    Mr. G. Venkatesh.

  3. Mitch Emberlin

    Congratulations on your MOOC. This is one that I would be interested in joining, but am currently booked with several others online courses. Do you plan to repeat the course offering? Regardless, good luck with your course!

    • Mohana

      That’s amazing Mark that you’re taking advantage of all those Moocs. I confess I’m enrolled in two myself (to prepare for this project) and I could see this becoming addicting.

      Right now my plan is to leave the content up once the course is finished, but I won’t be able to give feedback on assignments for those who aren’t in the four week session.

      Great question and thanks for stopping in. Hope you’ll check out some of the materials and send me your thoughts as an experienced Moocer :).

  4. Ketaki Bardalai

    I am delighted to hear about this opportunity. I have just signed up. I am hoping to learn something about creative writing and thereby improve my own abilities.

  5. Marcella Warren

    Hi, I signed up for this course but unclear on how it works or where I go to begin it tomorrow or sign in. Will I receive an email with instructions on how to proceed with taking the course?

    Thanks and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    • Mohana

      Dear Marcella:
      Yes, all registered participants will receive a link with details about how to participate in the course tomorrow.

      Our weeks will run from Wednesday to Wednesday so you will receive the first week’s tasks with your registration confirmation.

      Thanks very much for your interest and look forward to seeing you in our learning space!

  6. Tanaz

    hi mohana…..This is my first MOOC , hence am eagerly looking forward to the experience. I am yet to receive my registration confirmation (I registered yesterday). please revert. thanks. tanaz

  7. Sandeep Thomas

    Thanks for doing this Mo. I signed up because I am curious about the format, because I have always been interested in writing and because I think our teacher is fabulous.

  8. karyn

    Hi. A friend recently told me about MOOC and this morning is the first I looked at the site. And, the very first course that popped up is this one…the very thing I’m interested in! It’s also the first day of the course, so I have registered hoping it’s not too late. If so, I understand and will await the next one.

    Thanks so much for offering this!

  9. Stacy

    Hi. I’m already enrolled and I have some unexpectedly relevant questions.

    What is the Time Zone for this course? It would be a shame to miss a deadline due to living in another time (and doesn’t that sound like something from a fantasy book?)

    Will we be able to have the information necessary to complete our essays off-line? Good old copy-paste or something?

    PS: I’m not sure what’s the point of attending a session on writing an essay if you actually DON’T write an essay. Isn’t that the point? Get feedback and improve your skill etc.

    • Mohana

      Hi Stacy: you’d be surprise how many people don’t come to a workshop with a pen or paper.

      To answer your questions: asynchronous learning means you do assignments on your own, at your own pace, within the timeframe set by the instructor. I will post each week’s assignments on Sundays and you’ll have until midnight the following week to finish them. Midnight will be defined as GMT+3 so the advantage will be to those in later time zones.

      This means you can watch the lectures, take any quizzes, read articles whenever you want. There’s nothing to tune in for at a set time. There will be optional Google hang outs but more on that in the forum.

      Hope that helps. And yes, we’ll have all materials up early to plan ahead for glitches.

  10. Stacy

    Are the confirmation letters to be sent on Wednesday? Because so far I haven’t received anything.
    I’m pretty sure I signed up with the correct address, but it’s been known to behave oddly (sometimes I can’t receive letters that I KNOW are coming, and sometimes my letters won’t arrive into recipient’s inbox, there’s no consistency either)
    So if you you have already sent out information, my mailbox is probably acting up. If that’s the case, is it possible to switch to another email?

  11. Fox

    Hello Mohana,
    I’ve received the confirmation email, signed up to Google and got a Gmail address. But how do I join the essay group? I’m unsure how to post my Bio. As you can guess I’ve not joined a Mooc before!

    • Mohana

      Hi David: no worries – that’s all part of the fun of this experience. I have approved you now for the Google+ community so it should pop up as a notification for you the next time you sign in to your Gmail. Post your bio in the discussion forum. See you in class.

  12. Mohana

    Hi Karen: have you checked your spam folder? Send me an email from the contact form on this website and we can take it from there. If you have a gmail address please use that for this course.

    • Mohana

      Hi Mary: A few people who registered have other commitments. Would you like to join? We are only in the first week and assignments are due next Sunday. If you would like to join this session, please fill out the contact form (under contact) and let me know; you will need a Gmail address and a Google+ profile. Thanks for your interest!

    • Mohana

      Hi Meg: I’m not sure what form this course will take next, but if you are able to get the first assignment done this weekend (250 word writing exercise) then, yes you can still join us. We are in week 1 and a few people have withdrawn, due to other commitments so we have had a few spaces open up. If you’re interested, drop me a note via the contact page and I’ll get you set up. Make sure you have a Gmail account that has a Google+ profile activated (you’ll need that for the discussion forum).

  13. Ucheria

    Hi Mohana: I tagged your announcement in twitter but missed the actually start date & seem to be late. Not to be a bother but is it still possible to join?

    • Mohana

      Hi Ucheria: if you would like to participate as a learner, I have sent you an invite to the forum. We are two weeks in and have two weeks to go, but I hope you find the information useful.

  14. Annee Bee

    Dear Madame,
    I was about to enrol for my very first MOOC (yours) and now I discover the course has closed. I am so disappointed.
    Is it possible that I may be placed on a wait list in case somebody drops out?
    Thank you for this consideration

    • Mohana

      Dear Annee: sign up for my newsletter (link the sidebar) and I’ll let you know if there’s another one. Also you may want to look at places like Coursera or EdX for other MOOCs.

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