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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Practice Job Talk presented by Ben Wiggins

Ben Wiggins will present a practice job talk on the subject of massive open online courses (MOOCs) on Friday, February 15th at 1pm in the Scott Hall Commons, room 105.

This presentation analyzes "The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound, and Color," a massive open online course (MOOC) on the history and aesthetics of American cinema. Taught by Wesleyan professor Scott Higgins and delivered on the MOOC-courseware site, Coursera, the class is notable for being the first media-studies MOOC and one of the few humanities offerings in this new style of education. I assess the course's effectiveness by considering how it balances the fundamentals of course design with the challenges of MOOCs' massiveness, openness, and online delivery methods. I then draw on lessons learned from other MOOCs and from the rich history of distance-leaning courses to offer potential solutions to shortcomings in Higgins's course design and the design of humanities MOOCs generally.