Free Autumn/Spring MOOC Courses of Interest to Writers

How to study a MOOC

Lifehacker.com has recently published the Lifehacker University Fall 2015 Programme, which in essence is a roundup list of links to free university and MOOC online courses available at this time.

Of interest, I chose several which pique my own writer within (although some of the computer programming ones are also of interest). My choice for some interesting online courses (quoted from Lifehacker University) for fiction writers after the cut.

But if you want others, read the Lifehacker post. And at the bottom the post lists many other resources for MOOC courses you can find.

Inspiration from Human History

For those interested in Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey17 Week Course, Commenced 26th August.

Harvard University – The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours – Professors Gregory Nagy, Leonard Muellner, Kevin McGrath, Keith Stone, and Claudia Filos – Learning what it took to be a “hero” in ancient Greece shines a bright light on the expectations of people in our society even today. What does it mean to be a “hero,” and how should normal people conduct themselves as a result? You’ll learn those lessons by studying ancient Greek literature, specifically the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey; tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; songs of Sappho and Pindar; dialogues of Plato, and On Heroes by Philostratus.

Human Development in General – 8 Weeks, Begins October 4th.

Arizona State University – Human Origins – Professor Dr. Donald C Johnanson – What does it mean to be human? Where do we come from, and what did our ancestors look like? How did they live? This course examines the evidence at hand for the origins of humanity, fossil records, and our place in nature—all taught by the award winning paleoanthropologist that discovered the skeleton known as Lucy, which you’ve probably heard of before. The course also includes an introduction to evolutionary biology, and an overview of the hominid fossil record, and how anthropological research like this is conducted.

More Human History, Social Studies and Myths4 weeks, starts September 27th.

University of Liverpool – Superpowers of the Ancient World: The Near East – Professor Glenn Godenho So much of history taught in schools focuses on the western world—specifically Europe and its conquests, colonies, and expansion, even back to the ancient world. This course on the other hand spins the globe and the clock and goes back to some of the biggest powers the ancient world ever saw—the ancient Egyptians, Mitannians, and Hittites. You’ll learn about their cultures, where they lives, where they expanded, what happened to their empires, and what we can learn from those historic lessons today.

Building a Whole New World? If the above doesn’t help out, how about –

Universiteit Leiden – Miracles of Human Language: An Introduction to Linguistics – Professor Marc van Oostendorp

The Productive Writer

For looking after ourselves, how about a course on happiness? 10 weeks, starts Sept 8th.

University of California at Berkeley – The Science of Happiness – Professors Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas – Billed as one of the first online courses to teach positive psychology, this class studies what it takes to be happy from a social and psychological perspective. Strong connections, a sense of meaning and belonging, personal value, and more all come into play here, and you’ll span the fields of psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and more to get an understanding of how human beings interpret “happiness,” and the myriad paths to achieve it. By the end, you’ll have a ton of practical, research-backed tips to use to improve your life and your own mood.

Or for more on methods to increase our inspiration or states of mind –

Monash University – Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance – Professors Dr. Craig Hassed and Dr. Richard Chambers

The University of Sheffield – Exploring Play: The Importance of Play in Everyday Life – Professors Elizabeth Wood and Jackie Marsh

Thinking about Creating Your own Book Trailer? Or using video on your author website?

University of Birmingham – Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the Web – Professors Michele Aaron and Richard Langley

Crime Writers Reference

I’ve taken several Forensics Courses before, but this year there are a couple more offered, and I recommend the Open University Forensic Psychology one, which has a lot to think about when writing witness statements –

Canvas – Investigative Concepts: FBI Major Case #203: The “Pizza Bomber”Professor Jerry Clark, PhD – The case of the “Pizza Bomber

University of Dundee – Identifying the Dead: Forensic Science and Human Identification – Professor Helen Meadows

The Open University – Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation – Professor Graham Pike

Image Credit: How to Study in a Mooc

2 thoughts on “Free Autumn/Spring MOOC Courses of Interest to Writers

  1. Hi Hunter, thanks for sharing this, I’ve signed up for the Bullying101 and the Mindfulness and Wellbeing for Peak performance.

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