For quite some time now, I’ve been meaning to tighten up my writing skills and began researching for some free online writing courses opportunities. A couple of weeks ago, I found a website that offers a number of courses that I think will be interesting and potentially beneficial to take.
The site I found is: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/ OpenLearn is part of The Open University in the UK, and they offer a variety of free online courses.
My goal is take some applicable classes in hopes to improve my writing skills. Once I finish each course, I plan on writing a reflection here on my blog.
Course Title: Writing What You Know
Total Hours: 8 hours
- Descriptive writing using something you know/see – a room, daily activities, a short journey
- Observe and use those observations for future writing, exercising linguistic and perceptual muscles
- Utilize the five senses to expand descriptive writing
- Memory works as a narrative to bring the story alive
Materials used (all given online):
- Excerpts from authors’ writing
- Audio mini-interview with an author
- Prompts to guide thinking and writing
What have I gained?
- To carry a notebook to write down ideas, thoughts, rants, what I see, think, and feel. These ideas can be used at some other point
- To use distinct memories and/or personal experiences in order to bring life to a story
When I was teaching, one of my weekly focus was teaching how to write using varying writing styles (personal narratives, expository, persuasive, poetry, etc.). One of the very first things I taught, using my school’s Writer’s Workshop curriculum, was “Good authors write what they know”. My students, at first, were confused by this statement, but breaking it down with just a simple experience they’ve had opened their minds. They eventually were able to pull from different experiences to create both informative and entertaining personal narrative writing pieces.
I found this course to be fairly simple and straightforward. Aside from carrying a small notebook around and digging deep into my memory, I don’t know if I’ve learned very much. Through the Writer’s Workshop curriculum I taught for a few years, I touched upon almost each topic covered here. That is not to say this wasn’t a useful course, because I do like the idea of carrying a notebook around to jot down ideas/thoughts and it was a good refresher on topics I’ve taught before. Overall, I believe this was a good course to start with since it was easy to understand and complete.
Here is my Statement of Participation:
Thank you for reading and until next time! 🙂