Tag Archives: online courses

Online Courses and How They Relate to My Writing

A year ago, I started doing online courses through Coursera, and soon after that, Future Learn.  I did so many in the first half of the year, I found myself burning out a bit.  I then took a break.  But I’ve started up again, and just finished my first one in a while.  I have four coming up over the next six months.

But why I’m taking them you may ask.  It’s really about two things: personal interest and research for writing.  Let’s look at the courses I’m going to do and what I just finished.

What a Plant Knows is an interesting plant biology course that has given me insights into how a plant interacts with its environment.  This course will help me with the development of plants on Ariadne.

Elements of Renewable Energy begins next week.  I’m interested in this course because of both personal interest and research.  On Ariadne, they will be seeking sources of renewable energy for electricity, and I think this will help give me an overview.  It may or may not show me anything new, but I think it’ll be interesting.

World War I: Aviation Comes of Age begins next month.  This is mainly personal interest, as I have an interest in aviation.  However, it may help me a bit with the development of new types of aircraft on Ariadne.

The Emergence of the Modern Middle East begins in March.  I’m interested in this course because it shows about the recent history of a very unstable region in the world.  This will help me with researching about international relations, as well as development of regional politics and conflict.  These themes will be important later on in Ariadne, as well as in any fantasy writing I do.

Hadrian’s Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier begins in June.  This will be interesting for future fantasy writing I do.  History is a good thing to study if I want to write fantasy, as many elements of history can help me develop civilisations that are similar to ancient Earth civilisations.

Of course, this is only one way to do research.  How do you prefer to do research for your writing?  Please leave your comment below.

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Crazy Busy Student Life

I work full time.  I also try to write as much as I can.  But now it’s like I’m a full time student.  As of this week, I am studying 6 online courses at once.  I must be crazy.

The last time I studied 6 courses at the same time was in my second year of university.  I took 6 courses both semesters after transferring from one university to another.  Some of my courses didn’t transfer, even though I was told they would.  I had to take them again.  It was an incredibly busy time, including one day that was 13 hours long, from 8:30 am to 9:30 pm.  On my first day of that schedule, I’d caught a pretty bad cold, and it was a rainy January day.  I felt awful, but it was the first day of my lab sessions, which I could not be absent from.  They were mandatory, as they were orientations to give us all of the information we needed for the semester.  I’m pretty sure I crashed in bed when I got home.

But now, I have 6 online courses to do.  These include:

  • Start Writing Fiction – I have 3 weeks to go in this one.
  • Introduction to Ecosystems – 4 weeks to go in this.
  • Archaeology of Portus – 4 weeks to go in this fascinating course about Rome’s ancient port.
  • Diversity of Exoplanets – I’ve just started this, and I can thankfully fall behind, as everything is due in mid-July.  It’s 6 weeks long.
  • Paradoxes of War – Just started today, and I have yet to look at it. It’s 8 weeks long.
  • Organic Solar Cells – Starts tomorrow and lasts until mid-July.

So, am I crazy?

Now You Can Study Online at Hogwarts

With all of the online courses I’m taking, there’s something that caught my eye recently.  Hogwarts.  That’s right, you can study at Hogwarts online!

I did some looking around there, and apparently, you can study all of the classes for first year students, and they take 9 weeks to complete.  There are assignments, homework, tests, and quizzes to do.  You can do them at our own pace, though.  You can join a dorm.  You join a class and can interact with the same 100 people for the entire time you’re enrolled in that class.  You can talk to other members of your house in your common room or to anyone in the Great Hall.

Also, it’s made by fans, so the professors and people writing the courses are all volunteers.  And it’s free.  But one thing about houses.  There is no sorting hat.  You choose your own house.

So, anyone find it interesting?