Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

Why I’m doing it

This course, run by University of London and UCL Institute of Education, was recommended by Helen Legge. Having just finished a course on FutureLearn I thought it would be interesting to compare the two MOOC platforms. I won’t go into anywhere near as much depth in this post as I did on the Italian course though! I’m also interested in finding out more about Task-Based Learning, something I’ve only touched on in passing on a few courses I’ve done, and have never explicitly tried out. Finally, reading is an area I’ve been reading up on over the past year to try and balance all the research I did on listening for my Delta. Many birds, one stone 🙂

Coursera logo

First impressions

As soon as you arrive on the Coursera site, it emphasises deadlines, and there are reminders of these in various places, including at the top of the to-do list. This is coupled with getting grades (“If you submit late, you might not get a grade.”), a word which I don’t remember ever being mentioned on FutureLearn.

Every Coursera task has an estimated time next to it, very useful for working out what you might be able to fit in in one sitting. Each section terminates in a peer graded assignment (due in 5 days for me) and ‘review your peers’ (due in 8 days), both of which are graded. This will potentially give more purpose to the community/discussion side of the MOOC than on FutureLearn, where it often seemed to lack purpose. There are clear links to references and further reading to enable you to take your learning further.

It’s a six-week course which I know I won’t have much time to do the second half of. You can see all of the tasks for the whole thing, including the deadlines, unlike FutureLearn which releases the tasks a week at a time. I wonder if the Coursera tutors are able to be as responsive as FutureLearn were, adapting the course based on feedback each week. Progress can apparently be carried over from one session to another, with most courses having a new session starting every few weeks. This is very different to FutureLearn, where many courses only seem to run once a year from what I’ve gathered (please correct me if I’m wrong).

These impressions are just based on skimming the interface: I’ll actually start it tomorrow. Anyone want to join me on the course?

If all goes to plan, I’ll share another post when I finish the course to reflect on what did and didn’t work. If you decide to join the course to, I’d be interested to hear what you think.

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Comments on: "Teaching EFL/ESL Reading: A Task-Based Approach (Coursera)" (5)

  1. Does coursera charge, if you’re getting grades?

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  2. […] when you’re doing it in your holidays instead of when working full-time🙂 You can read about what I thought as I started the course. I wrote the reflections below as I was doing […]

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  3. chriscattaneo said:

    From your post, it doesn’t sound like you got a certificate for this course. I collected and paid for mine because I really thought the course was excellently referenced and structured and well-worth the small fee. Others might like to know there is also a Coursera App. I always use it whenever doing their courses as it is a God-send. I watch / listen to videos, over and over if I like, in the car or on the tube instead of taking up precious home and family time.

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    • Hi Chris,
      I didn’t get the certificate this time, mostly because of buying my flat! I think it is worth the fee though, as you say – very well done. The app sounds good. Maybe one day I’ll get a smartphone 🙂
      Thanks for the comment,
      Sandy

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