Coursera: MOOC Learning – Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative

I decided to take a MMOC free online class with Coursera. The class I’m taking is named Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative. So excited!

We’re currently in Week 1 of the course. During this week our assignments include:

– J.R.R Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring (“Prologue, Concerning Hobbits, and other matters” and Book One)
– Jesper Juul’s Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds (first 7-pages of the “Introduction” )- Constantine P. Cavafy’s poem “Ithaca”

(Computer) Gameplay for Week 1 (required for students on the Distinction Track; optional for all others):
– Download and install Lord of the Rings Online
– Create a character
– Complete the Tutorial and the Intro quests

I’ve read The Fellowship of the Ring about a million times – once as a guided class – so I’m just going to skim.
I’m currently working on the Half-Real reading – it’s a little dry, lol.
Ithaca is pretty short so that’s done.
The gameplay is killing me. I am very much a point & click kinda of gamer (vs WASD movement) and LOTRO is a WASD movement game. I’m going to try to force my way through the Intro quests this weekend.

What is Coursera?
Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.

What is an MOOC?
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course
An MOOC is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education which began to emerge in 2012.

Although early MOOCs often emphasized open access features, such as connectivism and open licensing of content, structure, and learning goals, to promote the reuse and remixing of resources, some notable newer MOOCs use closed licenses for their course materials, while maintaining free access for students.
About Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative:

This course is a university-level English literature class—a multi-genre, multimedia tour of how literature, film, and games engage in the basic human activity of storytelling. We have three different kinds of videos planned for the coming weeks: short lectures, student seminars, and in-game films. You will read some great literature by Tolkien, Spenser, Keats, Browning, and others, and watch Peter Jackson’s movie of The Fellowship of the Ring.

We hope many of you will play Lord of the Rings Online with your classmates, but the game is optional except for those of you who want to pursue the Distinction Track.

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