Adventures in Education and Newfound Clarity

CC image courtesy of Mark Brannan on Flickr

CC image courtesy of Mark Brannan on Flickr

I started a Coursera course this week called Crafting an Effective Writer:Tools of the Trade. It’s a pretty basic course that I think will be a good refresher and way to dip my toes back into the academic pool. The material itself is somewhat inconsequential; I have other reasons for deciding to sign up:

  1. To relearn how to learn (particularly in an online environment). It’s not that I stopped learning when I left school, because I didn’t - not by a long shot. However, it has been a few years (...5?) since I last attended a postsecondary institution and I need to establish new study habits that fit my life as it is now, which can best be described as quite full.

  2. To establish a new schedule. If all goes well I will be going back to school in the fall, finishing a degree online via the University of Manitoba. I haven’t been accepted yet (the application is in - cross yo fingas), but in the interest of a smooth transition I am trying to establish a schedule now so as to be better prepared when the “real” work (hopefully) begins.

  3. To brush up on my writing skillz. Because hey, getting back to the basics never hurt anyone!

I have spent a great deal of time on self improvement and personal work over the past seven months. It has been tough, angsty work at times, but the benefit of all that effort is that some areas of my life in which I previously felt directionless are now becoming much more clear. I’ve taken on more writing and editing responsibilities at work, and am now working towards making those activities my career instead of just a hobby. I’ve got some learning and research to do and experience to gain, but every little piece of work I do is a step in the right direction.

So there you have it. Baby steps, right?

Have you ever taken a Coursera course, or done any other free online learning? What was your experience like?