Friday, 26 July 2013

A review of Open2Study's Writing for the Web

Taught by +Frankie Madden, Senior User Experience Designer at Stamford Interactive, Writing for the Web is a very basic 4 weeks course available on the Australian MOOC Platform Open2Study.
The course goes over the difference between writing for print versus writing for the web. The course also touches on web design, writing style, structure and search engine optimisation.

  • Pedagogy

The goal of the course is clear from the beginning and the instructor extensively uses repetition to hammer home the key points within the four weekly modules:

- Writing for the web is different
- Character of good content
- Writing effective content
- Looking after your content

  • Professor’s aura / Quality and availability of teaching staff

While not a star professor from an Ivy League institution, +Frankie Madden is a Senior User Experience Designer at Stamford Interactive, a web consultancy practice. She is easily understandable and clearly masters her subject.
There was no opportunity during the 4 weeks course to interact directly with the teaching team via Hangout but they quickly addressed the main issues in the forum.

  • Academic rigor

Each weekly module are rounded off by a very short quizz (5 questions in total and 3 attempts allowed). A final subject grade of 60% or above is considered a passing grade and will earn you a Certificate of Achievement.

  • Student body

The course wasn’t as massive as the average Coursera MOOC and the forums not as dynamic. Most questions were satisfactorily answered however.

  • Corporate sponsors

Stamford Interactive is the course sponsor but not quite in the same way as Google is the sponsor for Udacity’s HTML5 Game Development. Stamford Interactive is not trying to recruit start students but rather hoping to recruit paying customer for its consultancy services.

  • Technical platform

The Open2Study MOOC platform covers the basics well with a high level of gamification that might be too much for some (badges are available for getting a quizz right, as well as for getting a quizz wrong and looking for hints).

  • Production value

Open2Study recording style is very basic but of high quality and the course instructor elegantly used a tablet computer to illustrate good practice with real world examples.

Despite being closer in style to a corporate e-learning than an online university course, Open2Study’s Writing for the Web is worth doing for anybody interested in the topic.

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