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Write for Us

MOOC News and Reviews is looking for reviewers and regular contributors.  If you’ve ever finished a MOOC and want to write a critique to help future students considering taking that course, we want to hear from you.

The first step is to read the guidelines below. If you are interested in proposing a review or other essay that fits within these guidelines, the next step is to go to the Contact page and send us a message.

 

Editorial vision

MOOC News and Reviews features smart, insightful and helpful commentary grounded in personal experience. We are independent and user-centric, and the goal of every review is to answer for readers, “What will I experience in this course and how will it impact my life?” Our primary audience is students but also includes teachers and other affiliates of MOOC providers.

We are a multi-author blog striving to provide:

  • A comprehensive and authoritative resource for reviews of individual courses
  • In-depth commentary on developments in the MOOC world.
  • Inclusion of voices and perspectives reflecting the global diversity of the MOOC student body.
  • Attention to lesser-known MOOC platforms.
  • Answers to the questions students are asking – if and how a given course or platform will help them achieve their goals.

 

What a course review should address

Reviews focus on the effect more than the content. Briefly summarize the course material, but spend more time exploring how the content matters.

  • What difference did taking the course make for you? What does it help you accomplish?
  • Did you achieve your desired learning outcomes?
  • Did taking the course have any effect on your career?
  • What should future students in this course expect?
  • Do you have any advice on how to navigate the course so it will be more useful to our readers?

Additionally, you might address the course design, its functionality and the particular culture that developed among students.

Your readers are considering a serious investment of time into this course and are trying to decide on the right tool to help make a change in their lives. Your goal is to bring to life the experience of the course and the impact of taking it.

Most of all, have fun with it. The critique should do serious work, but the voice articulating that critique should be your own.

 

Additional possible essay topics

In addition to reviews of individual courses, MOOC News and Reviews publishes commentary and news articles on the larger MOOC movement. If you have personal experience or can provide original reporting on subjects like the following, please do contact us with a proposal.

  • Reviews of lesser-known MOOC platforms
  • New developments related to MOOCs, particularly coverage of conferences and other events.
  • Interviews with influential people in the MOOC world.
  • Innovative uses of MOOCs, case studies and profiles.
  • The “culture” of the MOOC. What norms are developing in the environment? Is it the same on every platform?
  • The evolving credentialing schemes offered by MOOC providers.
  • How employers look at MOOCs when evaluating job candidates.
  • Design. Are MOOC platforms user-centric? How are teachers adapting their classroom pedagogy to suit the platform?
  • An evaluation of how colleges and universities are adapting to MOOCs.
  • Podcasts, recorded video chats, infographics, slideshares or other creative approaches to all of the above.

 

Editorial guidelines for contributors

  1. Reviews should be at least 600 words. Most other essays should be at least 800 words, and for many subjects, closer to 1,500 words will be appropriate.
  2. Essays and reviews should have a clear point-of-view. Don’t be noisy just to stand out, but be clear about what your main claim is and how it differs from other views. Don’t be provocative just for attention, but be provocative to encourage discussion in useful directions.
  3. Establish a trustworthy ethos. Use your real name, acknowledge your biases and limitations, credit your sources and then confidently make your case.
  4. New original material only.
  5. Your essay must be your own work and free of plagiarism.
  6. Your essay should contain true and accurate information.
  7. Include a few suggested headlines.
  8. Consider breaking the text of your essay up with subheads.
  9. Have a bio of yourself ready to include with your first contribution.
  10. In your bio, include two or three links to your own website or social media profiles.
  11. Outbound links: Go easy on other outbound links in your article. The basic rule of thumb is that it’s okay if it is genuinely useful to the reader and closely related to your essay.
  12. Your work belongs to you. However, we ask that you not reuse your contributions to MOOC News and Reviews anywhere else for at least 180 days after we post it. (i.e. six-month exclusive).

 

Lastly, be prepared to share and promote your article yourself. If it’s not something you can confidently send to your colleagues or post on your LinkedIn profile, other social media accounts or blog, it’s probably not for MOOC News and Reviews.

 

“Okay, I’m ready. What do I do?”

Don’t send us articles. But please do pitch us ideas for articles. Sketch out the question you’re trying to answer in your piece and include a few bullet points of detail on what you expect to explore. Include a proposed timeline. Say a little about yourself and point us to your other writing online or social media profiles. We’ll look it over as quick as we can and be in touch.