#corpusmooc and FutureLearn

Hurrah! A peg to hang my general text analysis drifting on has arrived in the shape of a FutureLearn MOOC. I signed up med det samme to Tony McEnery/Lancaster’s Corpus linguistics, starts on 27 January. Unfeasibly excited – let’s hope there’s not too much math.

A message on 13 October gives some info on how it will run:

  • designed so that whatever your level you should be able to get something from the course each week
  • weekly introductory video, plus at least one advanced video treating the topic in more depth, recorded during Lancaster’s summer school in corpus linguistics
  • software, readings and special little extras…
  • invited to follow @TonyMcEnery for tweets covering #corpuslinguistics and the development of the course

And from another chatty update received on 27 October, a rather different feel from the usual stiff style:

I have been having a great time filming conversations with linguists, social scientists and researchers in the humanities about their use of corpora. We have had fun filming these videos – essentially I agree a time, come along with my trusty camcorder, set it up and we start talking. Sort of guerrilla MOOC building, so to speak!

All systems go by 24 November: ” we have software to give you” – fingers crossed I can set it up OK, have run into insoluble problems with two other tools. Interesting comment re “having really very good luck getting free readings”, copyright may be dull but is an issue. A survey to be sent out in December so that any fine tuning can be done to ensure the MOOC caters for as wide a range of needs and interests and possible – liking this recognition that not everyone comes from the same place. Videos not up to Discovery channel standards, tsk tsk, but try to make sure the experience is as close to being at university, in spirit, as possible, where a university is a place of thought, discussion and lecture.

How the course will run, from a message sent on Xmas Eve.

Each week will be split into four:

  1. An introductory lecture on a topic, with supporting readings donated by publishers.
  2. One or more advanced lectures covering similar topics (or just plain interesting topics).
  3. A ‘how to’ session to develop corpus searching and building skills.
  4. One or more ‘in conversation’ videos giving an insight into the wide range of uses for corpora.

Software details: Laurence Anthony‘s AntConc, plus an intro to Andrew Hardie’s online corpus searching program, CQPweb and other tools. A team of tutors will be participating in the discussions. See also the post on assessment and feedback from Vaclav Brezina.


Articles about how FutureLearn is panning out:

Might be worth taking a look at the customer feedback forum. Other FutureLearn MOOCs include Murder by the loch, aka an introduction to forensic science. And somehow I managed to miss this introductory story, published 21 January.


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