Impressions of Iowa State's Basics of Professional Writing non-credit cert.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Go_Fishy, Jun 11, 2009.

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  1. Go_Fishy

    Go_Fishy New Member

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    Hi,

    I am in the process of completing ISU Extension's 'Basics of Professional Writing' non-credit certificate and thought I'd post my impressions here.

    The good:

    • ISU has an excellent reputation in writing;
    • the certificate is $45;
    • those with very little writing experience may get something out of it;
    • good collection of online resources;
    • there is a physical certificate upon completion;
    • the course is short (couple of evenings).

    The bad:

    • There is no feedback during the course whatsoever. It's self study only;
    • most resources are available online for free;
    • the course contents are sometimes overly simple.

    The flat-out ugly:

    • The quality of some resources is more than questionable.

    The bottom line:

    The course delivers what it promises: very, very (, very!) basic introduction to writing academic/professional texts. ISU did not go above and beyond creating this course. In fact, the main resources are Purdue University's OWL and Colorado State's writing lab, and both are accessible online for free. And even though both labs are great projects, their cookbook style does not always help develop good writing skills. For instance, CSU's page works a lot with direct quotes from experiences writers. Unfortunately, they are sometimes quoted so out of context that they make embarrassingly little sense - and this in a course on clear writing...

    I still think the course can be valuable for writing novices, especially considering the fair price. Just don't expect anything new if you successfully passed a class in college.

    Another thing I really like is that ISU Extension is involved in a number of awesome projects improving the lives of people in rural Iowa. So definitely something worth supporting. Kinda like a donation to PBS... ;)

    I will let you know about the certificate when I got it.
     
  2. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

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    What type of delivery lecture? Is it video base or interactive media?
     
  3. Go_Fishy

    Go_Fishy New Member

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    It's PDF based. [​IMG]

    No interactivity, it is reading stuff online and posting some assignments. You work on your own project throughout the course. In the end, you get some feedback, I believe.
     
  4. Go_Fishy

    Go_Fishy New Member

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    I just received my certificate in the mail and thought I'd comment on what it looks like.

    Paper: thin darkened paper in a cardboard folder

    Text: (in red) Iowa State University (below, still red) University Extension. (In black) This certifies that Go Fishy has successfully completed the professional development program Basics of Professional Writing at Iowa State University June 2009

    Signature, director of Continuing Education & Professional Development


    As long as you don't touch it, it is actually a nice looking certificate. Doesn't look cheap and has no embarrassing seals or anything.
     
  5. Woho

    Woho New Member

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    Just to bring up something similar:
    I'm right now doing the "Study Skills" Certificate at Oxford http://onlinecourses.conted.ox.ac.uk/coursequeries.php?id=O09P329SKV (Kinda thought it might be good to see how the Uk system works before going for a PhD over there).
    It's very essay writing based and quite solid in it's delivery. There are three assignments, two 350 words and one short essay 1000 words which come with quite helpful feedback. It all comes with online instructions, exercises plus additional pdf based documentation. I'm almost done with it and quite satisfied so far.
     
  6. pasban

    pasban member

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    I like your post its quite informative and i love to visit you again as you have done a wonderful job. i love to bookmark this site and would send it to other friends to read it and visit it to get upto date and quite interesting information.
     
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