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MSU offering free online courses on Ozarks Cultural Issues

Laura Ingalls Wilder - Rocky Ridge Farm, Mansfield, MO
Laura Ingalls Wilder - Rocky Ridge Farm, Mansfield, MOCourtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This fall semester, Missouri State University (MSU) is opening, for the first time, not just one, but two, MOOCs on Ozarks Culture. These Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are following a recent trend in higher education, but these are the first from MSU. I'll get to the early announced class in a moment. For now, I want to focus on the class titled: Ozarks History: Examining an American Culture.

This course will explore topics like geography, history, music, literature and religion, and is described as answering the following questions:

  • What are the Ozarks?
  • Where are the Ozarks?
  • Who are the Ozarkers?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Is the region unique? Why or why not?

Anyone can enroll in these free online courses by going to outreach.missouristate.edu/180450.htm to enroll. I did, and it worked. The online course is free and does not provide college credit. interested participants can enroll at any point during the 10 weeks of the class. This class begins on September 8. The course instructor is Blevins and can be contacted at: brblevins @ missouristate.edu or 417-836-5914. The open-course coordinator for MOOCs is Lacey Geiger, contact at 417-836-8803 or LaceyGeigere@missouristate.edu

The second course being offered, beginning September 22 is: Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring her Work and Writing Life - The Early Years.

This course is being taught by Pamela Smith Hill, author of the 2007 biography of Wilder: "Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life." The book will be used in the course and is part of the course material. Over 3,000 persons have already signed up for the course but there is no limit on enrollment. Early, the Springfield New-Leader interviewed Hill about her work and this course. Excerpts of that interview are available here.

I encourage you to consider participating in either or both of these Ozarks Cultural issues courses.