Fig.1. The art of persuasion - sometimes devious, often from advertising, needed in open e-learning to get then hold your attention
Some of the most memorable classes of my school years were delivered by inspired and enthusiastic teachers. Decades on I realise that they would have made terrific salesmen. Perhaps that's what they went in to?
They used the power of persuasion to get our attention, keep it, plant some useful ideas and leave us hungry for me. I had an English teacher like that, for a term. I had an art teacher like that. Quite a keen sports coach. Geography was OK. Physics too. And most especially Maths, yet, looking at straight As in Maths and Add Maths I cannot logically see why I took no interest beyond O' Levels - incompatible with English and Art? A brother who had done Maths at A' Level and done disastrously badly?
The power of persuasion is what is needed in e-learning too, especially if this dynamic, response human being at the head of the class isn't there to hold your attention: think Robin Williams in 'Dead Poets Society'. So turning to OpenLearn and FutureLearn are these courses not simply getting your attention, but holding on to it? Best of all 'converting you' into a student who buys the book and signs up for the course?
Anyway, once too often I've become engaged in something online that has the stickiness of a Chameleon's tongue on a bluebottle's back. You can get so drawn into these, the empathy, the survey, the sincerity ... and you are slowly reeled in like the proverbial sea-trout at the end of a nightlong vigil on the Esk.
Write a novel in a month is doing something similar, but in a less devious way. In fact, Write a Novel in a Month is a service, as well as a tool. I could imagine getting through to a 50,000 word count with it by the end of November and then feeling OK about making a donation.
Fig.2 41,631 words to go to complete a first draft by the end of November