Seminar, eBook brings Civil Rights Era lessons to life

Is that your plan then? Do you hope to teach the seminar again, completely for credit?

Yes. We’re still nervous and formulating how we can offer it to a larger audience for credit. We’re working on that right now. A MOOC is not a business model. A MOOC is a gimmick for PR. We’re trying to figure out a way to make a seminar model that involves students effectively engaging in an expandable universe for credit online.

If it promises to significantly, dramatically, drastically cut the cost for students and open up access for credit that students who work for it can eventually use for a degree, that’s a service. And maybe a vitally needed one.

I really hope in the next month or two, we can get everything in so that we can get a course announced for next semester for credit through the University of Maryland.

Were there any challenges turning The King Years into an eBook?

I do not actually own a device in which I can read the enhanced digital version. My students didn’t use the online digital version, but I did help find all of the materials and videos. I’m not sure yet how much those enhancements really helped, if being able to actually listen to these Civil Rights speeches and interviews helped. It also raises all kinds of complicated issues of video rights, much more than quotation would in a book.

Most of the students, in the classroom and online, were talking about the printed book. I don’t know if that will be true the next time I teach it or not. Of course even with the paperback out now, the eBook is still cheaper. Even the enhanced eBook is cheaper.

All of this stuff is just so new that even the author doesn’t know parts of it.

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