Jul 17, 2017

The Potential Effects of Massive Open Online Courses

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The Potential Effects of Massive Open Online Courses


Writing Assignment #2: Cause-Effect Analysis

Writing assignment #2 will be an essay in which you analyze either causes or effects.  You have two choices for this essay, both of which are very wide open.  For both choices, you are required to integrate two sources into your essay to support your argument.



  1. 1.      Technology and Education


Analyze the effects of a particular trend in educational technology.   

Our discussions in the class up to this point might be helpful for you as you consider ideas for this topic. 


You might analyze any one of the following.  These are just examples.  Many approaches are possible for this topic.

  1. The potential effects of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in higher education.  You might focus on a particular field of study for this choice.


You must use at least two sources to support your points in this essay.  You will cite your sources in APA style, using both in-text citations and a “References” page at the end of the essay.


Some interesting articles that might give you ideas for this essay, and that you could use for one or two of your sources, are the following:

  • Clive Thompson, “The New Literacy”


  • Cynthia Haven, “The New Literacy: Stanford study finds richness and complexity in students` writing“


  • John Sutherland, “Cn u txt?”


  • Michael Agger, “Lazy Eyes”



If you choose this topic, you may write on the same topic for writing assignment #3, the research-supported essay.  If you write on this topic for both writing assignment #2 and writing assignment #3, you will be expanding on your argument and finding more sources for the essay for writing assignment #3.



The following video tutorial provides general instruction on writing a cause-effect essay: http://polaris.umuc.edu/ewc/tutorials/cause_effect/ 


Your essay should have the following:

  • an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement.


The following video tutorial gives instruction on writing an effective introduction to an essay: http://polaris.umuc.edu/ewc/tutorials/introductions/

  • body paragraphs that offer evidence to support your thesis and synthesizes your source material


The following video tutorial gives instruction on writing effective body paragraphs for an essay.  Keep in mind that this tutorial is not specific to the cause-effect essay: http://polaris.umuc.edu/ewc/tutorials/paragraphs/


You might find the following tutorial helpful for using effective transitions from one thought to the next in your essay.  Keep in mind that this tutorial is not specific to the cause-effect essay: http://polaris.umuc.edu/ewc/tutorials/transitions/

  • a solid conclusion that reminds readers of your main idea (or thesis) without simply repeating it


The following video tutorial gives instruction on writing an effective conclusion to an essay: http://polaris.umuc.edu/ewc/tutorials/conclusions/



  • References page that lists the two sources you used for the essay



Other Tips to Consider:


This essay asks you to focus on effects.


The length and breadth of this essay is not sufficient to allow you to analyze both causes and effects in a thorough fashion.  For example, if you write about the effects of MOOCs, you would mostly write about what happens as a result of MOOCs (effects). You might briefly mention why MOOCs arose (causes) towards the beginning of the essay, but this would not be a focus of the essay.


In addition, this is not a persuasive essay.  Your opinion or response, if it comes out in your essay, should not be the focus of the essay.  The effects should be the focus of the essay.



Length: 800-1000 words


The Potential Effects of Massive Open Online Courses Name: Institution: Introduction Traditionally students and their lecturers have met in the lecture halls where they have exchanged ideas. This means that both the lecturers and the students have to be present at the same venue for there to be learning taking place. With technology this has since changed as more people seek to take their degrees online. Most of the traditional classes still have their normal lectures in the lecture halls and complement the learning process with online material such as notes and podcasts. There are quite a number of possible ways that students and lectures can participate in the online courses. MOOC, commonly referred to as the Massive open online courses have revolutionized the traditional lectures with an interesting twist. Relative to their name, the courses are taken online and can have hundreds to thousands of students at any given time, given that they are open as well (Iapa, 2014). The lecturers and the students never meet as the learning material is disper


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