Coursera LOTRO Course Starts April 27

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Over the last couple years, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have exploded in popularity. Without leaving your chair, you can take college-level courses in neuroscience, finance, management, philosophy, computer programming, music production, and nearly countless other subjects.

By now many LOTRO players know about Coursera’s course called ‘Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative’. This course explores how stories change when they are expressed in different media, such as novels, paintings, films and video games. In particular, this course focuses on how the presentation of the story of The Lord of the Rings has changed as it transitioned from the original novels into the Peter Jackson films and later into Turbine’s MMO, The Lord of the Rings Online. This course is offered about once a year, and the next session starts on April 27 and lasts for six weeks.

Weekly assignments include video-taped lectures and seminars, readings from Tolkien and other authors, viewing scenes from the Peter Jackson films, and completing quizzes of multiple choice and short answer questions and short essays. The distinction track of the course includes LOTRO gameplay as part of the weekly assignments. The course announcement says that the course work requires about six to seven hours a week, though this will vary somewhat from week to week.

The gameplay assignments will probably not be that time-consuming for people that are already experienced LOTRO players, as they assume that students are starting in LOTRO from scratch.  Your character does not does need to reach level 20 until near the end of the course to successfully complete all the course assignments. Although you can do the game assignments with higher-level characters, many experienced player roll new characters specifically for the course, in order to play along with those students who are new to LOTRO. Even if you are an old LOTRO hand, running through the course in-game activities with a new class of students can have some entertaining moments.

Chicken Run LOTRO Course

– A chicken run to Rivendell crosses the High Moors

You can do the gameplay assignments with characters on any LOTRO server. However, if you are rolling a new character specifically for this course, the course staff recommends that you do so on Gladden, Laurelin, Landroval, or Meneldor, as there are specific kinships on each of those servers that include among their membership course staff and previous students of the course. These kinships will hold special events as part of the course activity, and mentor or assist course students as needed as the course proceeds:

• Gladden (kinship: Vicarious Universe)
• Landroval (kinship: Courserrim)
• Laurelin (kinship: Course of the Ring)
• Meneldor (kinship: Eagles of Thorondor)

One of the best parts of the course is that it is absolutely free! There is no tuition.  When I took the course, I was able to obtain all the readings and movies by free download from the internet or on loan from my local library.

If you’d like to sign up, you can do so from the Coursera website for this course.

If any of you are interested in doing your course activity on my server, Landroval, I hope to see you in-game!

-Briallan (Officer, Courserrim kinship on Landroval)

One comment

  1. Landroval rocks! (and so does the course)

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