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Cathy Davidson was featured on the “Ask an Expert” column in August 2013. You can read the full article on the New York Times, or read below.

Published: August 28, 2013 33 Comments


This week’s Ask an Expert features Cathy N. Davidson, a professor of English and interdisciplinary studies at Duke University, who will answer questions about how to find and use Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other online continuing education tools.

Researchers have been finding that taking classes or otherwise challenging the brain can keep mind and memory sharp, even for those middle-aged or older. Online courses can also be tools to keep relevant in a changing work environment.

Professor Davidson, in addition to teaching a class, “Making Data Matter,” co-directing the Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge and holding two distinguished chairs, is a co-founder of the Humanities, Arts, Technology and Science Alliance and Collaboratory (Hastac), which describes itself as “a network of innovators dedicated to new forms of learning for the digital age.” She was appointed in 2012 by President Obama to the National Council on the Humanities and is co-director of the annual MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions.

Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn” (Viking, 2011) is only her latest of 20 books.

Earlier this year on the Hastac site, she posted an article,“Clearing Up Some Myths About MOOCs,” describing her mixed experience sampling online courses and her decision to teach a free, open, public MOOC offered throughCoursera in January 2014, called The History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education. (Besides working with Coursera, she is an unpaid adviser to another for-profitprovider of MOOCs, Udacity, as well as dozens of other educational institutions.) She wrote that she was excited about the course she was preparing and was convinced that a MOOC can be “a pretty fabulous educational experience.”

Here are examples of questions that Professor Davidson is prepared to answer:

1. How do I find the online classes I should start with? Who offers good courses?

2. Will these classes actually look good on my résumé/LinkedIn profile?

3. I want to teach a class. Where do I begin?

Please leave your questions for Professor Davidson in the comments section. Answers will be posted on Sept. 4.

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Cathy N. Davidson

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