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A Poetry Course in Your Pocket

Coursera: Learn new skills

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Wish you’d had the time to take that college-level introduction-to-poetry course? With the Coursera app you can—and do so at your own pace.

One of Coursera’s most popular courses is Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (affectionately known as “ModPo”), led by University of Pennsylvania professor Al Filreis. It covers the arc of American poetry, from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman to contemporary writers. And you can take it for free.

The app gives you access to all course materials and video discussions.

Although the interactive 10-week session, including live weekly webcasts, is only offered each fall, all of the course materials, discussion forums, and videos are accessible year-round for off-season study.

Coursera’s developers worked closely with Filreis to accommodate the depth of material and interactivity ModPo requires, he says. The app’s introduction of subforums, for example, was in response to his request.

ModPo has extended its reach to tens of thousands of poetry lovers.

Filreis has partnered with Coursera since 2012. With the help of the app, ModPo has now reached tens of thousands of students who otherwise wouldn’t have access. “I have seen people on New York City buses watching a ModPo video. I’ve seen people in line at the grocery store learning poetry on their phones,” he says.

Coursera offers more than 2,000 courses taught by top professors.

Filreis is pleased that the American literature course he has taught in classrooms at Penn since 1985 has had such digital success with Coursera.

“Who would have figured that fuzzy-headed poets would be driving this platform down the highway at the highest speed and testing the tires?”

    Coursera: Learn new skills

    100% online courses

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