My Senior Thesis

I hinted at the possibility of filling the last slot in my Senior Year lineup with something other than a MOOC (or other free learning course).   Lack of detail surrounding that option was due to the fact that I’ve been waiting for word on a writing project that would shuffle things up for the rest of the year with regard to workload.

Well that word has just arrived in the form of a signed contract to write a book on our favorite subject (MOOCs) for MIT Press.

The book will be part of MIT’s Essential Knowledge Series, a product line I mentioned previously in a piece on MOOCs and Crowdsourcing.

Essentials books are short guides to subjects of interest (particularly of a technical nature) meant to inform people looking for something more rigorously researched and written than what a web search might provide, but not as overwhelming as a full-fledged tome on this or that technical subject.

The catch is that this book needs to be written by the end of the year if it’s going to be available during calendar year 2014 (as it really should be, given the fast-changing nature of the subject).  And when I talked about the possibility of adding a book-writing assignment to an already crammed 2013 calendar with my brother-in-law, he suggested that I treat it like a senior thesis and add it to my Degree of Freedom curriculum accordingly.

A smart fellow, that brother-in-law of mine.  And so I’m taking his advice and filling the final credit slot of my One Year BA program with a culminating senior dissertation (i.e., the MIT Press book) on the implied major for this year’s effort: Massive Open Online Courses.

Now a couple of other things might need to give in order to make room for this unexpected project.  And since I’m not willing to give up on finishing my One Year BA by December 31st, or walk away from daily (or at least weekdaily) blog postings (yet), the two other time-consuming parts of this project (the Degree of Freedom Newsletter and Podcast) are going to move from weekly to bi-weekly (with each appearing on alterative weeks).

There may be some additional schedule shifts (or requests for extensions) if time gets tighter as deadlines loom.  But for now, things should be continuing close to normally at the site (although not necessarily at my house).

Speaking of which, it’s time to fill up the caffeine tanks in the basement. (Say, this project is beginning to sound more and like college every day!)

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5 Responses to My Senior Thesis

  1. Joanna October 9, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Congratulations of the book deal!

    • DegreeofFreedom October 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm #


  2. Elizabeth October 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    good luck!

  3. Steph Lopez October 9, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Great news Jonathan! You have our support- Good luck

  4. Jeff October 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Congrats on the book deal. Your blog has allowed us to come along for a fascinating ride and the book will share that with a larger audience.

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