Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 27 Issue 04

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Volume 27, No. 4
Pages 175 - 176


Simon Boxall
First Paragraph

An email comes through from my Head of Department: “Simon, are you getting involved in the Exploring Our Ocean MOOC this year? You don’t want to miss out!” I try to figure out whether this is a typo and also what it is that I don’t want to miss out on. Has her cap-lock key got stuck? What letters are close to M, O, and C that she actually meant to type? Another email grabs my attention, and I decide I have too much to do to worry about decoding an email, which is either mistyped or in a hitherto unseen language. A week later as I walk down the corridor, there it is again. A bright and engaging poster with images of the deep ocean proclaims: “The University of Southampton MOOC on Exploring Our Ocean goes live in October 2014, register today—don’t miss out!” As I study the poster, a passing student asks if I am starring in the MOOC this time around—he was surprised I wasn’t involved in last year’s. Last year’s? I suddenly feel like someone who fell asleep in the 1980s comfortable with the fax, VHS tapes, and a mobile phone that occasionally made phone calls, and woke up 20 years later to discover emails, online movies, and the iPhone.


Boxall, S. 2014. The oceanography classroom. How to run amok—Or is it a MOOC? Oceanography 27(4):175–176, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2014.101.