Teaching Children’s Literature Online: Co-constructing Stories in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)


Most scholarship on teaching children’s literature has focused on teaching fiction in university literature courses (Bedford & Albright, 2011; Butler, 2006). While there is a vast literature associated with online teaching dating back more than 20 years (e.g., Palloff & Pratt, 2005), and there is increasing use of online teaching in university contexts (Rapanta et al., 2020), there are very few published descriptions or analyses of the online teaching of children’s literature. In this article we document and discuss the development of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to be delivered in mid-2021 focusing on picturebooks developed at a university, in partnership with a popular MOOC provider. The MOOC development is analysed with respect to supporting the presence of the educators, creating clarity in the delivery of the content, providing spaces for reflection and interaction, and generating human connections in an online environment. These features are linked to the notion of storytelling (Bietti, Tilston & Bangerter, 2019). The contribution of picturebooks to supporting these aspects of effective online teaching is also discussed.

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