UQx: Write101x English Grammar and Style Week 3 – Verbs

Week 3 verbs
1. One minute intro video to Week 3.
2. Eight minute video  – finite and non-finite verbs, and then further sub-divisions.
Some text on screen, but could be done much better. The editing could be done better.
3. Finite and non-finite – is wikipedia easier to understand? Or this page at least gives examples before the exercise.
Drag and drop – too many answers, too many variables; too difficult.
transitive or intransitive exercise  – taken from http://www.learnenglishfeelgood.com/transitive-intransitive-verbs2.html Not very helpful as to why one is right or wrong.
4. Video: Verb tenses, verb moods, and voice of verbs  (5:56)
Two questions for discussion under video: How do you feel about the fact that many people believe that the days of the subjunctive mood are numbered? What do you think about the expression some people use about it—that it’s ‘circling the drain’. He talks about the subjunctive, and then goes into the passive. Does not mention the discussion. And what does ‘circling the drain’ mean?
Not many in the discussion.
Active / passive exercise.
5. Second writing assignment:
In the last writing assignment, some students were unsure of what they were meant to write about for their blog post. If you are still unsure, here are your prompts for the second writing assignment:
• Write about any of the lecture content covered in Weeks 1–3
• Write about any of the discussion board prompts from Weeks 1–3
• Write about a concept related to writing or grammar that hasn’t been covered in the course
Remember: don’t try to cover too many topics at once. Make sure your blog post has a single core idea or argument. Good luck!

Here is my Second writing assignment.

6. Week 3 quiz
(4.0625/5 points)

The October 8, 2014 Announcement is interesting. (Contrast to the language used in an this Furturelearn BC Exploring English Week 6 email)

Some points paraphrased from the announcement – “we can’t cover everything; this MOOC is a starting point. Here are links to extra resources” – I guess this has to be made very clear at the start. What the MOOC aims to do, and what it cannot do.

Terminology – “What is a ‘verb phrase, phrasal verb and verbal phrase’ definitions”. The problems they are having are a good reason not to do a MOOC about grammar.

“44000 participants, one of the instructors providing lots of answers, but community must help each other.” I think this is partly a problem with the edX design and how it is not conducive for building a community. The answer seems to be to go outside of edX to build that community – Facebook, Google Hangouts, mobile apps like wechat, or face to face meetings. Perhaps this needs to be considered form the start.

“edX technical difficulties” – a little worrying; but reminiscent of IndiWork and deadlines, and making sure everyone is aware of them. I think this course is being used for credits at UQ, so that is why they are quite strict with deadlines.

“Grammar isn’t a doddle; nor is it black and white”. It certainly isn’t.


It is hard to teach grammar via videos and gap fill exercises. Is this course for those studying grammar (high level of English, even if not a native speaker), or for those trying to learn grammar. I’d guess that non-native speakers with a high level of English, who have studied grammar in the past, would get quite a lot form the course. Native speakers would find it challenging, if like me, grammar was only taught in foreign language context. Second language speakers with a low or intermediate level of English would be struggling.