Starting on March 9th, 2015, Carlos and I are offering a private, fee-based four-week course called Mind without a Body: Exploring Out-of-Body Experiences. Carlos will be giving most, if not all, of the substantive lectures although OBE apparitions is one of my favorite topics, so we will see. I will be handling the course facilitation, doing some tutorials for learners new to the WizIQ social media platform, and handling WizIQ-based discussion forums.
The course will be pitched at a high level like our recent ParaMOOC2015, the massively (okay only 850 or so …) open online course. Our goal with our teaching business is to provide resources for learners who want to come into contact with the best of the research. Unlike ParaMOOC2015 the new course is the first of a series of single phenomena-, institution-, approach-, individual-focused learning opportunities we are planning to offer over the next many years. We hope having a single goal for each course will not only let us get into the details, but also give the learners a chance to read more and discuss more on a single subject.
These short courses are fee-based because we hope to be able to support ourselves in the future on our teaching and research activities and get a bit farther away from the publishing and editorial work we have been doing to supplement our incomes over the majority of our life together. The courses are also affordable, though, because it is really important to us that as many people as possible who want to take part can afford to do so. By keeping prices low on individual courses and conferences, and offering free lectures and an annual MOOC, we hope to balance our two goals in such a way as to be is good for folks who are interested, good for us, and good for the field as well.
We have always loved to learn. Alvarado is always reading something new and I am always watching something new being addicted to online courses on WizIQ and Cousera, not to mention on YouTube (CrashCourse comes to mind …). And we have come to agree with our teaching online mentors and colleagues that teaching is learning: How much we have learned from the folks who inhabited our on-site and online classrooms over the years! But we especially like to give back to younger colleagues and folks who are new to scientific parapsychology and anomalistic psychology.
Carlos S. Alvarado and Nancy L. Zingrone in 1983
Giving back now is paying the debt we owe to all the people who helped us when we were first starting out. As undergraduates in our separate cities, Carlos had a Professor at the University of Puerto Rico and I had a Professor at Mundelein College in Chicago who were both interested in the scientific side of the field. They shared their libraries, their interests, held courses and otherwise opened up an area of study to supplement our love of psychology. Both had a healthy skepticism and an interest in the scientific method. And both felt that taking what seemed to be psychic experiences seriously enough to conduct research was a totally legitimate undertaking. Provided, of course, they both warned, that you allowed yourself to be led by the data even if results wandered away from your favorite theories or hopes.
So whatever we do now, and what we hope to do in the future, will be following in those specific footsteps as well as those of other mentors and friends, paying it forward.
If you’re interested in out-of-body experiences and would like to learn more about the course, just click on Exploring OBEs here or on the menu above and read more.