The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 9, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Saturday, February 9, 2013


Public encouraged to enroll in free class

Why would one of the most popular college football players in the country have an intimate relationship with an online girlfriend that he never met? What is cyberbullying and how prevalent and damaging is it? How does one deal with communication overload and media multi-tasking in the 21st century?

These questions, among others, are being discussed in the WVUCommMOOC: The Science of how Communication Technology Shapes our Lives. The Department of Communication Studies at West Virginia University is currently offering a free, four-week Massive Open Online Course.

Starting Monday, Dr. Dave Westerman will spend a week investigating online relationships. The following week, Dr. Alan Goodboy and myself address cyberbullying and other destructive workplace behaviors. Starting Feb. 25, Dr. Elizabeth Cohen covers the topic of handling technology overload.

This course is open to everyone. There is no fee to pay and no books to buy. There are no assignments and students do not earn any college credit. One can choose to participate in all of the activities for all four weeks, or only focus on some of the material for one of the weeks.

How much one participates is totally up to the individual. Individuals are always able to go back and look at previously introduced material. For example, Dr. Bowman gave an introduction to technology in our lives this past week — individuals can access his presentations at any time.

WVUCommMOOC is an opportunity for individuals to learn more about a relevant topic: social media. While we encourage everyone to participate (we currently have people from Asia, Europe, and South America enrolled), we especially invite WVU alumni and the citizens of West Virginia to get involved in this open education activity.

The people involved in this project are some of the top communication scholars in our discipline. As part of the mission of WVU, we want the people of West Virginia to have a better understanding of the role that communication technology plays in their personal and professional lives.

To learn more or to enroll, go to

Matthew M. Martin

Chair, WVU Department of Communication Studies


Sheriff Tanner made the right remarks

Regarding Sheriff Tanner’s article on gun control, I believe his views are right on the money. I am a resident of Fayette County and wish I could vote to keep Sheriff Tanner in office as long as possible.

We need more police leaders like him. We cannot blame the gun for these acts of violence.

I feel all law-abiding citizens should have guns in their homes for self-protection. Their homes are their castle and they should be allowed to protect it.

All gun owners should take time to go to a shooting range to practice proper gun handling, safety and accuracy.  

Archie Vance