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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    COURSERA Is Such a Cool Online College

    https://www.coursera.org/

    You would that its the https protocal since this college requires students to sign up. But make no mistake. This is an open college, a union of currently 33 universities from all over the world. You need to sign up and enrol in the course you want to take, so that your instructor(s) can track your progress, as if you are admitted in a real world college. Your commitment is exclusively to yourself. You need to keep track of your own progress so that you really achieve the goal of the course as set by its instructor.

    Hey I see one of the member university is from my country, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I studied there, quite an unfriendly campus I regret to say, students and faculty members are very competitive and therefore sometimes can be very hostile to the others, typical Hong Kongers they are, but it is undeniably is a prestigious college especially in science and technology.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node frightlever's Avatar
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    King Kong college is a lot friendlier, though the campus can be bananas.

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Like most of these online university things, there's almost nothing on history. Disappointing.

    Even MIT OpenCourseWare, which has an impressive list of history classes, has virtually no content for those classes. They're just a list of books to buy and read.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    Even MIT OpenCourseWare, which has an impressive list of history classes, has virtually no content for those classes. They're just a list of books to buy and read.
    Which draws the inevitable question: Why not just buy the fucking books and skip the non-credit class?
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Which draws the inevitable question: Why not just buy the fucking books and skip the non-credit class?
    You do know how much is for a typical college textbook?

    Those are professors from prestigious institutes. They spend effort in this project for good reasons. But except that, yep, you can study by reading and doing exercises yourself, especially in well developed subjects like mathematics.

    The courses offered by free virtual institutes are not comparable with real world institutes (even for courses that do not require laboratory). This is just the very very first step for sharing knowledge. The start of everything.

    For the course I took, just for the very first class I already run into serious problem and is looking for guidance. Sometimes you just need help in learning.

    You may, of course, get some "happy version" of digitalized textbooks. But admin may not be "happy" if I reveal locations of those "happy version" here. Anyway you can easily search for them I am sure.
    Last edited by squirrel; 24-10-2012 at 12:56 AM.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    You do know how much is for a typical college textbook?
    Yes, since I went to college.

    And I didn't go to college for the textbooks. I went for the attention of the professors, teaching assistance and classmates... which is exactly what you don't get from e-learning.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    And I didn't go to college for the textbooks. I went for the attention of the professors, teaching assistance and classmates... which is exactly what you don't get from e-learning.


    This!

    E-learning is fine but having professors push you in the right direction, and the students doing the same is invaluable I think. also I kind of prefer a guy up there saying all this stuff then a bunch of text, the guy can be funny, informative and inspiring and a bunch of text can well be a bunch of text.

  8. #8
    Different strokes for different folks.

    I'm doing two AS levels through www.nec.ac.uk at the moment, and it's pretty fantastic. The course materials are great, I've got a tutor for each subject that marks each assignment, asks how I'm doing etc.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    Like most of these online university things, there's almost nothing on history. Disappointing
    I guess the reason is that History is a subject with low entry barrier. Anyone can easily pick up a topic one want to pursue, and read tons of related books / texts from web. But of course, reading history and studying History is completely two different things. I am interested in history and read many as well, just like a lot of people here, but I know well to myself I am not qualified to perform a credible study on a given topic. If I am required to, I am probably gonna summarize related studies from the others and that is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Bakke View Post
    I'm doing two AS levels through www.nec.ac.uk at the moment, and it's pretty fantastic. The course materials are great, I've got a tutor for each subject that marks each assignment, asks how I'm doing etc.
    Hey, none of tutor schools here for public exams operate in this manner, but I guess they should have, sounds very cost effective one.

  10. #10
    Obscure Node ronniew's Avatar
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    I am currently working my way to completing my first coursera course and likewise wanted to hold off on a detailed assessment until completed. As the power and potential of coursera appears less as a “fix” for higher education but in other areas. I had not thought of the online college student angle, but that certainly makes a great deal of sense. I too was quite impressed with the number of coursera participants outside the U.S. Coursera seems a potential poster child of globalization.
    Last edited by ronniew; 30-04-2013 at 09:11 AM.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Cool, I've earned four certificates within a year. Will work harder to earn more. Men how much I regret not learning more while in college. How exciting our world is!! Now that someone from somewhere overseas are offering chances, I definitely will hold it tight!

    I start to learn too late. A recent introductory engineering course I finished introduces (I bet the materials are still online, the session has ended so no more cert will be conferred for the time being though) only 2D static mechanic study, since the instructor is not confident beginners can take in 3D concepts, and he's right. Now I am starting on another introductory engineering course introducing 3D problems. It's just the 2nd week and I want to bang my head to the wall. But, time is on my side. Not enough time to earn the cert (when the session ends, no more certificate will be conferred on the course until next session), but knowledge is all that matters (of course, it would be much nicer if it can be "visualized" by a cert, haha~).

    Only drawback is that I notice for some courses, once they end, the materials are taken offline or not accessible for those who do not enroll during the sessions. This force me to enroll in as many courses as I can once I find the subjects useful, even though I know for sure I cannot take that heavy load. But anyway no one is really watching my progress, so I can save all the materials in my drives for study later.

    Yet make no mistake, Coursera is 100% commercial firm to begin with. It seems they expect profitability from career support. I don't know how this business model will perform. But in case the plan goes south (touch wood), I rather grip what I can for now than to regret later. Anyway I am amazed so many academicians are so enthusiastic in sharing their knowledge without seeking any personal gain.

    BTW, I see one more institution from my country, Peking University, joined the alliance. This is THE top university in my country, like Oxford and Cambridge to England. It's not so cool however that they are offering course in Chinese. I mean, of course in daily communication Chinese is more convenient for me, but not so if it is the medium of instruction of science and engineering courses I take. I don't know why, but it is just much easier to learn science-engineering in English than in Chinese. Those careless Chinese translations of scientific terms will drive you nuts.
    Last edited by squirrel; 29-09-2013 at 06:49 AM.

  12. #12
    Online learning is for people who can motivate themselves WITHOUT a professor taking to you. On-campus learning is those for those who want to be WITH a professor teaching you in person. I've been in both situations. You are more encouraged to study and do you assignments with a person commanding you, than online where you are easily distracted. But it all depends on the situation. People who are old enough to have careers don't have time to go to college and see a professor so they do it online. Personally, if I want to learn something, I'll look it up on google. If I want to go to an online college, I will actually look for an accredited course that is affordable. I've heard of Coursera but never thought about actually taking classes there. It's not a waste of money....it's just not for me. Though if I did a search on google and coursera had an article on what I was looking for, I would read it :)

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    I was doing "introduction to improvisation" course here and it was nice, although I was too lazy/had too much stuff to do on my real uni to finish it.
    Now I'm signed to "classical composition" course, but it will not start before 2014. :x

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Great!! I've just finished this elementary calculus course Calculus One. The current session is about to be concluded but instructors have promised that another session will be opened in the coming fall. Plus, even though all the exams and homeworks have been due, the contents will always stay online unless Coursera is down.

    Calculus is a technique we cannot afford to miss. After this class, I realize that to learn hard skill, you really need some guidance. For the questions you don't understand, textbooks cannot always give you solution, but your teachers can, and maybe sometime by your classmates.
    Last edited by squirrel; 10-05-2014 at 03:40 PM.

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    At least for health professionals some of the Coursera courses may offer continuing education credits needed to keep up state licenses or certifications. There are a lot of free options for these, but it never hurts to have more. Was watching one from Stanford on antimicrobial resistance mechanisms. By the way, hope you're all ready for the post-antibiotic age.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Well, long time since I last posted here.

    I did Introduction to Classical Composition course from Singapore National Uni that I mentioned earlier. Awesome stuff, it's very helpful if you're amateur musican who want to compose.

    I also did another course - Songwriting from Berklee College. Another brilliant stuff. Pat Pattison (proffesor of this course) is a goddamn genius and very cool guy. If you ever wanted to write some lyrics (or even poems) it will open your eyes and equip you with very useful tools.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
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    If you like your history (and who doesn't?), check out the The Ancient Greeks and Greek and Roman Mythology. Both give a good overview of the subject.

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