Monday, December 1, 2014

MOOCs by Coursera

I've been taking a lot of MOOCs this past year, but my favorite have been from Coursera. They seem to have a very good grasp on the way a MOOC should be run and the professors are from legitimate schools with accredited institutions.

I particularily have been enjoying my Psychology class by Steve Joordens. I haven't had a day where the streaming was slow or the rendering was off and for it being an 8 week course at your own pace, I think the material is very valuable and well worth it.

The interface is simple and easy to use.

Example of Course Overview

Course Overview:

The main components of this course are:
  • video lectures with short multiple-choice quizzes within and at the end of each lecture
  • short weekly assignments that will vary from week to week
  • a peer assessment assignment later in Weeks 5 and 6
  • a midterm and final exam that will give you a clear sense of how much of the course "stuck"
Weekly topics are as follows:

Week 1: A Brief History and Introduction to the Science of Psychology
Week 2: The Matter of the Mind
Week 3: Sensation, Perception, Attention and Awareness
Week 4: Learning
Week 5: Memory and Conscious Experience
Week 6: The Social Mind
Week 7: Mental Illness
Week 8: Your Requested Lectures!

Content Presentation:

The lectures for each week will contain 8 videos of approximately 10 to 15 minutes each (some closer to 20). There will be short multiple-choice quizzes at the end of each lecture as well as weekly assignments that will vary from week to week. These "active learning assignments" will take a number of forms. Specifically, mTuner activities consist of specially designed multiple-choice test that allows you to see what you know while simultaneously correcting any misconceptions or misunderstandings you might have, peerScholar activities will exercise your critical thinking and clear communication skills, and the Digital Labcoat will allow you to play with data in a way that will make the scientific process come to life in a fun and informative way. In addition there will also be a wiki that will allow the class to build a broader knowledge base inspired by the lectures but taking them further.
All of these activities are designed to be engaging ways of allowing you to use the information your learning. Using the information is the best way of really making it make sense, and when using it is fun, then deep learning is easy. That is the goal of this course, to provide you with an active and engaging learning experience that you won't forget.
In addition, Professor Joordens will post weekly videos that address the questions and issues that have received the most up-votes in the Discussion Forum, and there will be a facebook page set up for the course soon.

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