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Nora Charles ([personal profile] noracharles) wrote2012-04-25 10:44 am

Free online university courses

I miss uni very much. Last week I went to a lecture about the Arabian spring arranged by Kvinfo, and it was brilliant, but to my disappointment the vast majority of their activities are in Copenhagen. (Typisk københavneri, øv.) It's the wrong time of year to audit classes at SDU, and it might also be too awkward to do it. Not all the teachers permit it, and I have been thrown out of a class once for not preparing well enough that my presence was a benefit to others, which was the condition the teacher had.

Today I learned about Coursera, a free social network that offers genuine university lectures, regular tests and homework to ensure learning, and online forums/studygroups. Because of the built-in deadlines and the way you must complete assignments to progress, it looks more suited to my needs than downloading podcasts of lectures (I listen to the first one then forget about it) or following organized reading blogs (I skim what others have to say but don't do the assigned readings myself).

Completing a course will not give you any official credit, but I want to learn stuff and I want to have an interesting hobby. So far I have signed up for the class Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World, taught by Eric Rabkin of the University of Michigan, which will start 23 July 2012. It will be nice and comforting to have a subject I'm familiar with, and I hope some of you will join me.

I'll also sign up for some computer classes, and hope the 101 level is easy enough for me to follow with my background.
calvinahobbes: Calvin holding a cardboard tv-shape up in front of himself (Default)

[personal profile] calvinahobbes 2012-04-25 09:49 am (UTC)(link)
There you are! You've been quiet, and I was wondering how you were enjoying your "vacation". Now I guess I know ;oP

I've never heard about Coursera before but it sounds pretty amazing that it's for free. I only know of The Teaching Company's lectures, and they're decidedly pricy.

Which computer classes are you looking at?
calvinahobbes: Calvin holding a cardboard tv-shape up in front of himself (Default)

[personal profile] calvinahobbes 2012-04-25 04:48 pm (UTC)(link)
My dream is to one day take something akin to TTC's High School Basic Math. There was so much stuff I simply gave up on, and sometimes I wish I hadn't been allowed to believe that it was okay to just give up on basic learning like that.

CS sounds interesting, but I am having so much trouble getting anything done these days. (Does Coursera have a Life Management 101 course? I need one of those.) So I better not pile anything else up that might pull any more time away from exam prep :o/

How does Sherlock Holmes use deduction wrong?
calvinahobbes: Calvin holding a cardboard tv-shape up in front of himself (Default)

[personal profile] calvinahobbes 2012-04-25 05:22 pm (UTC)(link)
One day I'm going to do it! I hope... But seriously, I've even forgotten how to do long division.

Hee, technically I did that last semester ;oP

That is okay, I totally get that!
calvinahobbes: Calvin holding a cardboard tv-shape up in front of himself (Default)

[personal profile] calvinahobbes 2012-04-25 05:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Cool!

You know, I don't think I'll ever truly get used to thinking of the Net as so much of a resource. Maybe I'm a bit stuck mostly thinking of it as a toy, and it keept surprising me that if I want to re-learn division or know how to remove cola from a tablecloth, some helpful person has probably already made a wiki-how.
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[personal profile] onyxlynx 2012-04-25 07:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow. Sounds interesting, and I've been casting around for some brain calisthenics!

(The aside tickled me!)
kabal42: Captain America and Iron Man leaning on each other, arms around each other's shoulders (Default)

[personal profile] kabal42 2012-04-26 04:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Now that's really interesting! I might go do some of that too. I've been following a uni class this spring, which has been wonderful! Next week is the last class of the semester, though.
kabal42: Captain America and Iron Man leaning on each other, arms around each other's shoulders (Default)

[personal profile] kabal42 2012-04-26 07:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Just auditing. My ex-advisor's class. I think it tickled his ego too ;-) And it's been fun!

Nice :-) I'll definitely look into it!