Coursera

might be good for the interested skeptic/amateur scientist.

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Re: Coursera

#21  Postby Made of Stars » Sep 19, 2012 8:40 pm

GenesForLife wrote:Just posting to let you all know about Coursera, a collaboration that provides free online courses from several top American universities. They've got one on vaccines run by Paul Offit, which is starting tomorrow, and one on Genomics and Genome technology coming up at some point in the future.

If you are interested in these areas it could be a good investment of time and mental effort. :)

https://www.coursera.org/

This is very cool - thank you for sharing!
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Re: Coursera

#22  Postby HughMcB » Sep 19, 2012 8:41 pm

Animavore wrote:You're doing the same course as me! I hope you don't have to see me in full competitive mode :evilgrin:

Bring it on sister! :dopey:
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Re: Coursera

#23  Postby HughMcB » Sep 19, 2012 8:42 pm

ED209 wrote:I saw this thread a while and jumped into the Quantum Computing course late, and had to hurry through it. It was good stuff all the same and I'm doing a few more.

Did you get any sort of certificate? Did you have any assignments?
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Re: Coursera

#24  Postby Animavore » Sep 19, 2012 8:44 pm

HughMcB wrote:
Animavore wrote:You're doing the same course as me! I hope you don't have to see me in full competitive mode :evilgrin:

Bring it on sister! :dopey:

I'm only kidding. I'm very easy going, as you know. I'm just doing this for self-enrichment.














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Re: Coursera

#25  Postby ED209 » Sep 19, 2012 9:01 pm

HughMcB wrote:
ED209 wrote:I saw this thread a while and jumped into the Quantum Computing course late, and had to hurry through it. It was good stuff all the same and I'm doing a few more.

Did you get any sort of certificate? Did you have any assignments?


Nah, I started more than halfway through and so missed the deadlines for the first several assignments (didn't seem worth submitting any later ones).

Since then I've started a couple of maths-y courses, keeping up with the assignments. I think I will drop out of one as I have two more starting next week, I won't have time to keep up with all four. I think there will be a certificate for some of them but not really interested in those tbh, what would I do with it, print it out and stick it on my fridge?

Overall I would plan to have one coursera course on the go and fill in any free time by dipping in and out of udacity. I'm finding the udacity courses much better in terms of explanation (I picked up the recommend from a dissatisfied coursera student on their discussion board), they are more like watching a series of really good presentations rather than an actual lectured course, and because there are no deadlines or graded assignments or certificates - all the content is accessible at any time - I go can at my own pace. But udacity seems to be just maths and computer science so if that doesn't float your boat then it might not be for you. The founder is a google fellow and they keep shoehorning messages from sergei bryn into their courses, he actually keeps popping up, which adds a bit of razzmatazz to proceedings. Maybe I'll invent the udacity drinking game where everytime they name-check bryn you take a drink and while he is talking in person to camera you drink the whole time :drunk:
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Re: Coursera

#26  Postby sennekuyl » Sep 19, 2012 11:22 pm

Oooo! Thanks GFL!
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Re: Coursera

#27  Postby ED209 » Sep 20, 2012 1:06 pm

Spearthrower wrote:17 more universities just joined Coursera.

I'm really surprised that this hasn't generated more interest here at Ratskep. I've put up a link to an upcoming course on Genetics & Evolution in the Biology subforum, and only 1 person's responded!

This is an absofuckinglutely awesome development - I am now going into shameless promotion mode.


Yes the indifference is deafening. Maybe thread is in wrong part of forum :dunno:

It is a good idea but courses can be a little uneven in quality. It would be good if we had a thread to post our thoughts after completing a course. As i mentioned above, there is also udacity, and on the Coursera boards many recommend the khan academy. The problem i find with khan, and to an extent Coursera, is that there is so much content it is hard to pick out the highlights.

It would be great if some subject experts here would say, this Coursera course is excellent, that series on Khan is better than the equivalent Coursera course etc. :ask:
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Re: Coursera

#28  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 20, 2012 1:27 pm

ED209 wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:17 more universities just joined Coursera.

I'm really surprised that this hasn't generated more interest here at Ratskep. I've put up a link to an upcoming course on Genetics & Evolution in the Biology subforum, and only 1 person's responded!

This is an absofuckinglutely awesome development - I am now going into shameless promotion mode.


Yes the indifference is deafening. Maybe thread is in wrong part of forum :dunno:


I can imagine it for parenting and education - which I imagine has a much less frequent regular membership - but even the Biology forum with a link to a course on Genetics and Evolution's only had one bite - the same one that I think Aminavore said he's doing.

That seems bizarre considering the number of people here who have effectively self-educated on many biology issues over the years!

I though a lot of people who partake regularly in the Creationism forum would leap on such a course as it would give them a much better understanding of the arguments being written here.



ED209 wrote:It is a good idea but courses can be a little uneven in quality. It would be good if we had a thread to post our thoughts after completing a course. As i mentioned above, there is also udacity, and on the Coursera boards many recommend the khan academy. The problem i find with khan, and to an extent Coursera, is that there is so much content it is hard to pick out the highlights.


I haven't personally done any of the courses yet, but I had an interesting surprise a couple of weeks back when one of my students told me she was doing a course on Finance on Coursera. Obviously, her English is very high level so she can do it, but if this idea takes hold, then this could make a huge difference to countries like Thailand! I'll be pointing all my students with a high level of English to go there from now on. I really see wonderful things for this, but I am trying to stop myself waxing lyrical until the ball really starts rolling.


ED209 wrote:It would be great if some subject experts here would say, this Coursera course is excellent, that series on Khan is better than the equivalent Coursera course etc. :ask:


To be honest, I am sure that most people will do as I did and go hunting for courses they don't know much about rather than ones they already do! :grin: But it is a good idea - it's just finding the time! All my chosen classes start next year as this year's pretty much written off until December because of work volume. Still, I think that even students on the courses writing up their experiences of the course will be a good step along the way. If they feel like they've learned a lot and understand it, that will be just as useful.
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Re: Coursera

#29  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 20, 2012 1:34 pm

Animavore wrote:Signed up to Evolution and Genetics Image


"Recommended reading - Why Evolution is True, Jerry Coyne" - Already haz :pulp:


The first course I signed up for was Astrobiology & the search for extraterrestrial life. That's a course of distilled awesome any way you look at it.

I was planning to skip this year because I am so feckin busy, but this one starts soon and others here are doing it, so I've signed up!

It'll be grand if we can all share our experiences - might encourage others to get involved too!

Let's start a thread up when the course opens! :cheers:

I've never read Coyne's book though and doubt I can pick it up here. I'll try.
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Re: Coursera

#30  Postby babel » Sep 20, 2012 1:37 pm

I missed this thread when it passed through the active topics on the previous runs. Thanks for posting this! :cheers:
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Re: Coursera

#31  Postby HughMcB » Sep 20, 2012 5:02 pm

Spearthrower wrote:The first course I signed up for was Astrobiology & the search for extraterrestrial life. That's a course of distilled awesome any way you look at it.

I signed up for that (and coursera in general) when the thread on it came out. I'm sure that was the same time for you too. Looking forward to that one. Awsumz.

Spearthrower wrote:I was planning to skip this year because I am so feckin busy, but this one starts soon and others here are doing it, so I've signed up!

Don't tie yourself up mate if you don't have time. But if you do, I'll be sure to pick your brains. :)

Spearthrower wrote:It'll be grand if we can all share our experiences - might encourage others to get involved too!

Let's start a thread up when the course opens! :cheers:

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Re: Coursera

#32  Postby HughMcB » Sep 20, 2012 5:05 pm

Spearthrower wrote:I though a lot of people who partake regularly in the Creationism forum would leap on such a course as it would give them a much better understanding of the arguments being written here.

Maybe they will. Still a few weeks to go to sign up.

Spearthrower wrote:I haven't personally done any of the courses yet, but I had an interesting surprise a couple of weeks back when one of my students told me she was doing a course on Finance on Coursera. Obviously, her English is very high level so she can do it, but if this idea takes hold, then this could make a huge difference to countries like Thailand! I'll be pointing all my students with a high level of English to go there from now on. I really see wonderful things for this, but I am trying to stop myself waxing lyrical until the ball really starts rolling.

I'm doing the one on World History since 1300 right now. It's pretty interesting but I'm pretty good at general History so it's nothing too taxing just yet. Generally though it's a nice overview.
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Re: Coursera

#33  Postby Corke » Sep 21, 2012 2:30 pm

Three days ago, one of my maths teachers introduced this site to the class. Then my dad shows me the TED video by the co-founder, Daphne Koller. Now I see it in Spearthrower's sig. Alright, alright, I'll fucking sign up already.

This looks brilliant, by the way. I've already signed up for all the medicine courses.
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Re: Coursera

#34  Postby KeenIdiot » Sep 23, 2012 3:57 am

Signed up for a couple. Hopefully I'll have the time. I can plan my time a week or so out right now.
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Re: Coursera

#35  Postby Mr.Samsa » Sep 23, 2012 8:35 am

For anyone interested, it looks like a good course on Animal Behavior is now open for signups!
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Re: Coursera

#36  Postby HughMcB » Sep 24, 2012 5:44 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:For anyone interested, it looks like a good course on Animal Behavior is now open for signups!

I am already signed up. Will you be available for some extra curricular chin wags? :flowers:
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Re: Coursera

#37  Postby HughMcB » Sep 24, 2012 5:45 pm

I'm starting the Greek and Roman Mythology today. Nice backdrop professor! :lol:

Anyone else doing this? :whistle:
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Re: Coursera

#38  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 24, 2012 5:47 pm

HughMcB wrote:I'm starting the Greek and Roman Mythology today. Nice backdrop professor! :lol:

Anyone else doing this? :whistle:



Done it to death! :lol:

No more time for any courses - I still have 3 more weeks of contract and a film to write by the end of October! :smoke:
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Re: Coursera

#39  Postby HughMcB » Sep 24, 2012 5:54 pm

I have a great idea for a screenplay that is like a marriage of platoon, contagion, watchmen, dawn of the dead and independence day. Of course I will want full recognition as co-author despite really only providing the central plot. :thumbup:

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Re: Coursera

#40  Postby Mr.Samsa » Sep 25, 2012 2:59 am

HughMcB wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:For anyone interested, it looks like a good course on Animal Behavior is now open for signups!

I am already signed up. Will you be available for some extra curricular chin wags? :flowers:


Yeah definitely, I should be around but if not then PMing me will always get a response from me. I also have a handy blog on animal behavior now... (shameless plug :grin: ).

The course seems to be focusing more on the biology aspect of animal behavior though so some issues might be a little outside my area - but DB would be a good person to contact for those topics.
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