Tag Archives: MOOCs

MOOCs and educational development: Part 2

This is the second in a series of blog posts on MOOCs (massive open online courses). Early in 2012, MIT announced its first MOOC. This was about electrical circuits. My academic background is in electrical engineering, so I was inspired to sign up and take a look. The first lecture was a lesson in humility. I realized I knew very little in spite of having a master’s degree in the discipline. I worked as a traditional engineer only for a few months after my studies and many years had passed since then, so I consoled myself after dropping out. It was MIT material, after all. Maybe there would be a more suitable MOOC for me later on. In October 2012, I came across a tweet about an edX course in biostatistics and epidemiology, offered by Harvard University. The full title of the course was “PH207x Health in Numbers: Quantitative Methods … Continue reading

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MOOCs and educational development: Part 1

This is the first in a series of blog posts on MOOCs (massive open online courses). In 2012, MOOCs gained so much prominence that they were written about in The Economist and The New York Times. Looking at what MOOCs potentially offer, it’s easy to see why they have taken the world of education by storm: MOOCs are free. (At least this is true for the vast majority of MOOCs now.) MOOCs are taught by real professors from top universities. The short videos used in MOOCs are said to be inspired by TED talks. They’re not anything like the videos of classroom lectures that have existed for quite some time. A 40-minute lecture can be boring even when you’re sitting in the classroom. Record that and you might get something that no-one would want to see! But the videos in many MOOCs are made only for those MOOCs. They’re not byproducts of classroom … Continue reading

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