I just signed up for a couple of classes on Coursera!
Surprised? After all, I have spent quite a bit of time railing against the treatment of online education as the second coming of Jesus Christ, so you might think I’m wholly opposed to it. That’s just not true–I’m only opposed to the emphasis on online education to the detriment of traditional face-to-face learning, which I really think there’s no substitute for. Not only that, but I have personally benefited greatly from online courses already–they gave me the flexibility to take a huge course load at the community college, work part-time, and finish my Associate’s in a year. Online education can be a great supplement to traditional education, a good option for non-traditional students, and definitely a fantastic resource for people that aren’t currently in school but want to broaden their horizons. It is not and should never be a wholesale replacement for interacting with students and professors face-to-face.
Anyway–I’ve signed up for:
- E-learning and Digital Cultures (5 weeks, January 2013)
- Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application (5 weeks, TBA)
- Know Thyself (TBA), and
- Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World (10 weeks, July 23, 2012! Very soon!).*
There are fairly detailed course descriptions on each course page, and signing up was super painless. Please check out the links if the courses sound remotely interesting to you, I’d love to have a “classmate” I actually know to discuss the work with! There’s 111 courses on offer so far, so if you want to join me in my experiment generally, check out the listings on the Coursera site. I’ll be blogging about everything the whole time.
*I had reservations about signing up for this course, since it overlaps with my last week of classes at AB-Tech and my first six weeks of classes at UNCA, but since the courses are free I decided to take the plunge and sign up, since I assume there’s no real penalty for un-enrolling. Let’s hope I don’t find out otherwise!