August 28th, 2013

reading hk

Hi I'm firecat and I'm a MOOC addict

This is an article about a guy who has taken 36 MOOCs (massively open online courses) while completing a double major in engineering and biophysics and doing a Google internship. He has a lot more energy than I ever did, even at his age (21).

But I'm also a MOOC addict. I took my first course this past February and since then I've completed four others. I'm currently taking seven, and five or six more start in the next two weeks. I don't think I can do justice to that many so I might have to drop some of them. Boo hoo!

I'll babble on endlessly about it if you want me to.

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red panda eating bamboo


The latest MOOC I've signed up for:

Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology

The course description says that no specific science background is required; all are welcome.

In my experience so far with MOOCs, this sometimes means they really explain everything (e.g. "A Brief History of Humankind"), and other times it means "We don't really grok what background is needed to understand these lectures."

For example, I am taking a course on volcanoes which was advertised as no background needed, but I'm not getting as much out of it as I might, because it assumes a higher-than-I-have level of knowledge about statistics and, oh I don't even know, physics? minerology? I'm continuing it anyway because as a tech writer/editor I am supposed to be able to make sense out of material I don't have a strong background in, and I like the challenge of trying to do so.

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