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#1 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Coursera heads-up

Post icon  Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:17 PM

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Just a heads-up for those interested: Coursera is offering a course on cryptography starting next week, and looking at the course's preview site, there are programming assignments for each week, and python seems to be the language of preference. This looks like it might be a useful opportunity for the novice python programmer get some solid practice in on some interesting problems.
Also, it seems to come with some hands-on work in discrete math, which will be handy for people like me who never did any advanced math courses.

I'll be taking the course, but I can't promise that I'll be a great resource for the programming exercises - I'm still pretty much a python novice myself! However, there's a reasonable chance that I'll have looked at the problem and will be able to discuss it intelligently, if that helps sway you to sign up.

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Replies To: Coursera heads-up

#2 k24bfan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera heads-up

Posted 28 October 2012 - 11:18 PM

Sweet thanks for the heads up. I am actually looking into the EdX courses right now and see what looks good.
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#3 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera heads-up

Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:28 AM

I gotta say, Coursera is awesome for what it's trying to achieve.

From their About page:

Quote

We are a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.


Question though, can a class change its schedule on the course of the course? I'm asking this because I'd like to know if I can sign up for a course and know that it won't affect anything on my schedule.

For example, this course got my attention: https://www.coursera.org/course/guitar

But the schedule isn't listed anywhere. Would I see it when I sign up? Also, can I view the course on a later time in the day it was done? Thanks Jon! ^^

Update:

And here I am again, after a little more exploring on the Coursera site, to answer my own question. It seems that some courses offer "Self Study", where all the study materials are available for you and you can take on the course in your own pace. I hope they implement this for all the finished courses.

This post has been edited by fromTheSprawl: 29 October 2012 - 01:49 AM

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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coursera heads-up

Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:33 AM

View PostfromTheSprawl, on 29 October 2012 - 03:28 AM, said:

I gotta say, Coursera is awesome for what it's trying to achieve.

From their About page:

Quote

We are a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.


My view of the enterprise - coursera and the overall "MOOC" program - is a little more complex than that. I've looked at a few courses, including taking the Functional Programming in Scala course all the way through and quickly reviewing the lectures and problem sets for Sedgewick's algorithms course (in preparation for Algs 2, which has material I haven't covered) and several others. On the whole, I think their enthusiasm is far more commendable than their execution, and I find that the project overall seems to reflect a basic misunderstanding of what education is and what it's for.
There is certainly valuable information conveyed in the courses I've looked at, but I'm more than a little uneasy about accepting the premises of the enterprise as a whole. This is fodder for a bigger discussion, and I'm afraid the questions that give rise to that discussion have already been swept off the table.

Don't misundertand me: I think there is a lot of value in a course like this for the student. My concerns are more high-level ones about what this means philosophically and practically about education, in the minds of the most "progressive" educators working, and as a forward-facing endeavor. All of that is another conversation for another day. Right now, I'm just gathering data, and learning about cryptography.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 29 October 2012 - 05:33 AM

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