This post is intended for those who had no experience with MOOCs before.
MOOCS or Massive Online Open Courses are offered freely by professors of prestigious universities in various platforms but mostly on Coursera, Udacity and edX. MOOCs can be a lifesaver for those who are studying in pathetic colleges but strive to improve skills. Before reading further, I would recommend watching these videos.
God bless inventors of these MOOCs. I wish there are more people like them !
After watching the ted talk by Daphne Koller, you probably got a good picture of how courses are offered in coursera and the way quizzes, discussion forums and projects are available to supplement your learning. So I don’t want to bore you by writing about the same stuff again.
I mentioned the about moocs in this post but I did not have any first hand experience with them at that time. Now, after successfully completing a course “Introduction to Interactive Programming with Python” in Coursera, I feel like having more ground to write this post. “Interactive Programming with Python” course is a real fun, the professors are very funny, they kept the course very engaging and are absolutely committed to the course. Discussion forums are highly active(you can’t imagine the response time!) where you can interact with peers and clarify your doubts. At the end of each week we did a mini project (which is a game) with the help of a detailed set of instructions provided . You can check my final week’s mini project here.(press on the little play button to see the output) I am just beginner to coding so I did it very modestly.
Based on the experience I had in my first MOOC course, here are some suggestions I would like to give for those who plan to take courses further
- Participate in discussion forums – this may not seem like a great option but it really motivates you to complete the course. I didn’t participate well in the discussion forums except when i have some doubts and so I didn’t enjoy this course as much as my peers did.
- Work from day 1 – seriously, course will be easy at the beginning but it picks up the pace as it progresses and doing early means you can complete it on time and can help others in discussion forums.
- Allot fixed time for courses, make a schedule – since they are offered online and we can chose to do them at our convenient time doesn’t mean to mess up things. Make a schedule like doing a course at a fixed period of time
- Don’t take too many courses at once.I would advise you to take only 2 or atmost 3 courses at a time.
- Never ever forget the peer assessments, I forgot to do peer evaluations once and i got penalty of 40% of the projects marks 🙁
- Watch the introduction videos and check if you have enough background to do the course and also you probably want to look into reviews of courses in coursetalk before you enroll.
I would rate the “Introduction to Interactive Programming with Python” as 5 out of 5 stars and my performance as 3 stars.
So keeping the above things in my mind I am now prepared (more carefully) to take few more courses.
“Introduction to databases” this one is self paced.
“Introduction to Public Speaking” which starts from June 24th
“Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 1” course starting from July 1st.
Want to join in any of the above courses ? Comment below we can study together 🙂