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edX Offers Free Online Courses

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naperlou
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Blogger
Not another one
naperlou   7/22/2013 10:47:58 AM
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This is the same as Coursera, from which I have taken a couple of courses.  Frankly, I find them hard to finish becuase there is no real credit.  I am currently enrolled in a traditional MS program.  I find the class interaction still valuable. 

 

Unless these on-line systems can be tied to exams that give real credit will there be a sea change.  I can also see a need to give cedit for professional certifications.  Until then, it will remain a curiosity.  I am not sure you could not get as much out of a well written textbook.

mrdon
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Gold
Re: Not another one
mrdon   7/22/2013 1:47:54 PM
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naperlou, I agree: trying to maintain the course schedule without a true tangible outcome makes it difficult to complete the class. As an instructor for Makes' Maker Training Camps' the challenge is to have active participating students. The course I developed is an Introduction to Raspberry Pi. The video lectures are pre-recorded, I have Office Hours, and I moderate an Intro to Raspberry Pi Google+ community. There are weekly homework assignments along with hands-on labs for each pre-recorded video lecture. With all of the activities mentioned, I have about 3-4 active participating students. Although, the Maker Training Camps are hobbyist based courses the participation is because of the low demand made upon the students. Once enrolled in a course, they can move at their own pace which diminishes the learning motivation for the student. I'm currently developing a second course which will focus on how to build electronic controllers using the Raspberry Pi. Also, I'm working with the Program Director to solve the problem of low student participation in the classes. The link below provides additional information about the Maker Training Camps.

 

http://makezine.com/2013/05/24/sign-up-now-for-maker-training-camps/

Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Great Organization
Nancy Golden   7/23/2013 6:42:16 PM
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I think this is a wonderful concept. I understand what you both are saying, and your points are valid from your perspectives - but what a wonderful opportunity for those who are unable to pursue a traditional college education! From their home page:

"EdX is a non-profit created by founding partners Harvard and MIT. We're bringing the best of higher education to students around the world."

You can't get much better credentials for validating credibility and these courses are an opportunity for hungry minds to pursue knowledge. If someone wants to pursue a degree later - they will be better prepared, and for those who are unable to do so, they can still increase their knowledge in areas that interest them or that they can derive benefit from. As far as maintaining student motivation - I think that intangible trait known as "want to" drives those students who really desire to learn...course grade or not. 

Debera Harward
User Rank
Silver
Re: Great Organization
Debera Harward   7/23/2013 7:18:38 PM
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Nancy, i totally agree with you this is really a very good platform for those who have hunger for knowledge and cant go to professional universities or institutions either because of financial issues or some others. Although its not equivalent to any specific degree it might act as a suppliment to students or it can provide any knowledge regarding any specific topic to the concern person without getting himself enrolled in any university or institute however later on he can get enrolled as well. Students can opt for Edx for investigation of any subject they are curous about . Hence according to me it can act as an asset in near future .

Debera Harward
User Rank
Silver
Re: Great Organization
Debera Harward   7/23/2013 7:21:57 PM
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I beleive in future Edx will change the online learning concept as well. However many professors of many institutes add many of there lectures online but students find it difficult to access them and cant grab the whole lecture as well because whole information is usually not present but edx has changed this concept . It has evolved the discussion forum as well i guess in future different universities will be doing the same thing .

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Great Organization
Nancy Golden   7/23/2013 7:32:51 PM
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You also make a great point, Debera "Students can opt for Edx for investigation of any subject they are curous about" in that it can be a great starting point for students to explore different areas of interest without having to make a financial commitment first.

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