Sunday, January 27, 2013

1/27 MOOC Update: Data Analysis and Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application through Coursera

Today is the last day of the first week of the Data Analysis course offered by Coursera, taught by Jeff Leek. In going through the videos I'm a bit surprised by Jeff's reference of Wikipedia as an additional resource for students. I always get the feeling that academics are always suspicious of Wikipedia, and that its a dark secret that all people, including themselves, actually use the site. As soon as he mentions Wikipedia, I had kind of a 'Well duh!' moment. Why wouldn't you use such a huge database of semi-reliable information? Naturally he has a caveat emptor moment in one of his videos, but most people taking the course (I would imagine) have grown up with the site, or at least know its quirks.

I am also enrolled in Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application offered by Coursera, taught by Dr. Fatimah Wirth, which starts tomorrow (1/28). Her experience at NASA, and doctorate thesis are particularly impressive. She uses the ADDIE method of instructional design, which I've read a bit about, but would like to know more about. It seems to use backward design, but develops a consistent framework for it. She is also a Quality Matters reviewer, so I'm interested in how she applies her methods to meet their rubric.

I also received a survey for Professor Tucker Balsch's course, Computational Investing I. The focus of the survey was to identify areas of improvement for the course. I don't remember getting a similar survey for the Computing for Data Analysis course I took, and am taking it as a sign that they recognize that the course was not ideal. I would be very interested in taking another course by Professor Balsch, but with more instructional design or technology support.

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