About On-line Education

Posted: June 16, 2012 in This and That
Tags: , ,

Recently I’ve accomplished 2 of the on-line courses provided by Coursera.

A “Model Thinking” course provided a nice overview of the existing approaches to model creation. Despite oversimplified maths (that I tried to compensate by using R-scripting where it was applicable) I liked this course for covering a wide range of real world implementation of different types of models.

A “Game Theory” course was quite nice, but had a lack of the real world implementation examples (there were a couple of them). And it was quite disappointing because that was what I hoped to learn about. I’ve already studied Game Theory in my University 7 or 8 years ago and since then was curious in seeing the theory in action. Unfortunately all the examples I’ve encountered were either oversimplified or far too complicated. The good thing was that the statement of accomplishment of Game Theory course was much fancier then that of Model Thinking.

Also there was another course named “Probabilistic Graphical Models” that I dropped. This course tended to consume more time than both courses above, demanded usage of MathLab or Octave (and I don’t see how would I benefit from learning them when I use R). But the worst thing was… lectures. The issue was  in awful video stile – the lecturer always gave definitions of terms and topics in the end of the lecture and further more – after an interactive in-video quiz that demanded knowledge of that definition! So I had to view the lectures again after definition was given to finally understand the topic! I value my time…

Now I have some plans for autumn:

I highly doubt if I will have time to pass all of them. I think I will have to stick with only 2 maximum, so will see…
Free on-line education is a great thing, especially for already graduated people, who don’t actually need extra paper on qualification. Also I doubt if on-line courser would provide diplomas for free. I’m aware about on-line education in the field of GIS but they are not for free. Finally, I hope Coursera will provide some courses on GIS too.
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