Thursday, September 12, 2013

Another Look at MOOCs

I am trying the MIT 7.00X Biology course taught by Lander. It is amazing. It is a real MIT type course.

First, Lander's lectures in the MIT style. Get three to five key principles across with collateral details so that the ideas are focused. You learn the way they think. This is unlike the Electronics course which was more IIT than MIT. Lander gets you to "feel" the ideas, to be able to intuit what to expect.

Second, the problem sets are also MIT styles. There are a few chick the box types but then the stretch the envelope ones are there as well. The software is explained by videos, the young lady doing it is speaking a bit too fast if one does not know it already, and the TA providing the added backup is great, and reminds me of many of the TAs I had decades ago. Great job!

Third, the pace is just right. The video presentation and board use is exceedingly better than the Coursera Melbourne class. Lander knows his subject, he knows what is essential to grasp the key ideas so you can add to your own wealth of understanding whereas the Aussie is too young and inexperienced and relies on powerpoint slides, the bane of any good educator.

Fourth, I have yet to see the nonsense in the Discussion groups. Perhaps it is filtered.

Bottom line, whether they have improved or that Landers is just great, which he is, this is a five star experience. Look forward to seeing it progress.