e-learning · Uncategorized

Course 5: Understanding Plants – Part I: What a Plant Knows

Understanding Plants – Part I: What a Plant Knows by Tel Aviv University

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More information about this course > click here <

I really loved this course. Even though for me it was quite a simple one, having botanical background and everything.

How the Professor explains and puts everything into context is amazing however. After the introduction video my main thought was, “That’s how teachers should teach!”. He makes everything more interesting than any teacher I have ever heard talking about plant physiology.

Each week ends with a quiz which is quite fortunate for me, as I am usually not performing well on the assignments. The quiz wasn’t easy, it needs attention while watching the videos and I recommend taking notes.

I give 3 for the audience. Luckily it is not necessary to interact with other participants. This is a biology-chemistry science course specifically made for beginners. Still, as always with science courses and lectures, peoples sign up specifically to question and argue, and especially to question the validity of information in the lectures.

So generally, I loved the concept and the idea, it was made nicely. What is still missing, it the same as almost every course on coursera, the teachers and educators are not participating, not answering question at all on the forum. Mentors replies, but I could be a mentor on the Osteoarcheology course and even though I loved the course, I am not sure that a couple of weeks online course makes me qualified answering questions about human anthropology. They might be expert on the topics, they might be just people who did a couple of weeks, quite light plant physiology course.

Recommend: 5/5
Lectures: 5/5
Audience: 3/5

e-learning

Course 4: Introduction to Forensic Science

Introduction to Forensic Science by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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More info about the course > click here <

This is one of those courses that I cannot say how hard or easy is to do it without the needed background. As I have a biochemistry/genetics/bit of forensics background, for me it wasn’t too challenging. The techniques he used and explained, was something I have experience using it. Not with human samples, but the technique and the machine and the result analysis is the same.

I absolutely loved the case studies though. I actually ended up downloading the videos in the app and listening to it as a background noise while I was working.
He is a real nice teacher, it is quite enjoyable to listen to his description and stories.

I personally enjoyed the assignments.

It requires patience though, as the course is 8 weeks long and it has a lot of videos to watch. You also need some time to work out all the clues and write proper reports to the assignments.

I did not experiences glitches and problems, like with the anthropology course, so generally it was a really pleasant and nice experience.

The course also has a Facebook page actually maintained by the course teacher, which is unusual and surprising, and he regularly posts about new techniques in forensics and interesting cases. That is an absolutely new experience for me after doing all these coursera courses, where most of the times the whole course is abandoned by the course teachers completely.

Recommend: 5/5
Lectures: 5/5 (I would give 10 from 5, but nah)
Audience: 5/5

e-learning

Course 3: Fundamentals of Music Theory

Fundamentals of Music Theory by The University of Edinburgh

More info about the course > here <

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I basically started this at the same time with the other two.

I liked that they literally start from the very easy, baby steps and then build up the whole theory. They offer a lot of extra website to practice what has been taught on the lecture videos. You can test your skills, and on the websites you can change the difficulty, so it helps you develop your skills.

I originally wanted to do this course, because I learnt how to play a piano, but never the theory. And I was like, yeah, it must be helpful learning these skills like how music is built up.

Literally the first thing they said in the first video was that this course might not help you to be a better musician, maybe it will even mix you up.

Good thing, it didn’t.

It was a very nice exercise, I have learnt a lot about music, how music is created and written down, so eventually it was a good experience. As that was the first time actually learning music theory and applying it to practice, I had some difficulties with the quizzes and it was specifically hard for me the last assignment, but I passed and I was so happy about it and extremely proud.

Recommend: 4/5
Lectures: 5/5
Audience: 5/5

I gave 4 for the recommendation, because if you are not really passionate about it, you are going to give up the quizzes after a couple of weeks.
But in general, I can fully recommend the course.

e-learning

Course 2: Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones

And let’s have another post today, because why the hell not. With a ┬ácourse review.

Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones by Universiteit Leiden

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This course was also on coursera.org

To be fair, almost all of my courses are from that site, mainly because I did not want to register on too many sites at the same time. But lately I have realized, that they are certain type of courses which are missing. And also, the lack of lecturer support on coursera is alarming.

About the course: you can get some information about the course itself by clicking here.

First, I must say, I absolutely loved it. It opens so many questions, and as I was a great fan of the Bones series, it was kind of obvious that I am going to take that course.

The structure of the course is very good, starts off with basics and builds it up into more complex. It also gives a lot of extra material for each week with a list of professional words used in the videos and sometimes extra links.

For this course I can say, even the audience was amazing. To complete every week, you had to submit an assignment, which was fun and interesting and the audience, fellow students were quite helpful. Everyone was trying their best to their knowledge and abilities and I think we graded each other quite fairly. I got less points on parts were I knew I was weaker, and got appreciated where I was stronger.

The main problem was the lack of support in the course. There was a lot of open questions, which was not clear, for certain questions, I had to use google a lot to fill in the gaps. Also one of the assignment material was faulty. When they converted it from .doc to .pdf, the pictures moved and therefore you could not answer at least 2 question due to the fact that you could not see the trait on the photos attached. It was quite disturbing.

Recommend: 4,5/5
Lectures: 4/5
Audience: 5/5

In general, that was one of my favourite course from all I took on coursera. I definitely recommend if someone is interested in osteoarcheology.

e-learning · Uncategorized

Course 1: Big History – From the Big Bang until Today

I literally don’t have ideas to write about, or at least not until today. Then I’ve realized, I am taking online courses like crazy after one another, so I can write recommendations. If anyone is interested taking them, just to know what to expect.

So, the course in the title was the first e-course I took. Actually I took 3 at the same time, but that was the first I finished.

Big History – From the Big Bang until Today by University of Amsterdam.

You can find some close up info about the course itself clicking here.

The course itself, was absolutely amazing. The guest lecturers were interesting. It was nicely put together. There was a lecture at the end, I believe the last lecture, what had a technical mistake, so you could see the lecture, but the lecturer had a PowerPoint slideshow which did not show. So it was a bit weird “you can see here on the picture” and you saw nothing.

The negative part is that some of the quiz questions were quite challenging and there was absolutely zero support from the lecturer. Like she did not even show, not even once.

Also the assignments – this is a general problem on coursera by the way. There is no admin or lecturer support and your “classmates” are grading the assignment. On this course, most of the time you needed to pass the assignment to pass the course. I’ve got downgraded several times, because the person who graded my assignment did not understand my concept. Or because I was stupid enough to decide on a controversial topic and I am sure the person’s opinion the opposite of mine.

I also had one who copied my assignment and submitted as their own. They did not even bother to change the wording, I recognized my writing style immediately and as I saved the original on my computer, I opened it and saw the exact same writing word by word. It was bloody ridiculous that someone steals an assignment for a free online course.

Recommend: 4/5
Lectures: 4,5/5
Audience: 2/5