On-line Course: First Week Thoughts

August 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm 2 comments

So… I’ve completed the first week of the 8-week Introduction to Sustainability from Professor Jonathan Tomkin (Geoscience prof at University of Illinois), offered through Coursera, and it’s time to reflect a bit.
Overall, I’m impressed with the experience.  The course description said to expect spending 8-10 hours a week on this course.  I was hoping that my typical faculty/student time factor of 1:4 would apply (when I write an exam for my students, I try to make one that I can do in 1/4th the time allotted to the students).  I suspect I spent about 3 hours total, maybe 4, but much of that was in the after 10:00 PM time slot, so I’m not sure I was at my best.

There were 3 readings assigned, including a chapter in the (on-line and free) text that the University of Illinois faculty have assembled on the topic.  I love the fact that it was made available in a format compatible with i-books. I find the iPad a great way to read.  In addition to the readings, there were 4 brief lectures which could be downloaded or streamed live, each with a PPT file that could be viewed independently.  For those of use who have become addicted to two monitors, it worked great.  The videos were nicely produced, but not “slick” (which, IMHO, is a good thing).  There were well thought out and easy to follow.
We had to take two quizzes (don’t have results yet, may or may not choose to share when they’re graded  😉 )
The other activity of the first week had to do with the discussion forum. A fascinating study in online communities, but I think I’ll pick up on that theme in my next post.

BSGG

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Entry filed under: Higher Education.

Introduction to Sustainablity, Week 1 Sustainability, teaching and graphical representation of data

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Morty  |  September 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing this John! I’ll look forward to your next posting on your course experience. Always interesting to see what can be acheived via the on-line medium, especially with a sustainability course. Suspect you can interact with a real diverse group of participants. What is the course cost? Challenge is deciding what to focus upon… S-development, policy, law, design, technology, energy/water/waste/transp, international issues, etc., philosophy and trends, or a smorgesboard approach?

    Reply
  • […] my own part, I’m taking the online course (see previous posts) in an effort to see what the student experience is like. So far, so good. On the other side of […]

    Reply

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