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Thursday, October 4, 2012

TIME Reviews MOOC

TIME magazine reviews Keith Devlin's Stanford MOOC course (on "mathematical thinking"), the pluses and mostly minuses...:

http://nation.time.com/2012/10/02/mooc-brigade-with-free-online-classes-guilt-is-part-of-the-bargain/

The experience of the writer is not terribly positive, but I suspect is not uncommon when 1000s of individuals sign up for an online course, especially if they've never taken one before. As Devlin himself no doubt realizes, this is an experiment-in-progress. One bottom-line, I think, is that the 'free'dom of many MOOC courses (both monetarily and pacing-wise) can be a double-edged sword: lending the student a lot of leeway and lower stress, but also a lack of discipline/incentive and ease of calling-it-quits.

In other matters, if you're up for some heavier-duty reading/thinking, the gents over at "Gödel's Last Letter" have a post up centered around ramifications of finding P = NP (but I DON'T recommend this for the writer of the TIME piece ;-):

http://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/why-we-lose-sleep-some-nights/


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