Mind Exercise? Try A Free Online MOOC

Now there is no excuse for being a couch potato when it comes to mind exercise. For anyone with Internet access can enrol on a range of university courses in eight different languages from 82 institutions worldwide and all free.

Daphne Koller at a Stanford Univeristy lecture in 2009 (Credit: Wikipedia/Flickr/Clive B San Carlos, US)

The global teach-in or “massive open online courses (MOOCs)”, is the brainwave of  Artificial-intelligence researchers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller both from Stanford University.

Here is the list of institutions which in partnership with this US-based global educational start-up – Coursera, currently provide free teaching:

No more excuses for lazy minds, its all on tap via the Internet and free…

In French you can do courses with Coursera partners: École Polytechnique and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne;   in Italian with Sapienza University of Rome

A depiction of the world’s oldest continually operating university, the University of Bologna, Italy (Credit: Wikipedia)

In German with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenTechnische Universität München (TUM); in Dutch with Universiteit Leiden; in Spanish with Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

While in English there is an extensive choice ranging from the American blue chips such as Yale University;  Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University to The University of Edinburgh and the National University of Singapore.

On their website Coursera‘s NG and  KOLLER say: “We believe in connecting people to a great education so that anyone around the world can learn without limits. Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Our technology enables our partners to teach millions of students rather than hundreds.

“We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education that has so far been available to a select few. We aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

“Classes offered on Coursera are designed to help you master the material. When you take one of our classes, you will watch lectures taught by world-class professors, learn at your own pace, test your knowledge, and reinforce concepts through interactive exercises. When you join one of our classes, you’ll also join a global community of thousands of students learning alongside you. We know that your life is busy, and that you have many commitments on your time. Thus, our courses are designed based on sound pedagogical foundations, to help you master new concepts quickly and effectively. Key ideas include mastery learning, to make sure that you have multiple attempts to demonstrate your new knowledge; using interactivity, to ensure student engagement and to assist long-term retention; and providing frequent feedback, so that you can monitor your own progress, and know when you’ve really mastered the material.

Education is for Life (Credit: Sean MacEntee)

“We offer courses in a wide range of topics, spanning the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and many others. Whether you’re looking to improve your resume, advance your career, or just learn more and expand your knowledge, we hope there will be multiple courses that you find interesting.”

Take a virtual tour to find the campus and the course that interest you most and get stuck-in to those applied statistics that always appear so baffling.
Story: Ken Pottinger


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