Saturday, August 04, 2012

TED Talk: Daphne Koller (Co-Founder of Coursera) on What We're Learning from Online Education

In the TED Talk above, Stanford professor Daphne Koller shares her excitement about making the college experience available to anyone through her startup, Coursera. With classes from 16 top colleges, Coursera is an innovative model for online learning. While top schools have been putting lectures online for years, Coursera's platform supports the other vital aspect of the classroom: tests and assignments that reinforce learning.


At 8/04/2012 5:52 PM, Blogger Robinsh said...

Thanks for submitting this informative article with the video, now after reading your blog I joined a computer science course from Coursera to know more about the industry I'm interested to join very soon.

See my blog :-

At 8/05/2012 8:28 AM, Blogger George Phillies said...

There are some interesting, not very positive, implications here for the future of scientific research in the country, notably that the university faculty who actually do most research are supported by their teaching, the opportunity to do research while getting a paycheck being a fringe benefit. If a small number of faculty members and a significant technical staff can actually present a coherent intellectual program in addition to presenting special topics courses, there is a large possible financial benefit to students from the scheme here. There will, however, be a secondary consequence that may be less positive.

Of course, there has to be the possibility of offering a coherent degree program as well as single courses in special topics areas. Moore's organic chemistry courses were an identifiable sequence; there may have been others. Coherent course sequences are a step below coherent degrees.

In addition, there are fields (biology and chemistry, not physics or computer science) in which the purpose of the lab exercise is to teach hands, in the sense that university music practice courses teach hands, the laboratory is large, complicated, expensive, and involves hazardous materials, and that aspect of university teaching seems difficult to carry out on this path.

At 8/05/2012 8:32 AM, Blogger George Phillies said...

To that I will add that last year I did video tapes of me lecturing form my four textbooks (one on statistical mechanics, one on polymer dynamics, and two on game design) and generating the simple video was already a major chore. Those videos were not meant to be courses, just support relative to courses and lectures.You can see the playlist outcomes on youtube on the georgephillies channel.

At 8/06/2012 9:34 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Not sure how making something so broadly available turns it into a "fundamental human right".

At 8/06/2012 2:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...


"Not sure how making something so broadly available turns it into a "fundamental human right"

Confusion abounds on the difference between the fundamental human right to "pursuit of happiness" and the actual attainment of that happiness.

At 8/07/2012 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally got a chance to watch the full video before commenting. Some decent ideas about moving the traditional curricula online, but the fundamental problem is that all these "online college" ventures are too dumb to realize that the existing college curricula are worthless. So they slap the same old shit online, guss it up with some lipstick, and spout off about these ridiculous plans to give it all away for free. The old saying still stands, "You get what you pay for," despite all attempts by silly dot.coms and their venture capitalist grifters/backers to claim the opposite. You're not always paying with money, but with your time and privacy, as with Facebook, and these dot.coms prey on innumerate economic illiterates, ie the users, to make that bargain. Of course, the scam is so slight that they go bankrupt 99% of the time anyway, as Facebook is now finding out, but nobody ever accused Coursera or the other dot.coms of being bright. :)


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