Posts Tagged ‘Coursera’

Making Progress On MOOCs

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Image courtesy palphy/Flickr

As the school year gets into full swing, folks might be starting to think about how MOOCs (massive online open courses) can help them on their own educational journeys – whether towards a degree or simply for growing their own knowledge for personal or career reasons. After a meteoric rise, MOOCs such as those offered by CourseraEdX and Udacity, have taken a few hits. Early results from a study last year by the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, said that MOOC course completion rates average just 4 percent across all courses, and range from 2 to 14 percent depending on the course and measurement of completion. The New York Times reported on some other setbacks here – but also noted that while MOOCs may be reshaped, they’re unlikely to disappear.

Some of that reshaping is underway. Among the efforts is a project announced this summer to take place at Carnegie Mellon University, in a multi-year program funded through a Google Focused Research Award. The announcement says the project will approach the problem from multiple directions, including a data-driven effort that will use machine-learning techniques to personalize the MOOC learning experience.

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New Competition Lets You Vote For The MOOC You’d Like To See Produced

MOOCs (massive open online courses) are gaining greater ground. Earlier this year we looked at some semantics-related MOOCs of study from outfits like Coursera, edX and Udacity. Since then, news has gone around about some other MOOC opportunities (albeit not necessarily with semantic course offerings), such as MOOC2Degree, Canvas Network, CourseSites, Udemy and Thinkful. The Hasso Plattner Institute also is involved with its openHPI courses, including coverage of semantic web technologies.

Now, word comes that Iversity, which offers its own MOOC platform, and the Foundation for German Science are sponsoring a competition to produce ten MOOCs, five courses for the winter term 2013/14 and five courses for the summer semester 2014. Winners will get  25,000 Euro grants each towards production. The MOOC Production Fellowship selection process is being managed by Iversity, as is the subsequent course production.

About 250 concepts for online courses have been submitted so far, and Internet users have up until May 23 to cast their votes for the ones they view as particularly interesting and groundbreaking. A list of submissions is here.

The categories range from linguistics and cultural studies to interdisciplinary work to natural and computer sciences. The entries include courses focused on semantic, social analytics and related technologies:

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New Year, New Skills: Get Ready For The Future With MOOCs

Photo courtesy: Flickr/CollegeDegrees360

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to build up your knowledge, skills and talents for the new digital world? If so, there are plenty of online options to help you achieve your goals, and at no cost to you, from the crop of MOOCs (massive open online courses) that’s sprung up.

The Semantic Web Blog scoured some of them to present you with some possible courses of study to consider in pursuit of your goals:

Coursera:

  • Data scientists-in-training, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health assistant professor of biostatistics Jeff Leek wants to help you get a leg up on Big Data – and the job doors that understanding how to work with it opens up – with this applied statistics course focusing on data analysis. The course notes that there’s a shortage of individuals with the skills to find the right data to answer a question, understand the processes underlying the data, discover the important patterns in the data, and communicate results to have the biggest possible impact, so why not work to become one of them and land what Google chief economist Hal Varian reportedly calls the sexy job for the next ten years – statistician (really). The course starts Jan. 22.
  • We’ve seen a lot about robots in the news over the last month, from the crowd-funded humanoid service robot Roboy, the brainchild of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich, to Vomiting Larry, a projectile vomiter developed to help scientists to better understand the spread of noroviruses. If you’d like to learn about what’s behind robots that can act intelligently (sorry, Larry, but you might not qualify here), you want to learn more about AI. And you can, with a course starting Jan. 28 taught by Dr. Gerhard Wickler and Prof. Ausin Tate, both of the University of Edinburgh.
  • Siri, where can I go to find out more about natural language processing? One option: Spend ten weeks starting February 11 learning about NLP with Michael Collins, the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. Students will have a chance to study mathematical and computational models of language, and the application of these models to key problems in natural language processing, with a focus on machine learning methods.

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