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Dennis Horne

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  • 24 reviews
  • 23 completed
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It gives an insight into the science and technology behind CSI/Forensic investigation. It is accessible to anyone who has done (or is doing) science subjects at secondary or high school level. Clear, concise subject delivery, citing practical case studies during the lectures to illustrate the principles. It also provides substantial background resources. This would be a very useful course to have taken if you are ever called for jury service, may even be of use those considering a career in law enforcement or criminal law.
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This course teaches lifelong learning skills, and should act as a learning force multiplier for those who complete it.  It has the potential to be really useful especially for younger students as these skills are rarely taught at school.  It would get 5* for content, yet must have 0.5 for the above reasons. It is a pity that Coursera have chosen this one to enforce their new paid certificate model. I made it to the end, but without doing the quizzes or exercises. The two teenagers I had recommended look at this course gave up - no completion certificate, no motivation.
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Despite that, this is a highly recommended course relevant to all. Do this and it might even add a few years onto your lifespan!
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This is a quite deep look at the subject of the EU and its foreign relations, it is delivered by a multi-University, multi-Lecturer  team (see main description) , consisting of six main modules (with individual quizzes), a mid term p2p essay and a final exam (similar in style to the quizzes). The taught modules have both video lectures and supporting documentation (usually an EU report). I was impressed with the organisation, delivery and objectivity of the course. This one is worth doing both for general interest and those students either studying or considering studying Politics or International Relations.
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This course presented the complex inner workings of the European Union, its history, structure and means of governance. No prior knowledge was assumed. The subject was presented in a pro-European, evangelistic style which may irritate some students. Quite a lot was said about the advantages of the Union very little about its failings or drawbacks. In several cases in the course quizzes, the 'correct' answer expected was the Europhyllic one as opposed to a Europhobic alternative. Lacked subjective balance.
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This course supplies an entry level viewpoint in to the complex and hidden sometimes hidden world of modern communications technology and the implications of its use primarily in the US. It does not require a comms or computer or electronics background to take, although it does touch on these subjects. It also delves quite deeply into US constitutional legal issues again in a manner not requiring legal training. For content alone, it would have 4 stars. Sadly the quality of the course questions/quizzes does not match the that of the actual course content - by far the worst I have seen in any MOOC taken. The overall rating is a reflection of this.
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I have taken both the edX and Coursera Energy 101 offerings prior to this. No previous energy background is actually required, but either would help. This course approaches the energy debate from a business/economic angle and as such is a complementary approach to either of the above courses. It discusses the various energy sectors and ends with an introduction to both business case analysis and analysis of political actors. A useful primer if you need to interact with business oriented management or corporates. It did have a heavy reliance on peer assessment, which caused the usual issues/tears towards the end.
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This covers a topic most of us have never had the opportunity to study, the history of the Middle East. It is covered in a lively and engaging manner. Tel Aviv University are actually using the course live on campus. It covered the 19th Century history of the Ottoman Empire up to the early 21st Century events of the Arab Spring. All in all a valuable insight into the history of a region which many of us know too little detail about. Given this was from Tel Aviv University, the perspective of a complementary course from Tehran, Istanbul or Riyadh would be fascinating.
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This course is run as a parallel flipped class at Caltech. The Mooc participants get all the video lectures, but not required to do all the 'Caltech' exercises, if you did those, the workload would be > 15hrs. Having said that, the content is quite extensive, about double the video time for a typical Coursera MOOC All you need is a general scientific awareness as opposed to deep knowledge. Some exposure to high school differential maths will help with the parts of the course that delve into orbital dynamics. The course took 4 topics, Mars, Jupiter, Small (non-planetary) bodies and extra terrestrial life. It not only discussed these in some depth, but explained the background science used to make the discoveries. Some of the material was cutting edge, quoting papers published this year. The lecture delivery was excellent, Prof Brown has an enthusiastic style which prompted this quote from a Student in the forums : "taking a class with Mike Brown is like taking your very first guitar lessons with Eric Clapton as a teacher"
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My prior experience was also limited to taking the Leiden CTC Coursera course. I view these two as complementary, this the START course holds a US perspective. (Would Coursera be brave enough to run ones from the eyes of Moscow or Tehran?). The course makes use of both a wealth of US wide experts as guest lecturers and active use of the University of Maryland START database. Some, but not all of this excellent content was spoiled by poor audio content, especially the second week, hence the mixed rating. I hope that this will be corrected the next time this is run, as the course presents a valuable insight into this topic, both as an introduction and complement to those already in the field
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This course it is about the use of design patterns and frameworks in complex environments. It does much more than that. Prof Schmidt presents background materiel enabling students who are not overly familiar with topics such as OO programming, UML diagrams to get up to speed. The lecture materiel is excellent, furnished with comprehensive background links and papers supporting further learning. You can even complete the course and achieve a certificate without submitting programming assignments if pressed for time. The technical quality of the lectures is outstanding. I have taken many MOOC courses over the past 18 months, this is the best production quality I have seen. The promo video opposite does not do justice to the actual lectures. The lectures are supported by slick, colourful , sometimes animated slides, with Prof Schmidt delivering the materiel in his engaging style. A 100 level background in programming and software, C++ or Java and basic understanding of object oriented design would help as a pre-requisite, otherwise the workload will be higher. I would strongly recommend anyone studying Software Engineering at University to consider doing this in parallel. It will reinforce your own studies and give you a distinctly unfair advantage with respect to your peers. For those of us out in the field, this is career enabling high quality education. The only comment I would make is that there is so much in this course, it could have been split into two offerings. Note this was a review for the 2013 offering. For 2014, it evolved into 3 courses combining into an entire Coursera specialization track Android/Java centred. That group won't finish until ~September.
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A survey of various topics related to oceanography. The course had a slick set of videos backed up set readings and further references. Note: FutureLearn do not offer free electronic completion certificates.
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This short course explored the basics of the neuroscience this disease, a non- introductory subject in medicine - it was accessible without any medical or biological background. It consisted of videos plus background readings and links to further data. FutureLearn do not issue electronic completion certificates, this course was no exeption.
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Having no background in History (my last history lesson in School was over 30 years ago), I am impressed with the accessibility of the course. The lectures are extremely informative and there is a wealth of material to be found on the forums. Excellent.
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This looks like a natural follow-on to the edx 'Becoming a Resilient Person' offering from Washington Uni via EDX. The course workload estimate of 2 hrs per week suggests a similar style, 5*s in anticipation.
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This is a slick presentation of Web technologies coming at it from a Social Science direction. Light touch, with pointers to go (much) deeper if you want, it is suitable both for total novices and those familiar with the Internet but wanting a different perspective. I view this as a complementary course to Coursera's Internet History, Technology & Security. Note: FutureLearn will only issue certificates upon payment.
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A thorough introduction into this topic, all you need is a general interest in science. Aimed at US high school, it's still useful background for those of us who got through the education system, long before this topic emerged. No certificate was obtainable on this course
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This is a fundamental intro to cybersecurity. It is delivered by a combination of standalone weekly notes basked up by selected (usually YouTube) videos and related web links. It provides a thorough grounding in the field without assuming much of a previous background, weekly quiz/exam but the only way to get a certificate is by a paid, proctored test. Useful background if you are looking at something like a CCNA however.
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This was a course focussing on the political and human rights issues raised by the advent of the internet and our networked world. It did not cover these aspects in technical detail, nor did it assume any previous knowledge in either political science or the legal aspects of human rights. It was thus suitable for anyone to take up, just as well as I had no background in the field. The material was clearly laid out, driven by clearly spoken videos plus short end of video quizzes. There were additional references, links and readings available for each module. Evaluation consisted of 2 peer reviewed essays and a final exam (which was a larger variant of the quizzes).
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Popular technology or not, the world will continue to rely on nuclear as an element to combat the Global Energy Crisis for at least the first half of this Century. This course aimed to provide the technical background as to how this technology works for those not in the industry. It suceeded admirably in this aim. It examines the workings of commercial nuclear power generation and safety issues with a look the supporting physics, a background to radiation and ends with an overview of other civilian applications of the use of nuclear science It does not require extensive maths, physics nor chemistry, scientifically interested 15-16 year olds will be able to take this successfully. Anyone who has a college level science, engineering or maths background will have no difficulties Dr Foulke delivers the content in a passionate, approachable style. The administration of the course (forums quizzes etc.) was mainly done by a support team from Pitt. This was the first running of this course and there were some glitches in the questions, the course staff tried to fix the problems in situ and added an additional optional exam at the end allowing those affected to recover. On the second running of this course should go fine.
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This comes as a 2 part offering, this second part covers Rock music roughly from the late 60's to the end of the 90's. It is a consistent progression of Part 1 of the course, indeed they could have been combined into a single 12 week offering. The comments below also come straight from my part 1 review: The title should be something like' 20th Century Rock in the context of Popular Music' as there is a comparison of the rock genre's development with its contemporaries such as soul punk and reggae. The style, content and delivery of the lectures is excellent. It does not require the ability to play or read music. The quiz/exam workload is light, but not to the detriment of the quality of the instruction. If you love Rock Music, you can take this one to relax & learn at the same time. The Forums are articulate, passionate and worth reading; many participants have lived through the period and at times it becomes a live history lesson.
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This comes as a 2 part offering, this part covers Rock music up to the late 60's Elvis, the Beatles, Dylan and the Hippy culture. The title should be something like' 20th Century Rock in the context of Popular Music' as there is a comparison of the rock genre's development with its contemporaries such as soul punk and reggae. The style, content and delivery of the lectures is excellent. It does not require the ability to play or read music. The quiz/exam workload is light, but not to the detriment of the quality of the instruction. If you love Rock Music, you can take this one to relax & learn at the same time. The Forums are articulate, passionate and worth reading; many participants have lived through the period and at times it becomes a live history lesson.
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Having no previous experience of this subject, this was a journey into the unknown. I did it to check it out for a relative who will do this in school in September. The previous reviewers comments about the style and delivery of the material are all valid. It is accessible to a novice in the field and exceedingly well done. It has a 'light touch' approach to assessments, just in-video and end of week quizzes; no stress of a peer reviewed essay to overcome. Each week has a set of background reading to accompany it, it is to the individual how deeply you go into this. I found the course forums the most pleasant I have encountered to date, full of people with a genuine interest in the subject. This may well ignite a real interest in this subject for my little friend next time it runs.
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An excellent informative,course, it requires no technical background. Dr Severance is a natural in front of the camera, you need look no further than the video embedded on this page to appreciate that. I also agree that the explanation of the workings of the Internet in the last 3 lectures is one of the clearest I have seen. Innovative and highly recommended.