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Dianne Owens

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  • 30 reviews
  • 30 completed
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This third installment of the ten-part mini-MOOC series discusses the role of culture with the Tang. We learn about calligraphy, poetry and text in the everyday life of those with the means to indulge in such things. Learning about Chinese calligraphy fonts was pretty neat, and I find much of the material still floating around in my mind in a meaningful way. The course taught students a bit about the structure of poetry during this era, as well as offering some insight into storytelling by way of examining a specific manuscript published during this period.
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This course is a terrific introduction to the area of Computer Science, covering a wide range of topics, such as coding, security and hardware. If you or somebody that you know are considering a high-demand career in Computer Science but have minimal experience and knowledge, then I highly recommend this course. (Please note that I completed the intake-based version of this MOOC via the Stanford Online rather than the self-paced version being hosted at Coursera.)
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I finished this course in late 2013 out of curiosity. What I got was a history of computer science as well as an explanation of internet technologies and security. It was a lot of information for somebody with minimal background. The fast pace actually worked well for the course, as I never felt bogged down with one subject. The forums were lively as well, the enthusiasm for the course and for our likable leader Dr. Chuck was evident throughout. It was a community of people that genuinely cared about learning and discussing issues of internet security and whatnot. I feel a lot more knowledgeable and enriched for doing this course. It also led to me deciding to learn programming. While the latter has been rather slow due to my other studies, I am still excited about computer science.
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I was unsure of the specifics of this course when I first enrolled, other than that I would expand my knowledge of Asia. This course was a great introduction to the 10-part series, laying the foundation for the rest of the series by offering some insight into the events that lead up to the philosophical school of Confucianism. I really enjoyed the material and felt inspired to learn more. As such, I have signed up for the rest of the series, finishing the first four installments and currently being stuck into the fifth ahead of part 7 going live.
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I expected to learn some foundations in psychology, but this course focuses more on the philosophy of psychological study, research, prevention and treatment of mental illness. Though I didn't learn what I expected to, I did see a lot of other students gaining real benefit from the materials. Folks looking for more foundations in the science of psychology and neuroscience will likely benefit from the Foundations of Psychology MOOC over at Open2Study.
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I was pleasantly surprised by what I learned during this MOOC. An example was the cutting up of valuables in order to create equivalent values. Religion and culture were somewhat fascinating for me, though I wasn't as surprised with the discussions of slavery and political back-stabbing... often done with Gladiuses. This course ties in well with the course on Portus also offered by one of the other colleges via the FutureLearn platform.
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Though I studied English in high school, this course showed just how rusty my foundations were. I suppose that is what nearly two decades out of high school can do even when somebody such as myself spends time trying to avoid the loss of said skills and knowledge. Anyway, if you are looking for a refresher or foundations course then the lecturers provide very clear lessons in grammar. I was also sure to report some plagiarism in the form of an assessment copy and pasted from wikipedia. I became suspicious due to the way in which the piece was written, determining that it was plagiarism after copying and pasting the first two lines into a google search. I highly recommend this method for your future assessment of peers.
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I learned a LOT during this course. It helped dispel numerous misconceptions about Japan as well. It was a breath of fresh air.
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This installment ties in to more recent world events. The demise of the Qing is sad but inevitable given the circumstances occurring internally and externally. This would also lead to China trying out political systems other than Imperialism, which are discussed in part 8 of the series.
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I expected a continuation of the awesomeness of the other two courses, and John Covach delivered. I really look forward to his MOOC on The Rolling Stones early next year.
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I don't quite recall what I expected to learn going into this course, but I found myself looking forward to those videos of the experiments because they were both fun and interesting. However, the voice of one of the secondary lecturers bugged me for some bizarre reason. My issue, admittedly, rather than the fault of the staff or materials being presented.
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I didn't expect to learn near as much as I did during this course. The level of challenge and relevance of the MOOC made it suitably accessible and interesting, Some may find the level of challenge and learning curve somewhat disconcerting though.
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Given my previous exposure to the subject, I didn't learn near as much as I'd hoped. However, newcomers to the subject will gain significant benefit from studying the materials.
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I learned a few new things during this course. It was a pleasant surprise given my previous exposure to the subject. The delivery may not appeal to some due to the style, but it does offer some excellent techniques for folks looking to improve their deep learning.
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I was expecting the material to be more related to Psychology. It turned out to be more focused on Evolutionary Psychology. I didn't consider this to be a bad thing as it placed behaviour into the right context. That being said, some of the material may touch a nerve. I completed this course September 3rd 2013. As such, the course may have undergone some of the changes seen to assessment for course offerings in early 2014.
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Given my appreciation for the MOOCs on offer from The University of Edinburgh and a love of critters, I decided to enroll. It was a terrific introduction to issues of animal welfare, placing the subject into context using research into animal cognition and behaviour. It also offered some indications of what different countries are doing about improving animal welfare. By tying all of these elements together, the course offered a solid foundation for further study of the subject.
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The team of lecturers for this MOOC discuss the history of veterinary science, some basic anatomy of a horse and a dog, the role of the vet and veterinary nurse, and species specific care. It is an excellent overview of the field that has changed from being species-specific jobs such as Farriers, to a field that considers and learns the comparative and specific physiology of many animals.
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I enrolled in this course to learn more about the music that my dad used to play in our household when I was growing up in Australia during the 80's. He used to play music from various eras, with an appreciation for some of the genres that inspired Rock music. The first installment of the course discusses the part that radio and television played in the spread of music, each genre adding to the collective that would inform and inspire rock. We see the part that certain figures, such as Elvis Presley and the Beatles, played in popularizing Rock music. The course delivers a lot of facts, but also encourages students to search out some of the tracks and bands mentioned on their own. It was engaging and led to me enrolling in the second installment as well as The Music of The Beatles that finished a week ago and the course on The Rolling Stones that goes live early 2015.
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While I learned quite a bit during this course, I found that it is best accompanied by several other archaeology courses discussing other regions during the same periods. As such, the accompaniment of FutureLearn's MOOC on Archaeology of Portus and EdX's ChinaX mini-course series offered a lot of context, as the three areas were connected by trade around 49 C.E. My only issue was that Professor Lacovara seemed so nervous when he was reading the scripted lessons. However, this was not enough to take away from the material being learned about the conflicts faced by Nubia over time and the eventual fall of the empire. The videos were accompanied by the script for each week in PDF, but there are some visuals used in the videos that make them the primary focus of study. Students will not only learn about the changes in Nubian society over the various eras, but will also gain some insight into archaeological practice over time.
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The course was a great introduction to the technical side of Astronomy and Astrophysics, offering some insight into those physical objects used to gather data on far-away objects. It discusses some of the history of lens and camera technology, some important equations and terminology used in the field. The course follows a logical format, laying the foundation of tools in order to discuss the science behind the use of those tools. The forums were rather active, with the two lecturers and their teaching staff being involved in many of the discussions. The course as a whole was quite engaging, and I dropped some marks due to having some existing understanding of the subject-matter due to previous self-study of the subject.
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This course is a great introduction to philosophy. It teaches students some of the terminology and a different professor covers the material for each week through the lens of their specialization. The material was interesting, and inspired me to enroll in several other MOOCs on philosophy. Excellent stuff!
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Though the course offered some insight into psychology, evolution and biology, there was some obvious animosity for theists by Professor Ogilvie. I understand some of the anger, but it does strike me as somewhat silly given that much of what is being argued is stuff out of our control due to biology and neuroscience. However, this anger really took away from the material being taught. Professor Hamilton was rather personable, and dealt with the material on neuroscience and some of the stuff on biology in a thoughtful way.
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Having finished a MOOC on Vaccines earlier in 2013, I decided to enroll in this MOOC. This MOOC gave a great overview as to how diseases spread and react to stimuli. It also deals with how health professionals combat epidemics via a number of techniques. The videos make use of animations for teaching concepts. Giving each lecturer some time in front of the camera gave them some time away from the lab. The end of the week panel discussions based on forum questions offered us some further understanding of epidemiology.
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This course discusses the history of voting, from simple rocks in a box to electronic voting. It encourages students to look at these various voting technologies in order to determine ways in which they can be broken. By doing this, we allow ourselves the ability to refine voting technologies. Students are encouraged to be a part of the process of problem-solving in a meaningful and engaging way. The lecturer had some mild ticks that might irritate some folks, but he was knowledgeable and genuinely cares about what he is teaching.
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This course far exceeded my expectations, bringing together an overview of the history of disease and disease treatment from vaccination. The methods for developing treatment for major disease have no doubt been refined dramatically over the last century. This course seeks to debunk misinformation about vaccines that have been a major issue over the past decade and a half, which has led to recent outbreaks of diseases such as Measles. As such, this course is timely. Though there is evidence as to the worth of vaccines, we also have to deal with numerous psychological effects that have resulted in people believing in dodgy studies.
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This course was my introduction to network science. It was fast-paced and offered lots of variety in the materials covered, yet those materials were logically connected. And there was a running gag wherein Michael Kearns appeared in front of some random image in the introduction to each video, which was a great ice-breaker. Though I suffered from poor mathematics, the course was highly enjoyable for me.
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This course is a great introduction to the study of how diet and physical activity impacts on our health. However, the lecturers seemed a bit nervous when producing the videos. This often took away from the flow of some of the videos, but the course as a whole was formatted appropriately for the material.
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This fourth installment of the ten-part mini-MOOC series examines education, economics and philosophy of government. It discusses the rise of Neo- Confucianism and how various Confucian schools dealt with personal, social and economic issues.
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This course follows on chronologically from the first installment in the mini- series. In this second part, we see the events leading up to the rise of Buddhism in China. Though I have some mild exposure to Buddhism due to some books on the subject, I found that this course offered some well-needed context for understanding the religion and its popularity.
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I expected a more traditional focus on leadership for this course. However, it considers the reality that not all learning environments are the same. Students are encouraged to look at their own theory of learning as well as consider how the structure of a learning environment affects the flow of knowledge and the leadership therein. It was a fresh and logical approach to problem-solving, topped off by a design challenge at the end.