The Modern World: Global History since 1760

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10/10 stars
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The Modern World: Global History since 1760

Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • TBA

Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4733 reviews

Course Description

This is a survey course in modern world history for students, beginning or advanced, who wish to better understand how the world got to be the way it is today. In order to understand modern history, a global perspective is essential. This is true whether you are interested in economics, warfare, philosophy, politics, or even pop culture. This course can therefore be essential for students in many fields, a base equipping them with tools for lifelong learning. 


In its current form, this course on Coursera is not offered for college credit. But it is a vital part of the for credit course on this topic being offered at the University of Virginia in the spring semester of 2014. Both the Coursera and the UVA students use the same online material as a common foundation for their different learning experiences.  This is the material to survey 'what happened' and the big questions about how to explain so many changes – some of those questi...

This is a survey course in modern world history for students, beginning or advanced, who wish to better understand how the world got to be the way it is today. In order to understand modern history, a global perspective is essential. This is true whether you are interested in economics, warfare, philosophy, politics, or even pop culture. This course can therefore be essential for students in many fields, a base equipping them with tools for lifelong learning. 


In its current form, this course on Coursera is not offered for college credit. But it is a vital part of the for credit course on this topic being offered at the University of Virginia in the spring semester of 2014. Both the Coursera and the UVA students use the same online material as a common foundation for their different learning experiences.  This is the material to survey 'what happened' and the big questions about how to explain so many changes – some of those questions that start with:  "Why?"  (The students in the UVA course then supplement this online material with a lot of additional reading; research projects on the histories of particular communities around the world; in-person tutorials and discussions, both with the professor and with the graduate teaching assistants; and examinations.)


It is tempting to think that if we can just understand the big patterns, we don't have to get too caught up in the details. In this course, though, we care about chronology. We care about individuals. Without some careful attention to sequences of cause and effect, without tracing how big changes come from the choices made by particular people, history can turn into just a series of descriptions, a somewhat tiresome recitation of one thing after another. So beyond just offering a set of remarkable stories, this course offers you training in how to analyze a situation and how to think about problems of explaining change.

Reviews 10/10 stars
33 Reviews for The Modern World: Global History since 1760

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Joy Rothke profile image
Joy Rothke profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 5 completed
5 years, 5 months ago
A tremendously gifted teacher. Prof Zelikow gave me a new understanding of modern history. I would happily spend another 15 weeks delving deeper in the subject with him.
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Ricardo Teixeira profile image
Ricardo Teixeira profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 86 reviews
  • 77 completed
5 years, 7 months ago
What can I say that hasn't been said yet about this wonderful course? It's an amazing experience that takes you though a compelling, interesting journey over more than 250 years of History. I don't understand how anyone can be consider him/herself an informed citizen without having these notions - and I realize how much I've been missing in my knowledge and interpretations of current and past events. Professor Zelikow is a wonderful teacher, besides an accomplished professional in his area, and it's delightful to learn from him. His narrative is consistent, coherent, well supported, but it has elements of originality that will surely interest even those who previously completed studies in global History. His style is great - in fact, I knew I'd be sticking around since the first "welcome, make yourselves comfortable". If you're investing in MOOCs, this is an absolute essential. I couldn't recommend it more.
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Yalda Mohammadian profile image
Yalda Mohammadian profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 6 completed
5 years, 5 months ago
Registered for this course to learn more about history (dates and facts), however this MOOC showed me that there is a lot more to history than just facts and dates. Philip Zelikow does a great job at not only explaining the WHAT, but also analyzing the HOW and the WHY. This really opened up a new world to me. Overall this is quite an easy MOOC to follow. Most of the work lies in watching the lectures every week (1-3 hours a week). However there is a lot of optional reading material as well. Furthermore, Philip Zelikow is a great story teller and enjoyable to listen to. I would definitely recommend this MOOC, it's one of the better ones that I have followed.
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Winthrop Yu profile image
Winthrop Yu profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 33 reviews
  • 27 completed
6 years, 1 month ago
Just listen to and watch the videos carefully and this course will take you on a leisurely tour of modern history. Join the course, then ... make yourself comfortable! :)
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Adrian Van profile image
Adrian Van profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
6 years ago
I took this course as a way of relaxation, being taken in the same time with harder subjects, like programming and maths. It made me think in other terms about history, the "why" question taking advance in front of classical "how and when" approach of teaching history.
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Diane Davidson profile image
Diane Davidson profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 2 months ago
I have a B.A. and M.A. in Art History (undergraduate double major in Political Science). I had taken several history classes at the undergraduate level (Wellesley and Stanford). I can say unreservedly that this was the best history class I ever took. The lectures were outstanding, and the use of maps, diagrams, videos of speeches, etc., was excellent. I heartily recommend this class to any lifelong learner interested in history.
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Christian Reinboth profile image
Christian Reinboth profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 6 completed
6 years, 2 months ago
I have to admit that I initially took this course mostly out of curiosity about the teaching style and geopolitical comments of the lecturer, the well- known Prof. Dr. Philip Zelikow at the University of Virginia, advisor to several US governments, executive director of the 9/11 Commission and author (together with Condoleeza Rice) of a very compelling book on the re- unification of my home country, Germany. I have not regretted doing so for one instant - from the first "make yourself comfortable" to the very last lecture. Prof. Zelikow is a remarkably good teacher, delivering a spirited narrative of more than three centuries of world history. I can only highly recommend this course to anyone with even a remote interest into (non-Eurocentric) history. Out of all of the great Coursera courses I have taken so far, this course was the only one which did not just leave me satisfied about the newly-gained knowledge, but which has left me ... I have to admit that I initially took this course mostly out of curiosity about the teaching style and geopolitical comments of the lecturer, the well- known Prof. Dr. Philip Zelikow at the University of Virginia, advisor to several US governments, executive director of the 9/11 Commission and author (together with Condoleeza Rice) of a very compelling book on the re- unification of my home country, Germany. I have not regretted doing so for one instant - from the first "make yourself comfortable" to the very last lecture. Prof. Zelikow is a remarkably good teacher, delivering a spirited narrative of more than three centuries of world history. I can only highly recommend this course to anyone with even a remote interest into (non-Eurocentric) history. Out of all of the great Coursera courses I have taken so far, this course was the only one which did not just leave me satisfied about the newly-gained knowledge, but which has left me actually sad that there would be no more forthcoming lectures. Overall, a really great learning experience.
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Christopher profile image
Christopher profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 6 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
What you really hope to find in a MOOC, a true expert sharing their insight. The course was well organized and presented....material was new and refreshing, interesting and challanging. Led to some great discussions on the boards. Quizes were well related, challanging yet reasonable. A great modern spin on history for those of us who haven't studied it in a few years.
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Pedro Forquesato profile image
Pedro Forquesato profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
6 years, 4 months ago
Very good course, it gives an interesting and thorough (as much as possible for a one semester course in global history anyway) view of recent history. Truly fascinating and well prepared.
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Peter Bandelow profile image
Peter Bandelow profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
6 years, 5 months ago
Very good, though on balance I would give the nod to the Adelman History of the World from 1300. Zelikow provides a little different perspective on a little shorter period, and repetition is not a bad thing for us slow learners.
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Sally Seward profile image
Sally Seward profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
6 years, 7 months ago
What a wonderful experience! I have enjoyed this course thoroughly and am sad that it is coming to an end. Professor Zelikow did an excellent job of presenting the material in an interesting and engaging way. Taking on so many years of world history in just 14 weeks is quite a feat, but I feel as though we covered the most important points and I came out with real understanding of key events. I am so grateful to Professor Zelikow and Coursera for providing me with this experience.
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Anna Nachesa profile image
Anna Nachesa profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 13 reviews
  • 13 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
This course grew up on me. In the beginning, it felt simple, but as time went, the lecturer proved to be very knowledgeable and his approach to the topics was very thorough. Long time ago, I have learned that period of history from a completely different point of view, and now it was interesting to "compare the notes", so to say. I liked the "holistic approach" in the sense that the course really tried to show how the global tendencies manifested themselves in different parts of the world and to find the similarities in the development of very different countries. In general, this was one of the mind-broadening experiences. I am glad that I sticked with this course till the end! Prerequisites: English language is a must. Some previous knowledge regarding the period in question would also help, otherwise the amount of new information might be overwhelming.
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Jay Astarte profile image
Jay Astarte profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 7 months ago
Only one more week to go of this excellent course and already I'm aware of how much I will miss it. The standard of teaching is excellent. The professor is extremely knowledgeable, very pleasant, and his lectures are distinguished by his vibrant enthusiasm. I particularly enjoy his approach to history which is to examine a particular situation, perhaps an economic crisis, or a decision to go to war or not, and then to discuss the situation fully, covering the context and the different choices which were available at that time. Then we examine the new situation which arises as a result of the decisions which were taken. And so the cycle starts again. This approach leads to a more in-depth understanding of history as it would seem to the participants as it was unfolding, rather than the usual view which is influenced much more by hindsight. My prior experience was history at school (poorly taught back in the 70's). I can't think of any... Only one more week to go of this excellent course and already I'm aware of how much I will miss it. The standard of teaching is excellent. The professor is extremely knowledgeable, very pleasant, and his lectures are distinguished by his vibrant enthusiasm. I particularly enjoy his approach to history which is to examine a particular situation, perhaps an economic crisis, or a decision to go to war or not, and then to discuss the situation fully, covering the context and the different choices which were available at that time. Then we examine the new situation which arises as a result of the decisions which were taken. And so the cycle starts again. This approach leads to a more in-depth understanding of history as it would seem to the participants as it was unfolding, rather than the usual view which is influenced much more by hindsight. My prior experience was history at school (poorly taught back in the 70's). I can't think of anything I didn't like about the course and can't recommend it highly enough. I've taken other Coursera courses in different areas and have not found the tutors to be quite so engaging. I will miss the professor's smiles and wisdom, and look forward to re-taking the course next spring.
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Matt Pierce profile image
Matt Pierce profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 8 completed
6 years, 5 months ago
I can't even begin to say enough positive things about this course. It is the best course, hands down, that I've taken with Coursera so far, and Zelikow is one of the most competent and engaging instructors I've ever had the pleasure of learning from. He obviously has great passion for the material, and his enthusiasm was totally infectious. This is one of the few MOOCs so far that I've taken in which my interest never wavered. Every week, the material presented in the lectures was absolutely fascinating. He did a good job of giving you a truly global picture of most events, and fairly complex examinations of geopolitical and economic factors as well, without it ever becoming uninteresting or losing sight of the history.
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Kelebek profile image
Kelebek profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 15 reviews
  • 13 completed
6 years, 7 months ago
Professor Zelikow is incredibly personable and his presentation style is relaxed and friendly. Compared to the history instructors I had in high school and University, Professor Z ranks pretty high in likeability. Loved the video set-up - cosy and comfortable, as if you were sitting down with a friend who was going to tell you his adventures. The quizzes were very straightforward, simply worded and hit the important part of the lectures. The workload was fair, about two to two-and-a-half hours of lectures per week (how he managed to slim things down to that I don't know!) and there were no major glitches or technical problems. Professor Z kept a fairly low profile on the fora but did respond and add to some discussions. The personalities on the fora themselves left much to be desired, but I think that's pretty much the same story in most of the Coursera offerings. My only quibble is with the material itself . The Modern World is an o... Professor Zelikow is incredibly personable and his presentation style is relaxed and friendly. Compared to the history instructors I had in high school and University, Professor Z ranks pretty high in likeability. Loved the video set-up - cosy and comfortable, as if you were sitting down with a friend who was going to tell you his adventures. The quizzes were very straightforward, simply worded and hit the important part of the lectures. The workload was fair, about two to two-and-a-half hours of lectures per week (how he managed to slim things down to that I don't know!) and there were no major glitches or technical problems. Professor Z kept a fairly low profile on the fora but did respond and add to some discussions. The personalities on the fora themselves left much to be desired, but I think that's pretty much the same story in most of the Coursera offerings. My only quibble is with the material itself . The Modern World is an outstanding course for those looking for a good overview of things from 1760-present. Zelikow managed to cover the evolution of political parties, the path of capitalism, the road from low-tech and rural to the modern world we now live in and much more in those short weeks. I was looking for a broader scope though. If you're looking for, or will be satisfied with a course on European White Men Act on the World, this is your course. While China, India and South America got attention and Professor Zelikow had a video segment on women, the course still felt unbalanced to me. Bottom line: fantastic quality course but taught from a White, Euro/American Male point of view. Worth the time, if you're looking to refresh or update your history knowledge or get an idea of what American students learn.
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Zofia profile image
Zofia profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 7 months ago
Professor Zelikow made me look at history from completely different perspective. I finally have a sens of how the history shaped the world we live in today. Also for me as a polish student it was interesting to see american point of view on history. It's a wonderful course, very interesting and pleasant :)
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Amber profile image
Amber profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
6 years, 7 months ago
I have loved this course. The professor is amazing at conveying a large amount of information in an interesting and exciting way. I learned a lot and I am sad that there is only one more week. I hope Professor Zelikow teaches many more courses - I will take them all.
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Carol Colffield profile image
Carol Colffield profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 7 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
An outstanding course by an outstanding teacher. If only one word had to be used to define Professor Zelikow's teaching style, that would be Elegance.
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Gary profile image
Gary profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 6 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
A brilliantly taught class. My favorite coursera class. I enjoyed Zelikow's approach to history which emphasized how people actively respond to situations and are not mere captives of inevitable social forces. It's a delightfully old fashioned approach, and to me that's a feature rather than a bug.
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L Figueroa profile image
L Figueroa profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 14 reviews
  • 13 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
An insightful, memorable, well organized and wonderfully presented course on the history of the world from 1760 to the present. Professor Zeilokow does a masterful job in weaving an entertaining and informative story without many preconceived notions, a creative framework and a healthy dose of skepticism. There is little doubt in my mind, that I will treasure the material I learned.
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Faiho Song profile image
Faiho Song profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 1 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
Nice course to learn the history from a different aspect from my own country. The course is nice, the point is cool. And the result is exactly what i want. The problem is that the video is a bit to long, for some.
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Anthony Kolasny profile image
Anthony Kolasny profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
6 years, 7 months ago
This was a very enjoyable course. It provided clear and insightful narratives of key events in world history. The video lectures were well prepared. And, the quizzes reinforced key points from the lecture.
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Fang profile image
Fang profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 7 months ago
It is so pity that have to say goodbye now, after 15 weeks we learned a lot from Zelikow. He is really nice teacher and I will remember him and what he said. Put aside the useful "situation, problem, solution" method, This course opened my eyes from local to globle perspective, opened my mind from temporal isolation to historical coherence. Thanks a lot!
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Cassie Hill profile image
Cassie Hill profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
This beautifully designed history course is presented by the well known Professor Phillip Zelikow. His career outside of the classroom has been of great importance, but I never realized he's such a compelling and interesting teacher. I highly recommend this course (or anything he teaches).
Was this review helpful? Yes7
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BM profile image
BM profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 3 completed
6 years, 7 months ago
This is a very well taught and fascinating course. It covers a lot of ground and from a different perspective from the way I was taught History in school, which was totally Eurocentric. It explains individual sequences of events in individual countries as parts of global patterns, indeed the accompanying text book has Patterns in the title. (The textbook is not compulsory). Initially I didn't find Professor Zelikow's style as engaging as Prof. Struck on my previous course, as the study setting seemed a bit formal, but 7 weeks in and I am enjoying the feeling of sitting across the desk from him, as if in a tutorial. As others have said the discussion forums on this course initially seemed pretty poor and in general not worth reading or participation, but they have improved greatly in the last couple of weeks or so, as we have got further into the course. On the Greek and Roman Mythology course interesting points were raised on the boa... This is a very well taught and fascinating course. It covers a lot of ground and from a different perspective from the way I was taught History in school, which was totally Eurocentric. It explains individual sequences of events in individual countries as parts of global patterns, indeed the accompanying text book has Patterns in the title. (The textbook is not compulsory). Initially I didn't find Professor Zelikow's style as engaging as Prof. Struck on my previous course, as the study setting seemed a bit formal, but 7 weeks in and I am enjoying the feeling of sitting across the desk from him, as if in a tutorial. As others have said the discussion forums on this course initially seemed pretty poor and in general not worth reading or participation, but they have improved greatly in the last couple of weeks or so, as we have got further into the course. On the Greek and Roman Mythology course interesting points were raised on the boards and discussed periodically in screenside chats by the Prof. and his team. This would be a useful addition to this course, if sufficient issues of merit can be found for Prof. Zelikow to spend his time discussing them.
Was this review helpful? Yes6
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Anthony R profile image
Anthony R profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 11 reviews
  • 10 completed
6 years ago
I am enjoying this course far more than I expected to enjoy it. The lectures are thoughtful, conceptually complete, and emplaced in a good module structure. The instructor is engaging, the exams are challenging, and the supplementary materials that can be pulled in from other sources are good.
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Greta profile image
Greta profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 6 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
History has always been just a minor interest of mine, probably because my history classes in the past tended to focus on details and local events rather than illuminating the global picture. What I was looking for was some kind of overview over the coherences and some insight why things happened the way they did - and this is exactly what this course provides. Prof Zelikow is not only a versatile scholar, he is also a phenomenal teacher. His lectures are very well structured, fascinating and informative. Among all the coursera courses I have taken so far (~25) this is definitely among the top 3.
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Melle van der Meer profile image
Melle van der Meer profile image
8/10 starsTaking Now
  • 2 reviews
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
The content of this course is very well structured and presented in a simple but effective way. You are not bothered by an overload of detail, but on the other hand all the facts are there to study and consider. For me it is a very good refresher for my earlier studies of this period. This course does not offer you great, inspiring or surprisings new insights. But it gives you a very thorough and clear view on what happened, why it happened and which choices people made while it happened. The viewpoint is often a bit traditional Europe/US centred, although China and India are covered well. The quiz each week is helpfull, the discussion forums are mostly filled with people talking rubbish. The course is quite different and therefore complementary to Adelman's Global History at Princeton, last fall also on Coursera.
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Eric G profile image
Eric G profile image
8/10 starsTaking Now
  • 3 reviews
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
This is an excellent "refresher" course for those who have a history background, as well as a good introduction for those interested in the study of the modern world and how we got to where we are. It's fast paced, covers a lot of material, yet is not the kind of detail oriented course that can scare some folks off. I'm enjoying it immensely. There are no writing assignments, and the quizzes each week cover the material in the videos, so there is virtually no need to do any outside reading. \---My standard critique of all of these MOOCs... My only real issue is the same I have for all Coursera and edX courses...TERRIBLE discussion forums. The format is simply unusable...InvisionFree (which is really bad) is better than this.
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Diane Davidson profile image
Diane Davidson profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
I am loving this class; in fact, I would say I'm addicted to it. Professor Zelikow's presentations are clear and engaging, and he is so passionate about his subject matter that I'm motivated to watch as often as possible. I am non- techie, so I had some trouble at first finding the quizzes, then the transcripts of the lectures. But these were easily fixed issues. I have not taken other MOOCs, but I simply can't imagine them being better than this one. I am 63, still working full-time, so this class is my "recreation." If you love learning about history, I highly recommend this class.
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