Well, it’s that time of year.
Back to school, with one major difference: all of my kids are now handling their own responsibilities. We’ve got one college senior and two college freshmen, along with the looming of the ’empty nest’ syndrome at my house (though my son is sticking around for a little while, as he gets his feet wet at a local college).
So I’ve decided to ramp up my involvement with some courses via http://www.edx.org/ in an attempt to absorb not only knowledge, but also the experience of being an online student.
I’ve just started an offering from UTAustinX: UT.4.01x Take Your Medicine – The Impact of Drug Development which, so far, is well designed and fascinating. I felt that this might be the perfect introduction for me, as I provide administrative support to online MS students in Pharmacology & Toxicology programs at a major university. So far, so good – not dumbed-down, but accessible enough for a beginner to jump in and enjoy the learning experience. A new facet from Edx is the ability to earn a verified Certificate of Achievement that allows me to document the fact that I’ve participated in the course.
MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. I experimented with a couple of offerings a few months ago (on a different site), whose structure may have been fine for some people, but I found so overpowering (from the sheer number of people participating, and the attempts at maintaining communication via a bulletin board), that I was forced to un-enroll.
This time around, it seems to be much more concise and efficient (though the massive bulletin board postings still exist). Safe bet for me, is just to skim the boards for anything that might be of interest – as attempting to read them would be akin to opening up ‘War and Peace’ and attempting to finish it within a few weeks.
This is cool, though. Back to school in my mid-50’s.
I feel young again! 😉