So far, I’ve got the Degree of Freedom schedule together for all of my Freshman and most of my Sophomore year. Junior- and Senior-year schedules are a work in progress – as (I hope) are some of the MOOC and other higher-level courses I’m going to need to complete my planned philosophy major.
So here’s the lineup for my soon-to-be-completed Frosh three months:Course: Think Again – How to Reason and Argue Institution: University of North Carolina and Duke University Provider: Coursera Category: Social Sciences Credits: 1 (Major) Course: The Modern and the Post Modern Institution: Wesleyan University Provider: Coursera Category: Social Sciences Credits: 1 (Major) Course: Property and Liability Institution: Wesleyan University Provider: Coursera Category: Social Sciences Credits: 1 Course: Statistics Institution: San Jose State University Provider: Udacity Category: Science and Mathematics Credits: 1 Course: World War II History Institution: Harvard University Provider: EdX Category: Social Sciences Credits: 1 Course: Life in the Universe Institution: Ohio State University Provider: iTunes Category: Science and Mathematics Credits: 1 Course: The Modern Intellectual Tradition: From Descartes to Derrida Institution: College of the Holy Cross Provider: Great Courses Category: Social Sciences Credits: 1 (Major) Course: How to Build a Startup Institution: Business Class Provider: Udacity Category: Special Credits: .5 Course: The World of George Orwell Institution: Indiana State University Provider: Modern Scholar Category: Humanities Credits: .5
Now some of you who are also enrolled in these same courses will recognize that the way some of them are scheduled means I need to fudge timings a bit. (Two of the Coursera courses I’m listing in my Freshman lineup will actually spill over into April and May, and some of the classes that I’ll be including in my Sophomore year – such as two Harvard EdX classes in Ethics and Greek History – actually begin this week.)
This is one of several topics related to time that I’m planning to devote a week to later in the month.
But a more pressing issue has to do with what factors go into declaring that something constitutes a full-credit course. For in the list above, some of the classes are “conventional” MOOCs (i.e., classes offered by MOOC providers like Coursera, EdX and Udacity that include scheduled lectures, assignments and grades), while others (notably those offered on iTunes and through non-technology providers like Great Courses and Modern Scholar) offer only audio- or video-based lectures.
This brings up the important issue of the difference between “taking” a class and simply auditing one.
In traditional college settings, “auditing” refers to sitting through the lectures for a course, but not handing in any assignments or taking the class for a grade. But in the online world, this distinction needs significantly further refinement, which is why I plan to devote tomorrow’s blog entry to this critical subject.