Not long ago, I wrote about the MOOC (massive open online courses) options available and signed up for several of them. I wanted to take a couple of minutes to review what I have discovered in the two classes that started already.
Both classes are in their second week and while the structure and operational aspects of them are similar, the experience is quite different.
The two course are:
- Sports and Society from Duke University – a 7 week look at the role societal changes have in the sports culture
- Introduction to Financial Accounting from the Wharton School of business – a 10 week course covering the basics of financial accounting
Sports and Society has entertained largely because of the content. Professor Orin Starn is entertaining and the subject is something that holds great interest for me. It has been extremely easy – to the point where the weeks assignment takes me the time to watch the few videos +about ten minutes extra for the homework and weekly quiz. I have scored perfectly on every bit of the homework and quizzes with the exception of one question on one quiz that I thought I had clicked the answer but missed the button.
I really look forward to each iteration of this course and feel sure I will enjoy the journey en route to my perfect scores.
Introduction to Financial Accounting is another story altogether. Professor Brian Bushee is certainly well-versed in his subject and entertaining in his video lectures – albeit a bit cheesy – but the subject is thick stuff. There are a ton of practice exercises and the volume of information is quite a bit. We are talking 9 videos from 10-15 minutes each this first week.
These videos are not quick ones you can play in the background while folding laundry. The exercises are designed for you to pause the video to work on the problem and then restart to see the answer – this means that a 15 minute video takes about 30 minutes each. I have spent a great deal of time taking notes, pausing and continuing – it took a far cry longer than the sports course did. I ended up putting in about 4-5 hours the first week before doing the homework.
Despite the fact that I have done accounting for 20+ years, the homework for this course was MUCH harder as well. You are allowed two attempts to complete the homework and I scored a 60 the first time I tried. Yikes! Talk about a blow to the ego.
On the second go-round I was able to get an 80. This is going to be a tough course, but I will stick with it mainly because as I work toward my MBA I am sure all this subject matter will come up again.
This will certainly be the more useful course and I will definitely feel like I earned something by the time it is completed.
Whether it is a gimme jock class or some nuts and bolts class like accounting, I am digging the online education thing.
by Chris Doelle