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An interesting look into the Coursera online education platform that came out of Stanford. This talk is given by one of the co-founders; since I have not tried any of their courses, it would be interesting to now see/read a critique from an education specialist that has.
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I took a swing at the Stanford course on game theory. The profs are super well-informed on the topic, of course, but not so great at creating videos that are clear, let alone interesting.

After three weeks or so, I decided I was better off learning the material on my own (which I had done with a Great Courses series on the same topic—far better produced).

The benefit would have been more social interaction, study groups that worked (they fell apart, IME), and some challenges that are more interesting and creative. Not asking to be spoon-fed or entertained. But, given, the audience (tens of thousands) and the hunger for this knowledge, it seems to me there's a high market for well-produced graduate level classes.

Here's the self-directed course: A good one.
I was out climbing with someone who's giving a Coursera course in the fall. He says that the video-editing process has been helping him improve his teaching a lot.
If I do a blog post on this, do you mind if I quote your comments?
Okay, but context: Mine was one experience—one course from one university— and I'm not a typical student (having graduated a few decades ago). Unlike Coursera, the Great Courses program (a DVD set with workbook) is not free.
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