Tag Archives: Coursera

Dino 101 Completed

I’ve finished my second Coursera course!  Dino 101 was offered by the University of Alberta, which I attended for my first year of university.  Dr. Philip Currie is one of the instructors, and he is one of the top dinosaur palaeontologists in the world.

This course doesn’t actually end for another two weeks, but I completed it ahead of time, as we’re allowed to go at our own pace.  I found this course quite informative, even though it was an introductory course to palaeontology.  I knew a lot of what was taught, but I did find out plenty of new things, too.

I sometimes wonder what it would’ve been like to study palaeontology at university instead of physics and astronomy.  I nearly did.  I found my geology courses at the U of A fascinating.  Makes me miss university.

Anyway, I have another course starting in a couple days on Future Learn, and that’s called Moons.  I’m looking forward to it.


My First Certificate from Coursera

Well, here it is.  I got my first certificate from an online university course I took at Coursera.  Take a look:

Looks pretty, but doesn’t really mean much.

So, what does this mean?  It means I finished a course with distinction.  That means I achieved more than 85% in the course in my quizzes (92.5% to be exact).  The certificate doesn’t really mean much, though.  It’s not official.  But it’s nice to get one.

Studying and Nostalgia

As I work through my online courses at Coursera, I recall my days at university.  What triggered these memories is equations being used in the Imagining Other Earths course.  It really brings back memories of using equations everyday.

Another thing that’s been making me nostalgic is the amount of geology I’ve been exposed to in all 3 courses I’ve done.  When I was in university, I took a couple geology courses in my first year, and I thoroughly enjoyed them.  It makes me think that if I ever go back to university, I’d study geology.

Another thing I’ve started doing is studying languages.  At duolingo, I’ve been working on French mainly, and it made me realise how much I’ve forgotten.  I also started on Spanish, and I will work on German as well.

Anyone else doing Coursera or other MOOC courses?  How about duolingo?

Astrobiology Course Completed

I have just completed an online open course at Coursera.  That course is Astrobiology from the University of Edinburgh.  It was only a 5 week course, so it didn’t take long to finish.

It was an interesting course that went into the origins of life, possible places for life in the solar system, how we could communicate with aliens, and more.  It was a rather broad subject, surprisingly.  It involved biology, astronomy, and philosophy.

The course is still going on, since it will finish at the end of the week.  After that, they’ll send me a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the professor Charles Cockell.  It isn’t an official document, so it’s really just a kind of trophy.

I’m still doing two other courses at the moment, one on dinosaurs, the other on finding other Earth-like planets.  Next month, I’ll be starting another course, this one at FutureLearn about the moons of our solar system.

For the other courses I’m planning on taking, check out my studying page.

My Studies

As you may already know, I’ve started doing online open courses through Coursera.  Well, I’ve compiled a list of courses I’m taking, and I’ll keep it up-to-date every week with my progress.  I’ve provided a link to the page in the menu above.  But you can access it here, too.

I’ve also added languages to the list.  These are more of a do-when-I-can kind of thing.  I have a lot of things going on these days, so only Japanese is of any concern to me at the moment.

I will add other things, as well.  I’m interested in a few other things, and may take classes in the future, or I may learn some new things through books.

As always, you can leave a comment below.

Studying Is Starting!

I mentioned before that I’ll be studying some courses through Coursera, a free online university course website.  Well, I added one more.  This one is Dino 101, which is a course about dinosaur palaeobiology offered at the University of Alberta (I went there for my first year of university) and taught by Philip Currie, who is one of the top palaeontologists in the world.

For this course, I will mainly be watching the lecture videos, though I am unlikely to do all of the coursework.  It’s a 12 week course, and I’m more interested in viewing the information, rather than doing all of the work.  Not to mention, I don’t have the time to do everything.  I’m really looking forward to it, though.

I’m Going to Be a Student!

Well, sort of.  I’m actually going to be taking a couple of free university courses online at Coursera.

courseraThe first one starts on January 20, 2014, and is only 5 weeks long.  I’ll be studying about astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial life.  I’m using this as research for Ariadne, and hope to get some good information about it.  It’s taught by a university professor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

The second one starts in March (exact date unknown), and is about the diversity of exoplanets.  Also being used as research for my books.  This one is taught by 7 professors at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, and it’ll last 6 weeks.

Each of these courses will only require 2-4 hours of work a week, including homework, watching videos, and quizzes.  At the end of each course, I’ll actually get a Statement of Accomplishment from the universities and signed by the professors.  What does this mean?  Absolutely nothing.  But it’ll be useful information, and will help me improve the science of my novels.