Upcoming Coursera Specializations

smiling Graduate woman Holding Degree with cloud background

Want a way to get certified for a group of knowledge that represents more than a single class? Then Coursera‘s specializations might be just right for you! They are sets of MOOCs which upon completion grant you a special certificate indicating more in-depth knowledge in a subject.

  • Each specialization is made up of MOOCs from multiple universities
  • Available in 10 subjects, ranging from teacher education to CS to music
  • Cost: $29 or $49 per course plus a $49 capstone fee
  • Financial aid available

Here are the upcoming ones:

Data Science

  • 9 4-week classes and Final Capstone project
  • Topics covered include the R language, regression models, cleaning data & more
  • Taught by Johns Hopkins University
  • Next session starts Sept 1
  • Cost: $490

Systems Biology

  • 5 classes and Final Capstone project
  • Topics taught include experimental methods & network analysis in systems biology and more
  • Taught by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Next session starts Sept 2
  • Cost: $294

Cybersecurity

  • 4 classes and Final Capstone project
  • Topics include software & hardware security, usable security, and more
  • Taught by University of Maryland, College Park
  • Next session starts Sept 15
  • Cost: $245

Fundamentals of Computing

  • 3 classes and Final Capstone project
  • Topics include Python, algorithmic thinking, and more
  • Taught by Rice University
  • Next session starts Sept 15
  • Cost: $196

 

Mobile Cloud Computing with Android

  • 3 classes and Final Capstone project
  • Topics include pattern-oriented software architectures, cloud services for Android, and more
  • Taught by Rice University
  • Next session starts Sept 26
  • Cost: $196

News & Views (Week of 8/4 – 8/10)

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This week’s MOOC news includes a profile of Gandhi, workshops, and new courses in highly unique subjects. Check it out!

News

Similar to last week’s news, Udacity has opened up a few more of their classes to have the option of getting a verified certificate.

Coursera‘s blog has a fascinating infographic on the supply and demand of MOOCs and IT jobs (in Europe specifically).

Starting tomorrow, edX, Canvas, and many other MOCO providers will participate in a workshop series on MOOCs. Watch the livestream and get the schedule of events here.

Futurelearn has recently updated some of their site’s features, including messaging and notifications.

 

What is Team Accredible Learning?

Open2Study, the MOOC provider which has month-long courses on a wide variety of topics, has a few courses starting in August! From Mobile Robotics to Antarctic Science, check them out here.

One of our writers has a profile on Mahatmi Gandhi, and his self-directed learning journey. Did you know he was a poor student and more interested in sports and games as a student in school?

 

News & Views Roundup (Week of 7/28 – 8/6)

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News

Udacity has finished and released their course on Developing Android Apps! Check it out here! In addition, you can now access the coaching, projects and verified certificate that comes with the full Udacity experience when you take either their Intro to Parallel Programming, Intro to the Design of Everyday ThingsSoftware Debugging, or Interactive 3D Graphics classes.

The Coursera World Cup competition has finished and the top three countries were Singapore, Ireland and Australia. Way to go! Check out all the statistics from it.

edX recently had its first Indian business school partner join! Read about the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore’s partnership and plans with the platform here.

Swati, one of our writers, gives her tips in the Open2Study blog on how to use MOOCs to spice up your job if it’s not as exciting as you would like.

Self-directed Learning

The Coursera class on Learning How to Learn just started, and in honor of that class, Coursera’s blog has 10 Bad Rules of Studying. They include things like passive reading, not investigating solutions, trying to study while distracted, and many more.

If you learn on edX and would like to share your story, you can! Read and submit stories to the Tumblr blog edX Learner Stories.

Learn about the many ways to interact during your classes with your MOOC professors in this Iversity post.

What is Team Accredible learning?

Programming is a growing field with lots of demand for talent. As such, there’s no question as to why in the past few years more and more bootcamps and online courses emerged and have continued to do so! Check out our roundup of Treehouse‘s offerings. Starting with a 2 week free trial, these short, interactive courses are an excellent way to get your feet wet with programming.

Around the World in 62 Days continues with Days 36-42! Featuring 3 countries in South America, this week’s look at countries celebrating their independence isn’t one to miss.

Check out these three edX courses starting soon! Thermodynamics, Linux and Immunology are what’s in stock next month!

There’s More to Sports Than Meets The Eye

Sprinter leaving starting blocks on the running track. Explosive

The World Cup has just ended (congrats Germany!) but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue riding the sports wave by learning about them! Here are some MOOCs to check out to learn more about the sporting world and how big events like the World Cup are put on.


Sports and Society examines all facets of how sports affect society. Drawing upon many social sciences, including anthropology, history and sociology, this class also includes guest speakers and live Google Hangouts so students can interact with the professor and notable sports people. The Coursera class starts September 1.

 

Mega Events: Inside the FIFA World Cup takes you into the world of the planning that goes into this event. The history of the event, the urban planning and logistics required, and the political and business sides are all facets explored in this class. The Canvas course started June 23 and goes until July 28.

 


IOC Athletic MOOC is a platform by the International Olympic Committee that has MOOCs aimed at helping athletes increase their performance. Sports technology, healthy eating, and athletic careers are just some of the topics covered.

 

Happy Learning!

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How to Get Your Dream Job Without the Required Experience

Ambition of a young architect

Right major?  Check.  Enough software knowledge?  Check.  Cultural Fit?  Check.  Sufficient years of experience?  Uh-oh.

You’re looking at the job listing for your ideal gig just a little while after graduation and feel the excitement mounting inside of you with every requirement you know you can fulfill.  Then you see that you need 2 years of work experience – which you don’t have as a new grad.  Ugh.  Do you pull back and look for a position that you don’t want as much?  Do you resign yourself to a job you know will bore you for the next couple of years?

No.  Stop and think like a hiring manager. They are looking for candidates who know their stuff.  It just so happens that the general consensus says knowing your stuff requires some experience in the industry.  This study by McKinsey & Co. and Chegg even says that college graduates are under prepared but overqualified for employment…a finding that will naturally push hiring managers away from hiring recent grads.

So clearly, your next step should be to prove that you are sufficiently prepared for employment.  How?  Build a portfolio of work similar to what you would be doing on the job and submit it with your job application.  Refocus the potential employer’s attention on your skills and potential and away from metrics that don’t necessarily describe what you can do properly.  Here’s how.

 

Step 1 – MOOCs:  Learning the Skills

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are classes from well known Universities that professors modify for distance learning to allow access to any student for free.  Many of these courses teach exactly the same material as what the professors teach in their traditional classes, but you can take them in your spare time without spending money to build your knowledge and skills base.

Keep in mind that your major and college classes are not the full span of your capabilities.  An English degree is a great base for a copywriting career, but taking a few classes on your own time in marketing techniques can give your writing the boost you need to land that job at an ad agency.

Websites like Coursera and EdX provide great platforms for MOOCs.  It is important, however, to record your work for the class.  The assignments and projects you complete are great additions to your professional portfolio, as they legitimize the coursework you do through MOOCs.  You can keep track of all this by downloading your work as you complete it, or by using websites like Accredible to transfer all of your online coursework to one place that can be linked to the rest of your portfolio.

 

Step 2 – Speculative Projects/Case Studies:  Applying the Skills

There are case studies all over the internet – taking a few and using skills you learned from college and your MOOCs to write an analysis for each can help get your feet wet in the kind of thinking you need to solve problems in your industry.

Speculative or freelancing projects are also great ways to simulate what you will be doing later in a full time job.  Telling a small or mid-sized business or nonprofit organization that you are willing to help them out for free or little charge is an easy way to land some of these projects – this is time you are spending building work experience regardless of the amount you are getting paid.

Specifically working with nonprofit organizations in a volunteer position not only gives you the added experience for your newly developed skills, it also shows a more human side of your personality.  Maybe your volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity relates to your passion for fighting poverty, or perhaps your commitment to proper healthcare is showcased through your extensive work with the Red Cross.  Talking about your volunteer work in an interview is also great way to transition to you personal qualities and cultural fit.

 

Step 3 – Research:  Effectively Showcasing the Skills

Know what’s going on!  Read the news, find new articles on techniques and technology, and learn to use the newest software.  Once your profile gets you to an interview, you still need to prove that you can hit the ground running upon receiving an offer.

Having background knowledge about developments the company and its industry can help you come up with possible solutions to their problems before you are even working there – there is no better way than that to show that you would be an asset to the team.

Follow those three steps and you can show the hiring manager that you are perfect for your dream job because even though you don’t have years under your belt, you have the necessary skills and can demonstrate initiative to continue building more in the future.

MOOC News and Views (Week of 7/7-7/13)

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News

FutureLearn is looking for people who use their smartphone or tablet to learn.

Coursera’s blog features the story of an entrepreneur who used Coursera classes to help her expand her business. Read it here.

Remember that until July 16th, all accredible.com URLs will redirect to learning.accredible.com. We’re adding some new features, which is why we’re changing the URLs. Just make sure to you’ve changed the bookmark in your browser to learning.accredible.com by the 16th!

 

What is Team Accredible learning?

These aren’t MOOCs, but we’ve started a new series called “Around the World in 62 Days” which documents countries’ declarations of independence and other national holidays. Check out week 1 and 2 and stay tuned for next weeks!

The last week of Adventures in Gamification has come to a close, and Elizabeth has the final hurrah write-up of it here! Don’t worry if you haven’t started it since it’s self-paced so you can start anytime.

New Courses

Here are some of the upcoming NovoEd courses. NovoEd offers MOOCs with a twist – collaboration and social learning is deeply embedded in their platform. Mobile health, tech entrepreneurship and scaling businesses are just some of the things you can learn about with these interactive, fascinating classes.

Learning Tips

There are lots of free online resources to make studying and organizing your studying a little easier. Whether you want to be able to find articles about a subject you’re interested in (Feedly), have your notes accessible from anywhere (Evernote), create and use flashcards (Anki), or more, here are a few apps to get started with. Let us know what tools you use when studying by tweeting @accredible!

Take a few tips from Sherlock Holmes to become a better learner. From focusing to reading to “chaotic creativity”, who knew everyone’s favorite detective had the habits of a lifelong learner?

The second in a series on demystifying resume buzzwords is back, this time unraveling the term “motivation.” In addition, check out last week’s, “innovation.”

One of Udacity’s Course Developers has a blog post on Udacity’s blog with his tips for lifelong learning.

 

Happy learning!

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MOOC News and Views (Week of 6/30-7/6)

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What is Team Accredible learning?

Last week the Supreme Court recently made a controversial ruling in a case concerning a number of topics. Here are some relevant MOOCs that can help you understand some of the issues at play in the case.

Blog editor Elizabeth continues her Gamification class with a wrap-up of Week 5. Learn about the “Hero’s Journey” and how it relates to teaching and the classroom.

News

Accredible recently switched the URLs of learning profiles to learning.accredible.com to highlight the importance of learning. Please update your bookmarks – while typing accredible.com will redirect to learning.accredible.com right now, it will only do so until July 16th.

NovoEd, a MOOC platform that facilitates peer collaboration, was recently featured in a Venture Beat interview. Check it out to learn more about how Stanford University is investigating education disruption.

With 6 more days of the World Cup, Coursera is continuing it’s “Coursera World Cup” competition. So far Singapore and Taiwan are in the lead. Spread the word to your friends and boost your country’s ranking!

In other Coursera news, their translation project is coming along nicely! The first million Russian words were just translated, with more being translated every day. Read more on Coursera’s blog.

edX wants to know what style of videos you prefer: the “talking head” professor, panel discussions, or on-location filming. Let them know by tweeting @edXonline or @HKUniversity with the hashtag #BeyondTalkingHead. 

FutureLearn hosted their very first company hackday. Their blog details everything that went into it, before, during and after the event.

Lifelong Learning

This week Accredible and Udacity both tackled the topic of lifelong learning on their respective blogs. Andy Brown, an instructor at Udacity, wrote about a different way to frame the “How can I get myself to pursue lifelong learning?” question. He realized that it is a quite daunting task, but can be made more manageable by reframing it as “How can I learn to love learning more?” 

Many people are now pursuing a “DIY degree” by combining MOOCs and other learning tools. Read about a few of them and some of the options available here. From mentoring to beefed-up certificates and final exams to job searching help, as well as course pathways in multiple subject areas, this is a very promising area of life-long education.

 

Happy learning!

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How to get a “Degree” on Your own Terms Online

Catherine's grad cap

When you combine the fact that the cost of getting a bachelors degree has skyrocketed within the past 20 years and the easy accessibility of packaged MOOCs, the question appears: How could one create a “degree” using only MOOCs? It turns out a few people have; here are some of them and a sampling of the options available. Alyxandria is a new initiative aimed at providing competency-based peer reviews and accreditation of courses. Started by someone who decided to make his own bachelor’s because he couldn’t afford one, the project is in its infancy and it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out. MBA’s are a popular degree choice, but also increasingly expensive. My DIY MBA is a blog run by someone who, after graduating and working for a while realized that he really wanted to understand the business world. Since he couldn’t afford going to college for one, he decided to craft his own, through books and other materials. The DIY Degree describes a method by which one can “test out” of courses to eventually earn a degree given by a traditional university.

Each of the three most popular MOOC providers, Udacity, Coursera and edX, provide packages of courses that provide a “degree”-like experience. Some of them even offer tutoring or more rigorous exit exams or certifications. Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 5.00.19 PM edX’s XSeries course sets are sets of MOOCs which upon completion grant you a special certificate indicating more in-depth knowledge.

  • Each XSeries is made up of MOOCs from the same university
  • Available in 5 subjects: Water, CS, Aerodynamics, Astrophysics, and Supply Chain Management
  • Cost: ~$50-100 per course + $75 program fee

Coursera’s Specializations are similar to XSeries’ with the addition of a final capstone project.Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 5.01.49 PM

  • Each specialization is made up of MOOCs from multiple universities
  • Available in 10 subjects, ranging from teacher education to CS to music
  • Cost: $29 or $49 per course + $49 capstone fee
  • Financial aid available

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 5.02.52 PMUdacity’s Nanodegrees will launch this fall. They’re being created with major tech companies to ensure that the subjects taught align with what is needed in the workforce.

  • Available in Front-end Engineering, Back-end Engineering, iOS Engineering and Data Analysis
  • Cost: TBD
  • Includes a dedicated coach, projects, recruitment possibilities, career resources and more!

Remember to use Accredible to document your learning in whichever “course pathway” you choose! Happy learning, teamsig-small (1)

MOOC News and Views Roundup (Week of 6/23-6/29)

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New Courses

Udacity announced 4 more classes in their partnership with Google. In addition to the mini-class Web Performance Optimization (covered by Accredible here), there are 3 full-length classes: 

Accredible covered all 4 of these last week here.
Here is the list of Canvas classes that started last week (there’s still time to catch up!) and Coursera classes starting this month.

What is Team Accredible learning?

Our blog editor Elizabeth continues OpenLearning’s Gamification class and she just finished Week 4, which covered the use of scenarios as levellers. If you want to catch up on the previous weeks, here is Week 3Week 2, and Week 1.

News

Udacity now has an Android app. It includes everything Udacians have come to expect with the iOS ones, with offline video viewing capability coming in the near future. Download it on the Google Play store.

Google and Carnegie Mellon are working on combating the high attrition rate for MOOCs. As Venture Beat reports,  the project “overhaul the way people perceive MOOCs.” CM researches have argued that MOOCs fail to keep students interested because they lack the traditional systems that in-person ones use. It’ll be interesting to see what this research reveals, so stay tuned. 

Coursera is holding the “Coursera Cup” which is a leaderboard ranking countries with the most active Courserans per capita. Right now Singapore is in the lead. Check where your country stands, and then start learning!

OpenLearning participated in Australia’s annual CEO Sleepout, a fundraiser in which business leaders sleep in the streets to raise money and awareness for homelessness. Read about his experience on the OpenLearning blog.

edX’s first partner university from France, Sorbonne Universités, has joined the platform. Classes will be offered starting Spring of next year, and will include each of the universities in the Sorbonne.

Udacity + Google = Awesome courses & Android app!

Wireless

Today Udacity had two new announcements relating to Google: a new app and new classes.

The App

android

Two months ago Udacity released an iOS app, and today they’re releasing their Android app. Other than the ability to download videos for off-line learning, everything learners have come to expect on the iOS app is available on the Android one.

The Classes

Udacity recently added a few more classes to their collection of ones developed in partnership with Google. The original ones were HTML5 Game Development and Mobile Web Development. Here are the new ones:

udacityshortWebsite Performance Optimization is a mini-class that the Accredible Blog covered last week. Learn how to make your website load quickly and efficiently, leading to happier users, customers and/or visitors. No experience is necessary other than knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 7.44.20 PMLearn how to best use Google App Engine to build applications that scale well in Developing Scalable Apps. The class will encompass a final project, building a tool similar to Meetup.com. All the frontend will be provided; your job will be to build the scalable backend. Prior experience programming and working with databases is necessary.

 

 

uxAre you a developer with rusty design chops? Then UX Design for Mobile
Developers
 is the class for you! The difference between User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) will be covered, and the class is designed to give you the most useful and applicable design techniques. There are no prerequisites for this class.

 

 

android

The last class, Developing Android Apps, is still being created, but you can see a sneak preview (Lesson 1) right now. The class will guide you to develop a cloud-connected Android app, as well as learn the principles and tools used in Android development. Prerequisites are knowledge of an object-oriented programming language.
Let us know on Twitter or Facebook which class you’re most excited about, and happy learning!

 

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