Upcoming Courses From Canvas, FutureLearn and iversity

courses starting in Aug

There a lots of great courses starting in August!  To give you a sampling, these are some of the courses starting soon from Canvas, FutureLearn and iversity!


Basic Science: Understanding Numbers - Starts August 18th

This practical, hands-on course will help you to start thinking like a scientist, by using numbers to describe and understand the natural world. It might be the size of the Greenland ice sheet, the number of molecules in a raindrop, or the latest set of mind-boggling numbers about climate change basic sciencepresented in the media. No longer will you be put off by averages or percentages, and you’ll even learn to love negative numbers. You will understand and manage numbers like a scientist. The course will introduce all the main skills you’ll need to understand and communicate scientific numbers, relate them to the real world, and share your discoveries with other learners.

Study skills for international students - Starts August 18th

study skills for intl stuThis course looks at some of the key skills that international students need in order to be successful at a UK university. It is special because of the way it has been produced. Our English language and study skills teachers at INTO UEA surveyed and interviewed students who had already successfully completed a course and progressed to study at the University. We asked them about the things that they had found most challenging when they started their university programme. This course has been developed as a result of what those international students told us, as well as the experience INTO UEA colleagues have in preparing international students for university study. Over the four weeks of the course you will hear top tips from international students already studying at university in the UK. You will also hear teachers talking about the key skills that international students need to do well. Our aim is to give you the best possible chance of success in your studies. Each week there will be videos, articles, quizzes and discussions that will help you develop your study skills. At the end of each week there will be an exercise which will review what has been learned. There will also be the opportunity for you to discuss your ideas with other learners on the course. 

Medicines Adherence: Supporting Patients with their Treatment - Starts August 25th

regulating medicineIt is estimated that 30-50% of patients do not take their medicines as prescribed. So how should we, as healthcare professionals, respond? As medicines are key to the successful management of chronic conditions, underuse or non-adherence represents a lost opportunity for the health improvement for the patient as well as being a waste of valuable resources for healthcare systems. In Europe alone, the cost of poor adherence to treatment is estimated at 195,000 lives and €20 billion annually. This two week course is designed for pharmacists, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals with a role or interest in supporting patients with long-term conditions. We’ve invited a range of inspirational healthcare professionals. researchers and clinical academics from across King’s College London’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and the Pharmaceutical Clinical Academic Group at King’s Health Partners to contribute to this course. You will be able to immerse yourself in our engaging video material, scenarios and discussions to explore the challenges of medicines non-adherence, factors that may influence patient medicines use and approaches that can be used to effectively engage patients in patient-centred consultations about self-managing medicines.

Towards Scottish Independence? Understanding the Referendum - Starts August 25th

scottish referendumWe aim to place participants in our course at the heart of the Scottish referendum debate. Participants will engage critically (and constructively) with the arguments of both sides and with each other, whilst being informed by input from leading Edinburgh University academics. In addition to weekly live-streamed Question Hour with a panel of experts, the course provides video explanations of key issues, interactive debates and role play exercises. The course begins three weeks before the referendum and also considers afterwards the implications of the result. It is structured around six main questions: Why is Scotland having a referendum? What does ‘Yes’ mean? What does ‘No’ mean? What do Scots think? The Day After What Next? Read more about examples which will be explored in the course, and its weekly live-streamed seminars, at Alan Convery’s blog post.

iversity Accredible

Vehicle Dynamics II: Cornering - Starts August 19th

From Bugatti Veyron to Volkswagen Bettle, from racing to passenger car: learn more about cornering and drifting and look deeper into Kamm’s circles and Kemple’s diagram.  In this second part of Vehicle Dynamics, we will illuminate the lateral dynamic aspects of vehicles. Clear and brief: the cornering of a car. In Detail: We will start with a simple single-track model and then describe the slip angle of a wheel. The slip angle results in cornering forces, which are essential for understanding lateral dynamics. After that, we will look at the dependency between longitudinal and lateral forces using Kamm’s circle and Krempel’s diagram. Then we will investigate steady state cornering, stability and the influence of different weight distributions between inner and outer side wheels of the car. The course will finish with two applications from automotive mechatronics.At the end of course understand basic principles of cornering of a car. know slip angle and cornering forces. understand the single track model. understand the steady state cornering, stability and the influence of different weight distribution between inner and outer side of the car. be able to calculate simple properties of a car.

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Hybrid Courses: Best of Both Worlds - Starts August 4th

hybrid courseAre you a Higher Ed instructor or K-12 educator? Double your impact by taking advantage of both the classroom and online environments. Explore methods to effectively combine the two formats and build a class community that engages students and supports active learning in any subject area. For educators both new and experienced.

Project Management for Business Professionals - Starts August 18th

project managemnetThis course provides an introduction to the concepts, techniques, and principles of project management. Primary emphasis will be on learning the project management process outlined in the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide). Agile, extreme, and other variations of project management will be discussed and their key features related to the PMBOK Guide. Upon completion of the course students will be able to plan, schedule, budget, estimate, control, and monitor projects. In addition, they will become familiar with resource allocation, resource loading and the creation and use of GANTT and PERT charts.

Business Ethics for the Real World - Starts August 18th

business ethicsThis course is designed to provide an introduction to the subject of ethical behavior in business. The course provides an understanding of the nature of ethics, the role ethics plays in business, and the most commonly encountered ethical dilemmas in a business career. It provides practical advice on how to identify ethical dilemmas when they arise, how to get enough information to assess one’s responsibilities, how to analyze a complex ethical choice, and how to marshal one’s own resources and courage to act ethically. While the course includes some ethical theory, it is designed to be approachable by the seasoned manager, the novice businessperson, and students in business schools. No specific background or preparation is necessary. 

Which courses will you add to your To Learn list?  Let us know in the comments below!

What do Computers, Globalization & Water Have in Common?


They are all course topics found on edX next month! EdX has several great courses starting soon so if you are interested in Thermodynamics, Immunology or the Ideas of the 20th Century (or any previously mentioned topic!), keep reading for these and other great courses below!


July 29   (length: 12 weeks)    free

Introduction to basic concepts and applications of thermodynamics in mechanical engineering.  There will be emphasis on problem-solving. Students will need to spend significant effort on solving exercises. The course is designed for students in mechanical engineering. However, others (both engineers and scientists) are likely to find it useful. The course has also been found to be useful to teachers of thermodynamics.  A basic knowledge of high-school physics and chemistry is assumed; ability to do college calculus (differentiation, integration, partial derivatives, and exact differentials) is required.

Introduction to Linux

Aug 1     free

Develop a good working knowledge of Linux using both the graphical interface and command line, covering the major Linux distribution families.  This course explores the various tools and techniques commonly used by Linux programmers, system administrators and end users to achieve their day-to-day work in a Linux environment. It is designed for experienced computer users who have limited or no previous exposure to Linux, whether they are working in an individual or Enterprise environment.

Fundamentals of Immunology, Part 1

Aug 18   ( length: 8 weeks)      free

Learn about your body’s defences against disease: how it can identify threats and coordinate counter attacks.  When you’re sick, you may wonder, “Why me?” But the real question should be, “Why am I not sick all the time?” You might even ask, “Why does my body respond with a fever, and is it really a good idea to lower it?” This course explores immunology, how the body defends itself from constant assault by parasites and pathogens. This course will present the fundamentals of both innate and adaptive immunity, emphasizing functional interactions among cells and organs. We will cover signaling, pathogen recognition and the division of labor among myeloid, lymphoid and supporting cells. The subject matter will also supply health professionals and biomedical researchers with the basic vocabulary and concepts necessary to understand both clinical press releases and primary literature. The course materials also provide support to other immunology instructors by presenting difficult concepts in creative ways using analogies and models.    This is the first part of a two part course. Fundamentals of Immunology, Part 2 will start in October 2014 after the conclusion of Part 1.

Circuits and Electronics

Aug 25   free

Teaches the fundamentals of circuit and electronic analysis.  The course introduces engineering in the context of the lumped circuit abstraction. Topics covered include: resistive elements and networks; independent and dependent sources; switches and MOS transistors; digital abstraction; amplifiers; energy storage elements; dynamics of first- and second-order networks; design in the time and frequency domains; and analog and digital circuits and applications. Design and lab exercises are also significant components of the course.

Age of Globalization

Aug 27   (length: 15 weeks)    free

Identify the historical and cultural systems driving globalization and changing societies around the world.  Globalization is a fascinating spectacle that can be understood as global systems of competition and connectivity. These man-made systems provide transport, communication, governance, and entertainment on a global scale. International crime networks are outgrowths of the same systems. Topics include national identity, language diversity, the global labour market, popular culture, sports and climate change.  Expects familiarity with the general subject matter, but does not expect more than a general understanding of either concepts or vocabulary. The course may expect familiarity with other undergraduate course materials.

Ideas of the Twentieth Century

Aug 27   (length: 15 weeks)  free

Learn how philosophy, art, literature, and history shaped the last century and the world today. The last century ushered in significant progress. Philosophers, scientists, artists, and poets overthrew our understanding of the physical world, of human behaviour, of thought and its limits, and of art, creativity, and beauty. Scientific progress improved the way we lived across the world. Expects familiarity with the general subject matter, but does not expect more than a general understanding of either concepts or vocabulary. The course may expect familiarity with other undergraduate course materials.

Introduction to Computer Programming, Part 1

July 29   (length: 6 weeks)    free

This 6-week course provides students with a foundation in computer programming.  Participants will get to read and understand many sample programs, and will have to write several on their own. This course deals with procedural programming, and attempts to inculcate good programming practices in a novice programmer.  Knowledge of high school mathematics is essential and adequate. Exposure to pre-calculus is desirable.

Introduction to Water and Climate

Aug 26   (length: 8 weeks)    free

The basic elements of and the relation between water and climate are highlighted and further discussed together with their mutual coherence.Water is essential for life on earth and of crucial importance for society. Also within our climate water plays a major role. The natural cycle of ocean to atmosphere, by precipitation back to earth and by rivers and aquifers to the oceans has a decisive impact on regional and global climate patterns.

Remember to add these great courses to your To Learn List!  And let us know below which great edX courses you decided to take in August!

The Most Important Thing Employers Want From You


It isn’t the ability to code like a champ or your beastly social media savvy (although those are increasingly attractive attributes for many positions) – what employers really want from you is ‘teachability’.  They want to be able to teach you how to do the job their way quickly and efficiently.  To accomplish this, you will need to prove to them your ability to learn things very quickly.

Were you praised for picking things up quickly, ever since you were a child?  Great!  Now do better!  There’s always room for improvement and little more satisfying than being able to tell your boss that you finished the job perfectly- and in a fraction of the allotted time.  It would be great to be able to train yourself to become a more efficient learner so you can pick things up faster on the job, but learning velocity is largely inherent.  Luckily, the trick here isn’t to increase your learning ability.  Instead, the focus should be on preparation.

If you need to write business plans as a part of your job, for example, you should learn how to write a standard business plan on your own first and spend office hours recognizing your company’s unique twist instead of spending extra time to learn from step one all over again. .  Now the job is easier and will get done faster – and you can show off to your supervisor how quickly you picked up their way of doing things.


You are your own Yoda.

It’s true – you know yourself better than anyone else.  Why not take advantage of this fact and teach yourself a thing or two about the skills you know you will need for your job?  If you arm your mind with the basics, picking up your company’s twist on things will be easier (and quicker!).

You can learn awesome stuff from all over the internet now – from tutorials on Lydia or YouTube to full blown free Ivy League classes from Coursera, teaching yourself is the thing to do!

The first step is to narrow down the skills you should master for your industry.  A visual designer, for example, might benefit from learning HTML basics while a marketer could take their work to the next level by building solid creative writing and copywriting skills.

Figuring out what exactly you need to learn is the hard part – now, you can just Google it and decide which resource (tutorial, class, article, e-book) you like best and get started!


Be the Tortoise.

Remember that story about the tortoise and hare where the hare gets really arrogant and ends up losing a race to the tortoise?  It actually applies to your career progression really well.  The worst thing you can do is to come off as being full of yourself to your co-workers or boss.  Not only does that essentially flash a bright neon sign saying ‘Not Willing to Learn’ above your head, it also sets you up for a whole lot of lost opportunities.

Learning can come in the form of actively seeking knowledge by studying or taking a class, but it can also happen simply on the job if a good mentor takes a liking to you.  A mentor at work can provide important insight, fast-tracking tips, and invaluable feedback – but no potential mentor is going to take interest in the new kid who thinks she knows everything.  Remember to project the humble student within!


Be Proactive.

Being able to pick things up quickly, having great tech skills, and busting through assignments are obviously amazing achievements to have under your belt – but keep in mind that everyone on your team will try to display these things.  Going out of your way to add value even when you weren’t specifically instructed to do so shows that you care about the team’s performance as a whole, not just your own.  If you are a copywriter at a startup and you know about an upcoming feature-release or company re-branding, offer up your ideas right away and even provide samples to show that you’ve really thought about it.

Of course, it is always important to keep in mind that your ideas are suggestions that your supervisors can choose not to take and you shouldn’t overload them either.  Imposing on someone else’s pet project can become annoying, even though you’re really just trying to help.  Just remember, be humble and realize that you are the student.  Soak up the experience of your co-workers and throw in some of your own fresher ideas without overdoing it.  You will have impressed your boss before you know it!

The Smartest Disney Character: Tarzan?


When I think of autodidactism, I automatically think of an old Sherlock Holmes’ picture with a gentleman from the 1800’s smoking a pipe at his mahogany desk in front of a fireplace, surrounded by heaps of books and parchment paper.  This is honestly a very different picture from what most autodidacts paint, but one self-learner blew this image out of the water while I was watching a Disney movie the other day.


Let’s Start From the Top

Yes, I am an adult.  Yes, I was watching Tarzan last weekend – its a good movie!  As I watched baby Tarzan grow into a vine-swinging, hollering ape-man, I realized (in the nerdy way that one realizes such things) that Tarzan is the ultimate autodidact – one that represents the origins of self-education.

In the Disney movie, Tarzan is found in the jungle by a female gorilla after his parents are killed by a tiger.  She adopts him as her own and raises him in the jungle with her family of gorillas.  A large part of the story focuses on Tarzan finding it difficult to belong, considering how different his human features are from his gorilla family’s.  He finds it difficult to make friends as a child because he is physically slower and weaker and he constantly makes mistakes doing things that are perfectly normal for a gorilla, but more difficult for a human.


Growing up

As Tarzan grows, however, his human brain kicks in and he begins to find different ways to keep up with his adopted family.  For example, he finds it difficult to match his friends’ speed while traveling on foot, so he
teaches himself to swing on vines and leap through trees to keep up (and stay ahead).  Later, while foraging for food, he uses his elephant friend’s trunk to help blow out food from narrow spaces instead of trying to fit his too-large hands into the space like the gorillas.


Back to the Beginning

This is probably how humans began to differentiate themselves from other primates during evolution, and so Tarzan goes all the way back to the beginning of the entire process of learning – which was autodidactism at its core.

Granted, Tarzan was probably a smarter human than the average.  Just look at his parents – they were stranded in a Jungle and built a flippin’ awesome treehouse to live in with awesome amenities.  They literally had no resources to work with!



Still, he was a baby – who grew up in a family of gorillas.  He finished off a deadly tiger using his brain when nobody else could, found ways to get food more efficiently, and figured out how to get around the jungle faster than the companions he constantly fell behind as a child.

I’d say that earns him the title of the Ultimate Disney Autodidact, wouldn’t you?

Adventures in Gamification: An Interview with Tom Benjamin

Adventures in Gamification Logo 2
To finish our series Adventures in Gamification, we have a special surprise for you!  Dr. Tom Benjamin, who teaches the Gamification in Education course on OpenLearning,  has kindly agreed to participate in an interview with Accredible to discuss Gamification, MOOCs and his future plans.  This was especially exciting as a student of his course as he answered a few questions that I thought I had sorted out…read on to learn more about applying game theory to learning – and how he applied it to the course.

Who is Dr Tom Benjamin?

tom picture Tom Benjamin graduated from University of Michigan in Psychology, then did an MBA at Michigan State. He played water polo for MSU and Sydney U while in graduate school. He moved to Australia where he worked as a psychologist and researcher. He has taught & researched at a tertiary level across a number of disciplines including economics, IT, and demography.

Music is intrinsic to development of his game research.  His Detroit music career could be best described as a frat party and wedding singer. Although he went on to academia, some of his former rock band members continued on in the entertainment sector.“We were the first generation of kids with access to electronic gear. With our paper route money we bought stereo recorders and the same mics and amps as the Beatles!,” recalls Tom.

Karaoke, campfire singing, and blues jamming have many properties of gamification. Our local Rising Star karaoke was #1 in Australia and they allowed me to test out my multi-tracks with a live audience. Often someone would hear one of my public domain songs and ask if it was “an 80′s song”. I nodded without telling them that it was actually 1880′s!”

Participants in Gamification in Education should recognize in karaoke the gamified elements of competition and unpredictability add to that the capability to change the pitch of the song to fit a comfortable key is a huge leveller. Tom explains, “You could sing anything from bass to soprano with a push of the button. And you get intermittent reinforcement as with a 10,000 song list you’re bound to kiss a few frogs before finding the songs that fit you like a glass slipper.”


The true value of MOOCs can be found in the knowledge we gained, the pure learning. Where that knowledge comes from is far less important.  At one time, it was believed that radio and TV in the classroom would be the disruptive innovation, but it turned out that those devices had a much larger impact at home, where students could be exposed to the same news and information as their parents – and often ahead of when they covered it in school.

Documentaries and lectures on TV (or pod-casts) are valid methods of distributing information and gaining knowledge.  Information from experts are delivered to you in a one way dialogue, giving you the opportunity to absorb the content.  Discussions are not always required with the educator in subjects like science or history (how frequently will you want to argue a fact?) and the lectures are every bit as informative as a live lecture. ytv

Advancements in technology have made it possible (and cost efficient) to share this information to more people.  What once would take many years and much funding to produce can now be done with a pod-cast microphone and a netbook. “The information element has already been disrupted.  I couldn’t even dream of offering these courses without the massive heavy lifting subsidy from OpenLearning and YouTube.  We can put up post-grad quality material limited now only by our time investment. What won’t be disrupted will be the administrative and social elements of tertiary education,” says Tom.

“Disruptive Innovation is among the most misquoted terms at the moment.  The classical example was the motorcar which took a while to outperform the horse cart then improved exponentially, eventually making the horse obsolete.” ~ Tom Benjamin

Distance education once meant sending reams of paper material back and forth between student and the education facility.  At the University of NSW, home of one of the largest distance ed courses in Australia, Tom Benjamin introduced the use of digital technology – first by CD ROM, then the Web.  “There was initial resistance but it soon took over as the dominant format,” reminisces Dr. Benjamin. “I found OpenLearning which emanated from my University of NSW alma mater, contacted them, and they were very helpful in setting up my free MOOCs. I’m particularly grateful given that my current course have no revenue I can pass on to them.”

On Gamification

While working as a psychologist in the acute neurological and psychiatric wards in the hospitals, Dr Benjamin saw that patients had the same needs for exercise and recreation as before their accidents, but that it became more difficult due to their paralysis or disability.  Additionally, there was an embarrassment and frustration for the patient when being waited on hand and foot and having to thank a therapist for helping with simple tasks they could once do for themselves.  In this he saw the potential for computer game-based interactive tools.  “Most people welcome a chance to do something on their own and have a machine they can control, interact with, and yell at.  So we developed some physical games like the hanging ball, described in my course,” Tom explains.

Math_games_-_Big_Brother_Mouse_activity_day“Games in classrooms and rehabilitation centres had been traditional. However, the psychometric properties of games were somewhat new at the time and they remain controversial. How would parents feel if Johnny failed on a ‘game’ version of a test and didn’t get into med school? Duck and cover.My early research in hospitals sought to bridge the psychometrics between ‘task’ and ‘game’. Were there principles by which any tasks could be transformed into games? Could drills be gamified so that patients would find them more fun? Could games, despite their chance element, replace psychometric and academic tests?”

Games are a traditional teaching and learning tool. Direct instruction is the proven superior way of presenting information, there are only so many hours in a day and in a human concentration span, so games have long been a welcome alternative to drill and listening.

In the “Gamification in Education” course, we learned that games don’t have to be technology based to be effective.  They need to capture a person’s attention, draw them into a believable “world” or “story”, and challenge them into being and understanding more than they normally would. Gamification_techniques_5

“We knew for centuries that a lot of learning takes place out of school. And the success of commercial games speaks for itself. Little kids would not likely spend hours reading off quiz questions to each other at home or doing mortgage & probability calculations. But toss in some rules and dice and call it Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly and they’ll spend hours. So this is nothing new,” reminds Dr Benjamin.



“My personal advice is not to feel guilty and not to get sucked into the black holes of multimedia and the latest techno-bandwagon fads. You can spend countless hours downloading and installing software, let alone learning it. I do. And teachers often end up doing this unpaid (and unthanked) at home. So I’ve always recommended setting up a multimedia club or lab rather than trying to do all this admin yourself.” ~ Tom Benjamin

Flashcards, hangman and spelling bees all have a purpose – to develop the mind, just the same as tech based games.  Including gamification elements such as unpredictability and competition will help make the learning fun and memorable.  Tom Benjamin states, “I still treasure my dictionary I won in the class Spelling Bee at Washington Elementary school!”

His advice for teachers who are looking to use games in the classroom, “My personal advice is not to feel guilty and not to get sucked into the black holes of multimedia and the latest techno-bandwagon fads. You can spend countless hours downloading and installing software, let alone learning it. I do. And teachers often end up doing this unpaid (and unthanked) at home. So I’ve always recommended setting up a multimedia club or lab rather than trying to do all this admin yourself.”

On the Gamification in Education MOOC

As a student of Gamification in Education, I found that the course whet my appetite for more information.  I researched, read, watched videos, listened to additional pod-casts, anything I could to gain a fuller understanding and to be able to better answer the quiz questions. Imagine the surprise I felt when Dr. Benjamin further explained his views on the course… neuropsychology

“Gamification enrolments have far outstripped my psychology courses. This surprised me because of the interest in what people think forensic psychology is all about from their TV shows. And neuropsychotherapy is another buzz area.”




In his course on Gamification, Dr. Benjamin used many elements of gamification – he created a quest of knowledge and understanding that motivated the learner, he used text, pod-casts, quizzes and movies to capture our attention.

“A short movie with a text version can pack in a lot because the viewer can save, rewind, and replay or just read the text the old-fashioned way. And with the OpenLearning platform the real work will be your own research to answer the quiz questions. So the heart of education remains as always: reverse-engineering from what I hope you’ll learn back to what I have to deliver to help you do that.”

What’s Next for Tom Benjamin?

“I want to expand the MOOC offerings so they are better integrated. My next series will be Personal Branding. It will expand on the multimedia resources I’ve started to put together under the Neuropsychotherapy course, which is aimed at therapists. Branding is useful to job seekers,businesses, community groups with a ‘cause’, and anyone wanting a web presence.”

Dr. Benjamin has started a new venture known as the Multimedia Institute of Technology to continue offering free courses, but he is open to developing commercial courses as well.  “My courses will focus on skills that will be useful for those already in employment such as teachers and therapists. Job seekers and businesses may well find these skills a good investment when building their portfolios.”

Interested in learning more about Dr. Benjamin and his future plans?  You can follow him on his blog or on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.  For the full interview, click here.

Thank you to Dr. Tom Benjamin for taking the time to speak with us at Accredible.  Also, thank you for joining us for this series.  We hope you’ve enjoyed your own Adventures In Gamification! If you’ve not yet had a chance to take Gamification in Education by Dr. Tom Benjamin via OpenLearning, there is good news – you can join in at any time!  Add it to your To Learn list today!  

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Coursera Courses Starting in August!

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Once again, Coursera is offering some great courses this month!  Regardless of your interests, there is something for everyone.  Check out the links for more details or watch a few of the videos…August 1

August 1

The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem

Week of Aug 3-9

August 3

Applying to U.S. Universities

August 4

R Programming
Getting and Cleaning Data
Exploratory Data Analysis
Reproducible Research
Regression Models
Managing Your Time, Money, and Career: MBA Insights for Undergraduates
The Camera Never Lies
Introduction to Acoustics (Part 2)
Regression Models
Practical Machine Learning
Developing Data Products
Mathematical Biostatistics Boot Camp 2
Statistical Inference
The Data Scientist’s Toolbox

August 5


From the Big Bang to Dark Energy
Interactive Computer Graphics


Week of Aug 10-16

August 10


A Brief History of Humankind

August 11

How Things Work 1
Introduction to Forensic Science
Advanced Chemistry
Beauty, Form & Function: An Exploration of Symmetry
Introduction to Acoustics (Part 2)
Climate Change
Web Application Architectures

August 12

Student Thinking at the Core

August 13

Geodesign: Change Your World

August 15

Surviving Your Rookie Year of Teaching: 3 Key Ideas & High Leverage Techniques


Week of Aug 17-23

August 18



Curanderismo: Traditional Medicine
Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence
Linear Circuits
Understanding Violence
Structure Standing Still: The Statics of Everyday Objects
Emerging Trends & Technologies in the Virtual K-12 Classroom
Alcohol, Drugs, and Baby Boomers: Are you ready?
Usable Security
Understanding Research: An Overview for Health Professionals

August 20


Personal & Family Financial Planning

Human Trafficking


August 23


Preparation for Introductory Biology: DNA to Organisms

Week of Aug 24-30

August 25

Think Again: How to Reason and Argue
Introduction to Sustainability
Making Better Group Decisions: Voting, Judgement Aggregation and Fair Division
Algorithmic Thinking
Mechanics: Motion, Forces, Energy and Gravity, from Particles to Planets
Introduction to Computational Arts

Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach

August 26


Scientific Computing
Designing and Executing Information Security Strategies
Information Security and Risk Management in Context
Building an Information Risk Management Toolkit
Introduction to Computational Finance and Financial Econometrics

August 28


Building an Information Risk Management Toolkit

August 31

August 31


History of Rock, Part Two

 Once you have found an interesting course, don’t forget to add it to your To Learn list…and drop us a note to let us know which courses you chose!

Around the World in 62 Days – Day 29-35

Around the World in 62 Days

Welcome back to our travels. This week we will be visiting the North Atlantic, the South Pacific, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean!  Get ready to celebrate via traditional dress and dances, tree planting ceremonies and fireworks as we head first to the Faroe Islands!


July 29


Faroe IslandsThe Faroe Islands is in archipelago and autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, situated approximately halfway between Norway and Iceland.  The Faroe Islands have been a self-governing country within the Danish Realm since 1948, controlling most of their own domestic affairs.  Ólavsøka, is on 29 July, and commemorates the death of Saint Olaf. The celebrations are held in Tórshavn, starting on the evening of the 28th and continuing until the 31st.  The official celebration follows customs that date back 900 years – starting on the 29th with the opening of the Faroese Parliament that involves a service held in Tórshavn Cathedral with all members of  parliament as well as civil and church officials walking into the cathedral in a procession.  Parish ministers take turns giving the sermon, after which, the procession returns to the parliament for the opening ceremony. Other events include sports competitions (including a rowing competition in Tórshavn Harbour), art exhibitions, pop concerts, and the famous Faroese dance in Sjónleikarhúsið,  Many people also mark the occasion by wearing the national Faroese dress.


July 30



Flag_of_Vanuatu.svgVanuatu is an Oceanian island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.  Claimed by France and the United Kingdom in the 1880′s, Vanuatu was jointly managed as the New Hebrides through a British–French Condominium from 1906 until independence. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980. According to Wikipedia, “the nation’s name was derived from the word vanua (“land” or “home”), which occurs in several Austronesian languages, and the word tu (“stand”). Together the two words indicated the independent status of the new country.”


August 1 (1)





Benin is a country in West Africa, bordered by Togo , NigeriaBurkina Faso and Niger.  Formerly known as the Kingdom of Dahomey,  this region was referred to as the Slave Coast from as early as the 17th century due to the large number of slaves shipped to the New World during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. After the abolishment of slavery, France took over the country and renamed it French Dahomey. In 1960, Dahomey gained full independence from France.  Since then Benin has had a tumultuous period with many different democratic governments, many military coups and military governments.  Benin operated as a Marxist-Leninist state between 1972 and 1990 known as the People’s Republic of Benin, which was replaced by the multi-party Republic of Benin that exists today.

200px-Flag_of_Switzerland_(Pantone).svgSwitzerland -The Swiss National Day is the national holiday of Switzerland, set on 1 August.  This has only been the official national holiday since 1994 – but the idea had been suggested as early as 1889. The date was inspired by the Federal Charter of 1291 which indicates that it was “early August” when “three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation, an action which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland.”  A report by the Federal Department of Home Affairs in 1889 suggested a celebrated in Bern in 1891 to combine the 700th anniversary of the city with the 600th anniversary of Confederacy.  The traditional date of 8 November 1307 has been replaced by 1 August 1291 in popular consciousness – especially after the 650th anniversary celebrations of 1941.  Celebrations include paper lantern parades, bonfires, hanging strings of Swiss flags and fireworks.


August 3


200px-Flag_of_Niger.svgNiger -Although France agreed to Niger becoming fully independent on 11 July 1960, independence wasn’t declared by the Nigerian Legislative Assembly until 3 August 1960.  Since 1960, the 3rd has been a national festival. In 1975, the government began celebrating Independence Day, in part, through the coordinated mass planting of trees in order to fight desertification. The celebrations are also known as the Fête de l’Arbre. The 3rd is celebrated in Niger with official festivals and appearances of political leaders, an official broadcast by the President as well as the tradition (since 1975) that every Nigerien plant a tree. It is a Public Holiday, in which government offices and many businesses close.


August 4


Flag_of_Burkina_Faso.svgBurkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa  and is surrounded by six countries: Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.  Formerly known as the Republic of Upper Volta, the country was renamed “Burkina Faso” on 4 August 1984.  Using a word from the 2 major native languages, Mòoré and Dioula, “Burkina” from Mòoré (meaning “men of integrity”) and “Faso” (meaning “fatherland”) from Dioula. “Burkina Faso” is understood as “Land of upright people” or “Land of honest people”. In 1896 France established a protectorate over the Mossi kingdoms in this territory and was known as French Upper Volta. Burkina Faso, gained Independence on 5 August 1960.  It operates as a semi-presidential republic.

200px-Flag_of_the_Cook_Islands.svgThe Cook Islands is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand.  This means that the Cook Islands‘ defence and foreign affairs are the responsibility of New Zealand, which is exercised in consultation with the Cook Islands although in recent times, the Cook Islands have adopted an increasingly independent foreign policy. The Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888, largely due to community fears that France might occupy the territory. In 1901 the New Zealand Government decided to annex the country despite opposition from the country’s traditional chiefs.  When the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948 came into effect on 1 January 1949, Cook Islanders who were British subjects gained New Zealand citizenship. The country remained a New Zealand protectorate until 1965, when the New Zealand Government decided to offer self-governing status to its colony.  Although Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, they have the status of Cook Islands nationals, which is not given to other New Zealand citizens.

200px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svgJamaica - The Independence of Jamaica refers to the series of events which led to the declaration of the Colony of Jamaica‘s independence from the United Kingdom on August 6, 1962. This is celebrated on the 1st Monday of August as National Day in Jamaica.  After World War II ended, a sweeping movement of decolonization took over the world. At this time, the British Government and local politicians began a long transition of converting the Caribbean island from a crown colony into an independent state. After Norman Manley was elected Chief Minister in 1955, he sped up the process of decolonization via several constitutional amendments. These amendments allowed for greater self-government and established the Minister’s administration as a cabinet under a premier.

Now that you have learned a little more about global events, consider adding one of these courses to your To Learn List:


days 28-35

An update to places we’ve been:

Come back next week when we visit Bolivia, Afghanistan, Singapore and Chad among other places!

Ultimate Autodidacts: Einstein to Moffat


The Guru

Going from a high school dropout to one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, Albert Einstein was the embodiment of autodidactism.  His idea of a perfect date was to read physics texts for fun with his girlfriend – enough said.

Einstein’s introduction to science and mathematics by a childhood friend established an interest in a topic far beyond what he was learning in school.  He taught himself calculus by the age of 13.  Thirteen!  Thus began his foray into the world of self learning; It was simply far more interesting than the grammar and basic mathematics he was forced to sit through in school.

Perhaps Einstein’s greatest secret for success was his approach to learning.  He said:

“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

He always believed in imagination, individuality, and inquisitiveness.  This is likely the reason (along with his accomplishments in the field of physics, advocacy for civil rights, and general good human-ness) why he became so widely admired.  This is also likely how John Moffat came to regard him so highly.


The Disciple

In the 1950s, Albert Einstein’s career had taken a nose dive.  He had written and spoken about theories that he had been unable to provide proof for over the last several years, which caused his reputation to take a tough hit.

At this point, a Danish painter by the name of John Moffat had just depleted the funds he was living off of in Paris as he honed his art.  He returned home to Copenhagen, Denmark where he returned to his love for reading at a nearby library.  Moffat devoured book after book about mathematics and physics, in mere months learning what took years for the average student to learn at University.

As he absorbed the knowledge, he became a fervent follower of Albert Einstein and his writings.  Familiar with the genius’ slump, Moffat (a high school dropout and painter with no credentials in physics) wrote Einstein a critical letter that analyzed all the things Moffat believed Einstein was doing wrong.  He didn’t expect a reply, of course, from such a famous and admired physicist.

Lo and behold when several weeks later, a hand-written letter in German came addressed to Moffat.  His lack of fluency in German forced Moffat to ask his local German barber for help translating the letter, which proved to encourage his efforts in physics.  Einstein took Moffat and his thoughts very seriously, pointing him to his newer writings and encouraging further replies.  This conversation continued for several letters during which Moffat successfully pointed out a poorly based mathematical assumption in Einstein’s calculations.  This interaction expanded into meetings with other great scientists of the time including Niels Bohr and Erwin Schrodinger.

It was Schrodinger’s recommendation, along with the extensive knowledge Moffat had amassed on his own, that allowed him to become the first accepted PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge without completing an undergraduate (or even secondary school) degree.


The Ultimate Autodidact

Albert Einstein is an undisputed genius who took on autodidactism as a fortunate hobby in addition to his more traditional education and work at Princeton University.  John Moffat took his Guru’s efforts a step further and forwent 8 years of (usually) compulsory formal study on the path to his own prestigious PhD.

Einstein and Moffat didn’t even have the beauty of the Internet at their disposal back in their times.  Imagine a modern day Moffat immersed in a MOOC with a Physics e-text on his Kindle in one hand and his online mind map on his tablet in the other.  Now that would be a force to be reckoned with.

Around the World in 62 Days: Day 22-28

Around the World in 62 Days

Welcome back!  This week we visit Africa, the Caribbean and South America as we celebrate Independence and National Days around the world.  How many countries have we visited thus far that were (or are now!) on your Bucket List?  Have you kept up with where we’ve been in the past 3 weeks?  If not check out Days 1-5, Days 6-14, and Days 15-21!


July 23

Flag_of_Egypt.svgThe Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the north-east corner of Africa and south-west corner of Asia. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern state, tracing its heritage back to the 10th millennium BCE, which saw the emergence of one of the earliest and most sophisticated civilisations in the world. The Egyptian Revolution of 1952, also known as the 23 July Revolution, began on 23 July 1952, by the Free Officers Movement.  The revolution was initially aimed at overthrowing King Farouk, and grew to include such to abolishing the constitutional monarchy, establishing a republic, ending the British occupation, and securing the independence of Sudan. The revolution was faced with immediate threats from Western imperial powers, particularly from the United Kingdom, which had occupied Egypt since 1882.  Four years after the revolution, Egypt was invaded by Britain, France, and Israel.  Despite enormous military losses, the war was seen as a political victory for Egypt, especially as it left the Suez Canal in uncontested Egyptian control for the first time since 1875, erasing what was seen as a mark of national humiliation. This strengthened the appeal of the revolution in other Arab and African countries. The Revolution is commemorated each year on Egypt’s national day, Revolution Day, on 23 July.


July 25


Flag_of_Puerto_Rico.svgThe Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the north-eastern Caribbean.  Puerto Rico is an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands. The island was claimed by Christopher Columbus for Spain during his second voyage to the Americas.  Spain held Puerto Rico for over 400 years, despite multiple attempts to capture it. In 1898, Spain ceded the archipelago to the United States as a result of its defeat in the Spanish–American War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.  In 1917, the U.S. granted citizenship to Puerto Ricans, and later gave them the right to elect their own governor and a local territorial constitution. Under the tenets of the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act, residents of the island are still subject to the plenary jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress. Puerto Rico remains a U.S. territory, although its political status is a subject of ongoing debate among residents.


July 26


200px-Flag_of_Liberia.svgThe Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa bordered by Sierra LeoneGuinea and Ivory Coast.  Liberia is the only country in Africa founded by United States colonization while occupied by native Africans. Beginning in 1820, the region was colonized by African Americans (many of whom were freed slaves) who established a new country with the help of the American Colonization Society.  African captives freed from slave ships by the British and Americans were sent there instead of being repatriated to their countries of origin. In 1847, this new country became the Republic of Liberia, establishing a government modelled on that of the United States and naming its capital city Monrovia after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States and a prominent supporter of the colonization.  Liberia was a founding member of the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity.

200px-Flag_of_Maldives.svgThe Republic of the Maldives and also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian OceanArabian Sea area, consisting of a double chain of twenty-six atolls. The Maldives has been an independent polity for the majority of its history, except for three periods in which it was ruled by outside forces – the final time was in the late 19th century.  On 16 December 1887, the Sultan of the Maldives signed a contract with the British Governor of Ceylon turning the Maldives into a British protected state, thus giving up the islands’ sovereignty in matters of foreign policy, but retaining internal self-government. The British government promised military protection and non-interference in local administration in exchange for an annual tribute, so that the islands were akin to an Indian princely state.  The islands gained independence  from the British Empire in 1965, and in 1968 became a republic ruled by a president and an authoritarian  government.


July 28

Flag_of_Peru.svgRepublic of Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and ColombiaBrazil, BoliviaChile, and the Pacific Ocean. Conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century, they established a Viceroyalty with its capital in Lima, which included most of its South American colonies. In the early 19th century, while most of South America was swept by wars of independence, Peru remained a royalist stronghold.  Independence was formally proclaimed in 1821, and after the battle of Ayacucho which took place three years after proclamation is when Peru ensured its independence. 


Now that you’ve learned a little more about global events, consider adding one of these courses to your To Learn List:


Just to give you a brief idea of how far we’ve travelled in the first 28 days:




july22 countries visited

Join us again next week when we will visit places like Vanuatu, Benin, Cooks Islands and Niger and many more!

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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