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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MOOCs for Current Events: Hobby Lobby

hobby lobby

If you’ve followed American politics lately, you may know that the Supreme Court recently made a ruling in a case that caused lots of controversy. You can read more about the case here, but it involved recognizing certain companies as having religious beliefs (in this case, arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby not being required to include female contraceptives as part of their employees health care benefits because the company was against it for religious reasons).

Regardless of your viewpoints on the case, if you want to learn more about the Supreme Court, women’s rights, or other issues relating to them, we have you covered with the MOOCs you need to take!

The Supreme Court

Dive into the US’s highest court with Coursera’s Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases, starting in September. Combining historical cases with modern ones (all the way up to healthcare reform), as well as a look at the Constitution, amendments and 3 branches, this class provides an in-depth overview.

Women’s Rights

Women’s rights is central to the Hobby Lobby case. Stanford’s online class International Women’s Health and Human Rights class starts on July 10th and examines the issue from infancy to old age. Focusing on the issues that can mean life or death to women depending on societal, economic or political reasons, this class strikes right at the issue.

Abortion was one of the contested issues in this case. Learn more about it in Abortion: Quality Care and Public Health Implications, offered by Coursera. Designed to fill in the gaps left by mainstream education about abortion, this class brings in educators from multiple institutions. Starting in October, this class is also eligible for a Verified Certificate.

Learn about reproductive health in Coursera’s Global Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights class. Topics covered include youth sexuality, fertility and contraception, STDs and violence in reproductive contexts. This class starts in 2015.

 

Happy learning!

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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.

Making it Easier to Finish That MOOC

Finish Line

It sounds like it would be pretty classy, telling an interviewer (or a date) that you’re studying English Literature & the Classics at Harvard.  Luckily, MOOCs allow you the luxury of saying just that (without having to pay any tuition!).

What definitely wouldn’t be so classy is saying you dropped out of the class after a week.  Of course, we all run into scheduling problems and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything.  But that doesn’t mean you need to give up on your dreams of becoming a modern day Shakespeare!

Try ‘Always Open’ MOOCs

You go to a MOOC platform site and sign up for a computer science class that you need to take next semester at your home university.  You are excited because binary isn’t really your thing and this class will help you prepare for the next semester to make it easier for your to follow along during lectures.  Then, your boss calls and tells you you are scheduled to for dinner service every night next week.  You know you won’t be able to handle univeristy homework, school, and your new computer science MOOC at the same time.  With a heavy heart, you put the MOOC on the backburner and end up so behind, you have to give up on the 12-week MOOC altogether.

Now, imagine that this computer science MOOC was actually an open course that could be completed at any time.  You could turn in assignments whenever you wanted, could watch any of the lectures at any time, and could take as long as you needed for each project.  In this case, you could just start the class a week later than originally planned and not be at all behind.  Guess what?  There actually are great courses like this.  One is the CS50X Intro to Computer Science course from Harvard on edX.  It is an open class that is available for a full year and can be taken at any time within that time frame.  It is a highly praised MOOC with positive reviews from alumni and critics alike, and works around your schedule.

But wait…the offer doesn’t stop there!  What if you could have short open courses that take up a small amount of time and offer a whole lot of content?

Cut it Down

Platforms like Udemy and Khan Academy offer shorter tutorial-style classes that will probably not give you an in depth education in a particular subject area, but will provide a solid introduction.  You can complete such classes in a couple days or less, making them a great choice when your schedule is too busy for a long term class commitment.  You can cut down class time without halting your learning experience completely.

Cutting down on time commitment can also simply mean taking fewer MOOCs at once and being careful not to bite off more than you can chew.  The key to is plan a solid strategy.

Strategize

When you commit to earning a college degree with a particular major, you tend to plan out which classes you want to take and the best times to take them.  Knowing this in advance helps you plan your surrounding schedule in a way that it won’t impede on study time during a particularly tough term.

Doing the same with MOOCs is a great idea.  Planning out your time in 12-15 week blocks (a la semesters) will help you figure out when to take longer business core MOOCs and shorter ‘How to Make Marketing Plans’ tutorials so that you are able to learn everything you need within the time frame you want.

Apply these strategies, and you’ll be reading Shakespearean English in no time! Next you can make yourself sound even classier by adding foreign language and culture classes to your Accredible To-Learn List. Happy  Learning!

Starting soon on Coursera…

Coursera July


 Are you interested in Cryptography, the Beatles, Social Psychology, or Teaching?  All of these topics (and many, many more!) are being covered on Coursera during the month of July…

Coursera_logo

 

 

June 30

 

Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development 
e-Learning Ecologies 
Cryptography I 
Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship 
Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 2 
Foundations of Virtual Instruction 
Introduction to Data Science 

 

 

 

 

July 1 (1)

 

 

 

Leading Strategic Innovation in Organizations 
Climate Change in Four Dimensions
Introduction to Communication Science
The Music of the Beatles

 

 

 

July 7

Practical Machine Learning Getting and Cleaning Data 
Art & Activity: Interactive Strategies for Engaging with Art 
Questionnaire Design for Social Surveys 
The French Revolution
Preparation for General Chemistry 
Experimentation for Improvement 
Exploratory Data Analysis 
Genetics and Society: A Course for Educators 
Reproducible Research 
Statistical Inference 
Regression Models 
The Data Scientist’s Toolbox 
Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative
Developing Data Products 
R Programming

 

 

July 14

 

Animal Behaviour and Welfare
Structure Standing Still: The Statics of Everyday Objects 
Introduction to Music Production 
Fundamentals of Music Theory 
Metadata: Organizing and Discovering Information 
Emergence of Life 
Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative 
Social Psychology 
Creativity, Innovation, and Change | 创意,创新, 与 变革 
The American Disease: Drugs and Drug Control in the USA 
Clinical Terminology for International and U.S. Students 
How to Succeed in College
Developing Your Musicianship

 

 

July 21

 

Statistical Analysis of fMRI Data
Cryptography II
Programming Cloud Services for Android Handheld Systems
Introduction to Digital Sound Design
First Year Teaching (Elementary Grades) – Success from the Start
First Year Teaching (Secondary Grades) – Success from the Start
Copyright for Educators & Librarians
Exercise Physiology: Understanding the Athlete Within

 

 

 

July 24 (1)

 

 

 

The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem
Revolutionary Ideas: An Introduction to Legal and Political Philosophy
Learning to Teach Online 
The Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People 

 

 

 

Check out these courses on Accredible - watch videos, get information and add courses to your To Learn list with ease!  As always, Team Accredible will see you in the forums!

MOOC News and Views Roundup (Week of 6/16-6/23)

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Welcome to the first installation on our “news and views” weekly roundup of MOOC news and happenings. On the menu today: training programs, the World Cup, and the Kindle Fire.

Training Programs

Udacity announced “nanodegrees“, which are year-long CS programs made up of Udacity courses and mentorship. What makes these unique is that the programs have been built in collaboration with technology companies, and as a result, they will recognize the resulting degrees.

Singapore has developed a training program based on a series of Data Science classes from John Hopkins University on Coursera. The specialization consists of 9 four-week courses and a Capstone Project. Meetups will be available to facilitate in-person interaction and spontaneous group learning, and a Verified certificate will be issued to anyone who completes the requirements.

New Courses

Udacity added another mini-course to its collection, bringing the total to 2: Make your own 2048 Game and Website Performance Optimization. Each consisting of 2-3 lessons, these are great courses to get started with if you’re new to programming. There are no prerequisites for the 2048 class, and for the Optimization one you only need to be able to read and write HTML, and know what CSS and Javascript are. Learn more about them here.

The World Cup has everyone in a soccer frenzy, madly cheering for their team in hopes of a win. If you need a more, shall we say, intellectual break from all the sports, head on over to the Canvas MOOC called “Mega Events: Inside the FIFA World Cup”. Taught by an urban planning professor, you can learn about the economic effects of hosting the event and every facet of the World Cup – political, historical, cultural, and more.

News

Starbucks announced a partnership with Arizona State University that will enable workers will be able to take ASU online classes for free or reduced tuition. As 70% of Starbucks employees are either current or aspiring students and 37 million Americans who start but don’t finish a degree, this program clearly has potential to help lots of students.

Coursera has released a Kindle Fire app. After seeing the overwhelmingly positive response to their iOS and Android apps, this new app includes all the standard features – browse and enroll in courses, watch and download videos, and view video subtitles, just to name a few.

What is Team Accredible learning?

Interested in startups? Then these two courses are must-take. How to Build a Startup and The Design of Everyday Things, both offered by Udacity, offer unconventional takes on designing companies. Check out engineering intern Joey’s review of them here.

The year is half-way over; how have you done on your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more? If you’re anything like me, you know you could do better but just need a little extra motivation. What better way to help accomplish your goals than by learning the science, psychology, economics, and more behind why you should be healthier. 8 MOOCs, all either recently started or self-paced, offer just that. Check out these 4 on personal health, and these 4 on global health.

Ever wanted to know (part of) the secret behind Foursquare and Khan Academy’s addictiveness? Gamification is your answer, and the OpenLearning course will teach you everything to know about it. If you’re hesitant about joining, however, our blog manager, Elizabeth, is blogging each week with the course. Check out the first week right here and let her know in the comments if you end up joining it!

New Features

Accredible has recently unveiled some new features, including video pop-up previews, customized info on course pages, and support for three more course providers. Head on over to the Course Finder to see them in action!

Learning Hacks

Battle procrastination with 3 killer tips and make MOOCs shine on your resume, and make your Accredible profile stand out.

Have a learning tip you think others might find useful? Tweet it to us and you could be featured in the next News & Views Roundup!

 

Happy Learning,

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How to Make MOOCs Count on Your Resume

Resume target

The job market may not be at a point yet where MOOCs are accepted by employers on par with traditional college courses.  Regardless, MOOCs on your resume show that you are willing to take initiative to increase your knowledge base and skills.  Many recruiters see this quality as an opportunity to hire employees who will continue to improve themselves, which will constantly increase the human capital they provide to the company.

It is extremely important that you are showcasing your MOOCs appropriately on your resume, however.  A disorganized list of your classes will look more unprofessional and illegitimate than your resume would be without the MOOCs on it at all.  Instead, try placing them methodically and within categories.

 

Divide and Conquer

Again, your MOOCs will not be seen the same way as a college education by employers, so don’t bother listing them that way.  You want to make sure your online classes are being seen as a positive supplement to your application, and not a glorified accessory.

Instead, MOOCs should be under a separate heading in your resume’s Education section called ‘Continuing Education’.  This simply refers to all of your important efforts to improve yourself as an employee and can include any certificates or diplomas you earned (instead of or after college) along with any MOOCs you have taken.

accredible resume education

 

 

 

 

 

Skills, Not Frills

Categorizing by skills is an easy way to organize your MOOCs effectively.  Not only does it make scanning a resume easier, but it also immediately displays the benefit of taking a certain group of courses:  The development of a specific skill that will be valuable to the company.

These categories also mean that you don’t need a detailed description of each course.  Usually, the course name itself provides a glimpse into the course content.  Listing the skill the course helped you develop is yet another way to state the purpose of the class without a fluffy description.  Cardinal rule: save the details for your interview, keep your resume simple.

moocs resume

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quality Over Quantity

You don’t need to list every MOOC you have ever signed up for, or even every MOOC you have completed (but never list one that you didn’t complete!).  If you are applying for a marketing position, for example, the hiring manager will probably be less interested in your Intro to Physics class and more in your Creativity & Innovation class.  A list of classes longer than your ‘Experience’ section is unattractive and unnecessary.  Keep it simple, clear, and useful.

 

Many MOOCs are hard work and teach you a lot – there is no reason you shouldn’t receive due credit for them.  They show your versatility, desire to improve, and ability to multi-task and can be a great asset in the job search process.

Bonus Tip:  Make sure you can prove everything on your resume; build a portfolio!  If you have notes, assignments, and projects from your MOOCs saved on your Accredible profile, the only thing you need to prove your involvement in the class is a link!