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Online Courses this Summer

A round-up of interesting Massive Open Online Courses you could pursue

Published: 12th January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th January 2015 12:30 AM   |  A+A-

Mooc courses are a great platform to enhance your knowledge of the subjects you are interested in. With internet connectivity, one can choose from a wide variety of subjects you want to know better. Here’s a compilation of interesting online courses that can be pursued in the comfort of your room. Some MOOCs also come with the added facility of validating your certificate for a small fee, which can be highlighted on your resume, LinkedIn profile and such. Be it to sample a lecture or get ideas for your business venture, as highlighted in our cover story last week, MOOCs show you the way.

Programming in Scratch

This is a course that introduces computer science ideas using the programming language Scratch and developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US. It is designed for students who have at least some familiarity with computer use and the concept of variables. While the course starts with the basics of using Scratch, the programming activities throughout the course will stretch your mind and challenge you. No previous programming knowledge is needed to pursue the course. Classes start on February 2 and runs for six weeks. Estimated effort needed on your part is six hours a week. The course is taught by Colleen Lewis, a professor of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College, California, US, who specialises in computer science education.

www.edx.org/course/programming-scratch-harveymuddx-cs002x#.VKu_j9L5PMo

Developing Android Apps

As Android continues to grow beyond smartphones, the makers of this course, Udacity, believe it will become the brain behind invisible, ubiquitous cloud-connected computing. The skills you learn in this course will help you build apps for smartphones and tablets, and propel you towards exciting opportunities in Android’s future. By the end of this course, you would have learnt enough to build a cloud-connected Android app, and understand the tools, principles, and patterns that underlie all Android development. You’ll understand the challenges associated with developing for the mobile environment (and how to overcome them) and learn how to build a great user experience for Android devices. www.udacity.com/course/ud853

The Science of Happiness

This is the first MOOC to teach the ground-breaking science of positive psychology, which explores the roots of a happy and meaningful life. Students will engage with some of the most provocative and practical lessons from this science, discovering how cutting-edge research can be applied to their own lives. Created by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, the course will zero in on a fundamental finding from positive psychology: that happiness is inextricably linked to having strong social connections and contributing to something bigger than yourself — the greater good. Students will learn about the cross-disciplinary research supporting this view, spanning the fields of psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and beyond.

www.edx.org/course/science-happiness-uc-berkeleyx-gg101x#.VKu92NL5PMo

Dinosaur Paleobiology

In this course, students will learn about the many kinds of non-avian dinosaurs that roamed the earth during the Mesozoic Era, from 250 to 65 million years ago. Topics covered include adaptations for attack and defence, anatomy,  appearances, behaviors, birth, deep time, evolutionary theory, feeding, fossilisation, growth, integumentary structures, locomotion, major groupings, origins, paleogeography, plate tectonics, reproduction, species definition, stratigraphy, and the extinction event that brought their dominance to an end. This is a 12-lesson course. Future sessions will be announced soon. www.coursera.org/course/dino101

Learning how to learn

This course gives you easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, maths, science, sports, and many other disciplines. You will learn about how the brain uses two different learning modes and how it encapsulates (chunks) information. The course also covers illusions of learning, memory techniques, dealing with procrastination, and best practices shown by research to be most effective in helping you master tough subjects. www.coursera.org/course/learning

In the Night Sky: Orion

In-the-Night-Sky.jpgThis four-week course from Future Learn will explore the basics of astronomy and stargazing, to the science behind the birth of a star. You’ll examine one of the most famous constellations, Orion, who the Ancient Greeks believed was a huntsman placed among the stars by Zeus himself. Starting with its famous nebula where new stars and planets are being formed, you’ll take a look at the seven brightest stars that make up this constellation, including the supergiants Rigel and Betelgeuse, using high-quality images from telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope.www.futurelearn.com/courses/orion



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