One of my students would like to take a few of the MIT open courses, especially one in psychology. She wanted to know if it would be of any use. Does any one have an idea about these?
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I have not taken one myself, but I am contemplating it. I believe I read that unlike previous open courses, MIT is offering feedback as well, on one's work. The others, so far as I know, provide the course content without any feedback. This makes the idea really appealing, since that is so often how we truly learn.
The great thing about this type of opportunity is the availability of it; the MIT open courses offer so much free material online, so accessing one of these courses would be extremely convenient and pretty low pressure. It seems to me like it could be a great way to sample a subject and get a feel for how well you like the material.
I think any courses in Psychology are beneficial to any students at any university, so I would definitely choose the MIT open courseware. And the fact that it's free . . . that is a big plus. If a person wanted to save money while doing their psychology (or any other course) in an online environment, this would be the way to go. And it looks like there are several courses to choose from. I think it would be of great use to her and would encourage her to try it.
Free it is... the only substantial expense is the textbook for the course that unfortunately would have to be bought. And its price on Amazon.com is pretty high especially for students residing outside the US. Though MIT has been great in providing an alternate textbook as part of the flat world knowledge edition that can be read for free.
I listened to 90% of the intro to psychology course offered through MIT's open courses program. It was very interesting, but without doing the coursework, not exceptionally educational.
The instructor of the course was a very good lecturer but the complete course would have offered tutorial sections where the reading would be more thoroughly discussed than it is in the lectures. The big ideas presented in the lectures were geared toward modeling a proper scientific approach to the study of psychology through tests. (How do we develop theories and test with accuracy and replicability when studying behavior, the mind, the brain, etc.?) For a student considering pursuing psychology in college, this would be beneficial.
I would recommend the student should try to follow along with at least some of the reading to get the most out of the course. He or she wouldn't have to do all the reading or all the course, which is a major bonus to this type of program. You can sample without spending money or signing up for a time commitment.
I agree that this is a great way to review upper level material without fully committing. It is a nice way to explore the ideas and information presented to make sure you are truly interested before investing course time and financial resources. The downside is the lack of feedback on any work completed, but I think it is still worth the time and effort.
I absolutely love MIT Open Course materials. I have been using the website since I was in high school. Now that I am a teach I am considering using the materials in my classroom. They have course materials for AP science courses such as AP chemistry and biology. Also, I love watch famous scientists give lectures on subjects such as molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics. Think it's great website.
I think #6 is spot on! Just listening to the lectures is a great way to become familiar with a subject, but not a great way to fully understand it. Independent work and study along with collaboration and feedback are necessary to fully master a subject.
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