Another year drawing to a close and looking back I certainly have done quite a bit over the past 12 months. The one I’m currently proudest of:
For those that didn’t know, Stanford University tried something slightly new in online education. They offered a few classes completely free for anyone and in each they had two tracks, a Basic one where you only had to watch the video lectures & answer quiz questions after the video, and an Advanced one where you also had to do some home each week. I only tried the Basic track, but that doesn’t mean it was that much easier. There were Q&A discussion boards set up for each individual video, so if you got completely stuck you had a large population of people going through the material at the same time as you to help explain the material.
The experience was quite interesting in that rather than having an hour (or three) long lecture video, the instructors broke the videos out into 2-8 minutes long videos out on YouTube. That way also if you struggled to understand a concept you could easily re-watch the specific video again. This was quite handy on several occasions since most of the class involved digging up my knowledge of probability math.
Overall though the class was quite an experience. Keep an eye out for future offerings if you’re interested in learning an interesting university-level topic for free.