People agree that Dan Ariely is a pretty cool professor teaching a pretty rad class: “A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior”.
To review some of the reasons why we love Professor Dan Ariely:
1) He builds toy robots
Robots are generally considered rational beings
2) He uses classy words like “Loins” (at 2:36)
3) He uses relatable daily scenarios to teach important lessons, like when you put on your hilarious “I’m-eating-birthday-cake” face
4) Considering you just stuffed your face with cake, he reminds you to stick to your diet by using cash instead of credit cards. NO MUFFIN FOR YOU, SIR!
5) He knows I only “borrowed” those colorful Post-Its from the office for a “really important weekend project”.
Photo credit: http://iruntheinternet.com/04380
6) He knows there is nothing more powerful than “The IKEA Effect”:
Take my own recipe “Breakfast Protein Cupcake Creation-Thingy”: I think it’s amazing, but my colleague David thinks “It tastes like chalk” »
Behold my AMAZING CHALKY CREATION.
Now you are convinced to take Dan Ariely’s course: “A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior”!
We are tremendously excited to announce our newest Courserian: David Liu, formerly a Director of Legal at Google, joins us as our General Counsel.
David Liu joins Coursera’s leadership team as a General Counsel to help Coursera navigate the legal complexities that come with growing a worldwide education platform. David is a seasoned veteran of business and law, and brings extensive entrepreneurial experience, having co-founded one of the leading product companies in the scrapbooking space and an e-commerce fundraising platform.
David joins us from Causera, a startup focused on providing schools and other community organizations with innovative commerce and group management tools (any similarity in company name is purely coincidental, folks!) He previously served as an Associate and Director of Legal at Google. During his nine years there, David served as the lead attorney for a wide range of products, including AdSense, Google Earth, and Google Wallet, and as the knowledge lead for content acquisition, software distribution, and platform integration transactions. He also led the New Product Initiatives legal team, which supported Google’s new business development efforts, and the Commerce legal team, which supported Google’s payments and offers products.
David earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his JD from Harvard Law School.
The father of three, David is active in his school PTA and look forward a future where his kids’ educational experiences will be enriched by the perspectives of participants from around the world.
Courserians, please join us in welcoming David on board!
Comment or Tweet @Coursera your greetings!
We are tremendously excited to announce a key hire joining Coursera’s leadership team; Dr. Vivek Goel, the former Provost of the University of Toronto and current President and CEO of Public Health Ontario, joins us in May as our Chief Academic Strategist.
As Chief Academic Strategist, Dr. Goel will help us build and maintain our fast growing ecosystem of partner universities and educational institutions, while assisting partners to explore deeper and broader course development, collaboration, and joint academic initiatives.
Throughout his career, Vivek has built strategic partnerships across organizations in a range of industries–from health services to academia, government and beyond. In his current role as the Founding President and CEO of Public Health Ontario, Vivek leds this new agency in improving the use of information and knowledge in the public health practice. Previously, Vivek was Vice President and Provost at the University of Toronto, where he is still a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Institute for Health Policy, Management & Evaluation. Vivek is also an adjunct senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute for Health Information, a member of the board for the Change Foundation, and a member of the National Statistics Council at Statistics Canada. Dr. Goel earned an MD from McGill University, and two Master’s degrees in health administration and biostatistics from The University of Toronto and Harvard University, respectively.
Please join us in welcoming Vivek on board!
Comment or Tweet @Coursera your greetings!
Sam Cooke is the perfect musician for us to study this Valentine’s Day. During the 1950’s the world dubbed Cooke the “King of Soul” because of his smooth and melodic voice on romantic hits like “You Send Me” and “Cupid”, as well as sentimental blockbusters like “Chain Gang”, “Bring it on Home to Me”, “Saturday Night”, and the politically charged “A Change is Gonna Come”. The tenderness of his voice pulls at the heart strings!
This Valentine’s Day, we reminisce on Cooke’s classic and catchy tune “Wonderful World”. At Coursera, we believe those that pursue knowledge and attempt “A student” status are the coolest Valentines of them all!
Impress your romantic interest; learn from the King of Soul and master these topics–all on Coursera. This gift is way better than chalky message hearts…
High school students at the French American International School in San Francisco learned the computer program language Python via free course material on Coursera.
A few months ago Seth Hubbert, the Director of Academic Technology for French American International School in San Francisco, got in touch with us with an interesting idea.
Seth had an idea to form a club of students that would learn Computer Science by taking An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python from Rice University together.
High Schools around the world often find it challenging to offer classes in the most recent computer science fields, despite high interest from students. Seth was creative in overcoming these limitations and preparing his students with cutting-edge skills for when they graduate.
Hi Seth, can you please tell us a little more about yourself and the French American International School? What is your background in Computer Science?
I’m a former chemistry and physics high school teacher, and now work as the Director of Academic Technology for French American International School. Our school is an independent Pre-K through 12th grade school in San Francisco. We deliver a rigorous bilingual immersion program through middle school, culminating in either the French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program.
I don’t have a very extensive background in Computer Science. I took a couple of undergraduate courses while earning a B.S. in Physics, but haven’t touched it much since then. I was learning right along with the students!
Tell us a little more about your class/club? How did it work?
The club was comprised of 25 high school students interested in gaining exposure to coding. We agreed to sign up and work through the Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python Course. To support one another, we agreed to meet physically twice a week to help each other with the content and stay on track and motivated.
What were the results like?
I was quite impressed with the dedication of the students! 20 of them (10 male, 10 female) finished the course with high enough marks to earn a Verified Certificate.
What was the biggest surprise for you?
I was surprised by the number of students that earned their certificate! They are all incredibly busy and have full course loads. I imagined some of them would use this as an opportunity to get a peek at some coding content, without fully committing to the 5-plus hours a week required to stay on top of the work, but I was wrong! They all took the challenge and often gave up their Friday and Saturday nights to fine-tune their projects. I’m extremely proud of their dedication and their skill as programmers!
What worked well? What advice would you give to teachers interested in replicating your program at their school?
I think having the face-to-face check-in times was key. I think it was beneficial not only for them to get help from each other when needed, but for the social motivation to stick with the course, knowing their peers had made the same commitment. I also was adamant that they not see me as a traditional content-expert teacher. I wanted them to see me as a coach, motivator, mentor, etc., and this helped them rely more on each other for help and support.
What’s next for some of your students? What’s next for you and the club?
Soon we plan on launching a spring version and bringing a few more interested students into the fold that missed the first opportunity. A majority of students that completed the Python course are interested in going deeper, and continue taking other programming MOOCs to develop their coding skills!
Are you a teacher with or without computer science background, but still want to try teaching Computer Science to your students? The always popular An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python from Rice University is starting next month.
Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States and a principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He also founded the University of Virginia and designed and lived in his famous mountain home, Monticello. These two staples in American history ─ named a joint World Heritage Site by UNESCO ─ have come together to present “Age of Jefferson,” a rich, six-week course that tells the story of Jefferson as no one else can.
When can I get started?The course gets underway February 17th, U.S. President’s Day. You can learn from revered scholar Peter Onuf about Jefferson’s principle accomplishments in this, the first MOOC offered by U.Va. and Monticello. Onuf, U.Va.’s Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor Emeritus and senior fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, will cover many topics, including church and state, education, the Declaration of Independence, architecture and Jefferson’s lifelong relationship with the institution of slavery.
I think I’ve heard of Peter Onuf. Who is he and why is this such a big deal?There are several reasons you may have heard of Onuf. He taught at the University of Virginia for more than 20 years and has written several acclaimed books, including Jefferson’s Empire: The Language of American Nationhood and The Mind of Thomas Jefferson. He is one of the three “history guys” on the popular public radio show Backstory with the American History Guys. He is also coauthoring a study of Jefferson’s intellectual and sentimental life with Annette Gordon-Reed, author of the prize-winning Hemingses of Monticello.
Specializations are a new Coursera feature offering you the opportunity to demonstrate mastery in an area of interest. When you complete the courses in a Specialization, plus the Capstone Project, you’ll earn a Specialization Certificate.
Have questions? We’ve got answers!
How do I enroll in a Specialization?
For now, you do not have to take any extra steps to enroll in Specializations. Simply enroll in Signature Track for the course you wish to begin within the Specialization. After you have completed all courses within that Specialization on Signature Track, you will be eligible to complete a Capstone Project. You will receive your Specialization Certificate after completing this project!
Can I complete a Specialization in segments?
In theory, yes. You can complete the courses in a Specialization at any time, along with the Capstone Project, and earn a Specialization Certificate. However, we can’t guarantee how often classes in each Specialization will run. While we hope these courses will be re-running often, if you are excited about a particular certificate, we recommend completing the courses now. Strike while the iron is hot!
I took a class before that is now in a Specialization. Can I use this prior accomplishment toward the Specialization?
If you have completed a course on Signature Track that is now within a Specialization, your Verified Certificate can absolutely be counted towards a Specialization. You are one step closer!
If you took the free version of a course that is now within a Specialization and received a Statement of Accomplishment, you will need to retake the course on Signature Track for it to count.
On Sunday, February 9th, Relay GSE will launch, “Teaching Character & Creating Positive Classrooms.” Taught by Dave Levin (Co-Founder, KIPP; Co-Founder, Relay GSE), the course explains how educators and parents can bring psychology’s cutting-edge research on character into the lives of young people.
This journey starts with word choice. Instead of using the term “character trait,” try “character strength.” “Trait” often makes us think about fixed characteristics like eye color or height. But “strength,” or even “skill” implies that character can increase over time.
Most character strengths can be developed
Chances are that your favorite teachers helped you build character strengths. They provided you with opportunities to try hard after experiencing failure, to adapt to different social situations, and to believe that effort will improve your future. Experiences like these aren’t flukes; they’re transformational moments that when harnessed, can help a person flourish.
We’ve designed this course so that parents, coaches, teachers and school leaders can weave character lessons into their daily interactions with young people. We’ll start with a broad overview of the research, and then we’ll pivot away from the academy and get down to brass tacks. Along the way, we’ll shift the conversation from “Why teach character?” to “How should I teach character?”. See subject matter experts speak to these points below.
K12 Pedagogy: Grit, Character and Self Control
John Covach”s “The Music of the Beatles” Takes a Close Look at The Band’s Music, Exactly 50 Years After They Hit America!
On Sunday, February 9, 1964, the Beatles performed to a record television audience in America—a night that changed pop-music history in a dramatic way. Fifty years later (to the minute) Coursera will launch a six-week course devoted to the Fab Four, set to begin at 8 pm on Sunday, February 9, 2014. Taught by the University of Rochester’s John Covach, The Music of the Beatles will focus on the band’s music, tracing the stylistic development of the Beatles from the earliest days in Liverpool, through their success in the UK, to their US and world success in 1964 and after. From “Please Please Me” to “Abbey Road”, John will lead students through the career of the band many consider to be the most important in rock history.
John’s History of Rock courses on Coursera have received rave reviews since the first one was launched in May 2013. Also an active gigging musician with 35 years experience, his college textbook, What’s That Sound? An Introduction to Rock and Its History, is the leading book on this topic in the world. John is the author of dozens of articles, editor of several books, and recipient of numerous teaching awards from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Rochester. Asked how it worked out that a rock guitarist ended up being one of the world’s top academic authorities in popular music, especially after one prestigious music school told him they would never admit someone like him, John responds “I guess I was just too stubborn to go away.”
Join John Covach as he brings his experience and expertise to bear on the music of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. A splendid time is guaranteed for all!
Read John’s essay on his experience teaching History of Rock, Parts 1 and 2 on Coursera here: http://mtosmt.org/issues/mto.13.19.3/mto.13.19.3.covach.php
Check out the video below. Warning: awesome guitar content!!
Today, we’re delighted to announce a partnership with the Carlos Slim Foundation, one of Mexico’s top philanthropic organizations, to improve access to education among Spanish speaking students around the world, as well as support opportunities for career development and employment throughout Latin America.
Our co-founder Daphne Koller joined Carlos Slim Helú in Mexico City today to welcome this partnership, which will focus on three shared goals:
1. Make available more educational content in SpanishWe will do so with the creation of a new Spanish language user interface (which is now available, see below) and the translation of 50 courses by the end of 2014.
2. Create educational contentWe will create content together in the form of individual courses or as part of Coursera’s new Specializations program — focused on employability and job skills in high-priority subject areas such as computer science, teacher professional development, healthcare and public health.
3.Increase discoverability of Coursera content as well as accessWe will increase discoverability of content and access to physical spaces, through a network of Learning Hubs, where people with limited Internet connectivity can take Coursera courses and participate in face-to-face discussions about their learning.
Coursera team, with Mr. Carlos Slim Helú, Mr. Marco Antonio Slim and Dr. Roberto Tapia
For the last goal, Coursera will initially leverage the Slim Foundation’s existing Casa Telmex network of 13 education spaces in highly populated low-income areas, its Telmex Hub, a technological innovation and education space in Mexico City, and a new Telmex Digital Library in the state of Veracruz. In the future, courses in key content areas may also be offered at Telmex Digital Libraries, a novel service that features more than 3,000 locations where students of all ages can enjoy free use of computers with Internet access.
Said Mr. Slim, of the foundation’s work with Coursera: ”Our alliance with Coursera will allow training in Mexico, Latin America and in the Hispanic community in the United States, promoting human capital at the highest level.”
“We deeply respect both the approach and the impact of Fundación Carlos Slim, and are excited about our partnership to remove barriers to high-quality education for Spanish speaking students,” said Daphne Koller. “This partnership will help students develop skills in critical, fast-growing employment sectors in Latin America to make an impact on their lives and their communities.”
We are looking forward to working closely with the Carlos Slim Foundation to expand learning opportunities in Latin America and for Spanish speakers everywhere.