Editor’s note: Jonathan Haber is a Courserian who is taking classes for 12 months on Coursera to experiment with a project of his called “Degree of Freedom”. He will be guest blogging on our site throughout this next year to keep us up-to-date on his progress!
Greetings fellow Courserians!
Like you, I am enjoying the thrill of learning new things from some of the world’s best professors for
free. But, unlike you, I may be taking more courses than would generally be considered healthy.
You see, I decided earlier this year to try my own experiment within the greater MOOC experiment and
find out if it’s possible to learn as much as I’d get out of a four year liberal arts degree in just twelve
months using entirely free learning tools like Coursera.
At my Degree of Freedom web site, I’ve been writing about the experience in order to help students,
teachers, educational technology providers, and policy makers understand what works and what still
needs work in different areas of massive online learning.
But while my site is communicating with many audiences, the kind folks at Coursera thought it would be
valuable to share insights with fellow students regarding how to get the most out of their own MOOC
experiences. Which is why I’ll be visiting the Coursera blog semi-regularly to offer suggestions on how to
maximize success (which really translates to maximizing learning) based on what I discover as I continue
to cram four years of college into a single year.
Here’s a video to give you an idea of what I look like…
As you can see, I’m old enough to have gone to a traditional brick-and-mortar college (during a decade
when we still used typewriters – albeit electric ones). Which has helped me identity a key theme for
success in online learning that will inform most of the things I’ll be sharing with you over the coming
It’s kind of a cliché to say that you get as much out of college as you put into it, but this seemingly
trite observation becomes critical in an online world where classroom attendance and attentiveness,
dedication to keeping up with reading, and a commitment to doing your best on homework, tests,
papers and other types of assignments are all in your hands.
I’ll be talking about what this translates to over the coming months, but in the meantime you should be
thinking about not just what Coursera can do for you, but what you can do to maximize your own self-
motivated learning experience.