Well that’s that done.

I’ve just completed two on-line courses. One was about Hadrian Wall, the other about Terrorism and Counter-terrorism.
The Wall, and the Roman limes generally hold something of a fascination for me. The thing existed as a huge liner city for the better part of 400 years and the amount of Roman items found here in Ireland would fit into the boot/trunk of a car. It’s seriously mind-boggling.
While the other course has more than likely put me on lordy knows how many watch lists, but who cares. What we’re going through in the world at the moment needs proper examination and testing.
I got a distinction in both which for on-line courses is nothing to be sneezed at for you’re trying to force them into the spare bits of ones day. And it can be very easy to allow things to drift.

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10 Responses to Well that’s that done.

  1. Kimberly says:

    Congratulations…that’s got to open up some time in your day. I’ve signed up for 3 courses through Stanford over the last 15 months and only completed one. The other two were SO boring and poorly administered I just couldn’t get myself to make it happen in an already busy day. So kudos with taking two!
    I vaguely remember some writing you did on Roman Britain several posts ago, so I’d imagine the Wall course would be of great interest to you. Are you saying that being that the space they occupied was so large, it’s surprising so little has been found in Ireland?
    What is your plan for countering terrorism? A little James Bond? 🙂

    • V.H says:

      Yes, some of the offerings are pure rubbish. More damaging to the idea of educational attainment than the notion of inclusiveness. And forgive me but the uUS institution’s use the online courses to advertise the campus course.

      You know how you receive the info and then think that isn’t correct. But only have the bull detector to parse it.
      What struck me was the speed things went to hell in a hand basket over Syria. And other places too. But I had no tools to analyse the data coming at me.
      I know that region and it’s history. And a lot of the bad feeling derived from those countries deciding to up the price for oil in 72. Before, it had been an area of romantic delusion as with Rudolph Valentino.

      Archaeologist s date a site in a few ways. But none is better than the coin’s of the Roman empire. In Ireland this happen s rarely. Normally they arrive at the museums in an envelope, without context. These are called garden finds and are treated with total suspicion. Half of the finds are like that.
      The point is there should be vastly more. And the fact that there is nothing means that contact was minimal.

      • Kimberly says:

        Well shoot, I came here late last night (my time) and responded to this. Clearly I didn’t actually get it posted….Hmmmm, now to remember what I wrote.
        The class I took that was well done was actually going to be a paid class for its campus students but we were used as kind of the guinea pigs for it. It was very well done, as mentioned. But I can see where these big for-profit (especially) schools wouldn’t be offering the classes out of the goodness of their heart. Why is it that the Universities outside of the US are able to do these classes as a commercial for the campus? Govt funding?

        • V.H says:

          Yes, the business case is of lesser importance. And I expect the transformation nature of education is better understood as a tool for social improvement. Which is in itself odd enough since the Ivy League was the first to really deploy those ideas to the real betterment of society as a whole.
          But the real truth is the MOOCs cannot survive if being done by existing universities. It’s like turkeys voting for Christmas. No, what’s actually needed is for Microsoft or Google or even Apple to actually establish a real MOOC university with valid degrees and transferable credits.

  2. Kelly says:

    Good for you for (making the commitment and) furthering your knowledge this way! The “Wall” course sounds fascinating as I’ve always been intrigued by Roman history, especially in Britian.

    I’ve not done any online classes, but I have ordered a few of those DVD/at home things. They’re still sitting on the shelf, so I need to take the plunge. Then if I question their factualness (is that even a word?), I’ll do my own research, just as I do when I read historical fiction (of which I read a lot).

    • V.H says:

      Thank you.
      There is a real dearth of info on the Roman provinces. At least there is a real lack in any holistic overview and certainly not one available to the population. It really is only since the 90s that sites were focused on visitors and not in a Disney way.

      Yes, it can be hard to find a course to fit ones interests. And there is a tendency to make them impenetrable. But if you do try one, go for a course from Europe.

  3. Ed says:

    I’ve wanted to do some online classes but for now, I need to wait until the kiddos are more independent. Somedays I can get through several chapters in a book and other days I find myself reading the same paragraph three or four times over the course of the day before just giving up.

    • V.H says:

      Yes the time thing is one of the issues with the online courses. It can be a real pain when time is being restricted. In fact I’d suggest that is the main cause the mooc have a low completion rate and not that people are lazy.

  4. Sage says:

    I’ve not done online classes, but have often listened to lectures from The Great Courses library… Good for you for making the time to broaden yourself.

    • V.H says:

      Oddly enough I’d not seen The Great Courses library in my travels on the WWW.

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