Can 35,000 People Learn Anything from an Online Class?

| November 11, 2011 | 41 Comments
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Thousands of people have enrolled for Stanford's online science and robotics classes.

This summer, Stanford University announced its plans to make three of its introductory computer science classes available for free to the general public. The classes — Machine Learning, Introduction to Databases, and Introduction to Artificial Intelligence — were to be taught by Stanford faculty and held online in conjunction with the regular on campus courses held during this October to December term.

Those participating in the online versions were able to take (almost) that same class as the enrolled Stanford students, and the online students were given the option to take an easier version too, one that didn’t require completing the homework or taking the quizzes. Those who successfully completed the courses won’t receive grades or credit but will receive a signed “statement of accomplishment” from the professors.

The news of Stanford’s online experiment generated an immense amount of interest, with more than 130,000 signing up for the A.I. class and roughly 50,000 registering for the Machine Learning and Databases classes. Now that the term is in full swing, those numbers have dropped off substantially. Even so, some 35,000 students have turned in the first three weeks of homework assignments, reports EdSurge in its latest newsletter, joining the 175 Stanford students taking the class on campus.

Managing a class of that size is almost unimaginable. Even so, Professors Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun held office hours last week via a Google Hangout. That too was a bit oversubscribed, and even with the ability now to watch Hangouts live via YouTube, some people were not able to attend.

For their part, students seem to have a mixed reaction to the different classes. Some seem to prefer the style of the Machine Learning over the Artificial Intelligence course, for example, because the former is better designed, moves from easy to difficult subject matter, and requires hands-on programming assignments. (It’s interesting to note here that the Machine Learning and Databases classes are regular School of Engineering courses, whereas the AI class is a partnership between Stanford and a startup called Know It.) Of course, the differences in opinion aren’t that surprising; you’ll find students in any class react differently to the content and instruction. When a class has 35,000 students, there are bound to be differences of opinion.

Seb Schmoller, who is taking the A.I. class, has been documenting his experiences on his blog and also has a longer write-up of “what we can learn” from the experiment on ALT News Online. He argues there are several key themes that educators (and not just those in the Stanford Engineering School) should be looking at: the willingness for “world class” teachers at “world class” schools to give away courses for free; knowledge about how to operate classes at such a massive scale — technologically as well as pedagogically; data about how people interact with content and with each other in these massive informal learning settings.

“The three mass courses offered by Stanford are, by definition, far too large in scale for there to be anything other than superficial interaction between students and teachers,” says Schmoller. “But, if the A.I. course is anything to go by, what Stanford University has solved, with its short quirky and quiz-laden videos, is a way to give learners the feeling that they are receiving personal tuition, with plenty of scope alongside this for peer interaction.”

What’s also interesting to see is the amount of community that’s built up around these courses. Participants have created special Google+ Circles containing enrolled students. They’ve posted homework help to sites like Hacker News. And when the adaptive learning startup Grockit developed a new tool that enables real-time Q&A for online videos, one of the first use-cases was for the A.I. course materials, letting students point to specific places in the lectures where things were unclear and turn to others for better explanations.

All of this seems to point to a very interesting future for these sorts of massive online classes.

Are you taking one of the online CS classes? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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  • http://www.francky.me Franck Dernoncourt

    On online classes, check out the Khan Academy: http://www.khanacademy.org/

    And a great TED talk “Let’s use video to reinvent education”:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html

    • Rivenhomewood

      I used some of the Kahn Academy videos on probability while working on the AI class. To my mind, the most impressive thing about them is that he actually did an entire series covering so many math concepts. I found the AI class videos more instructive, tho I usually had to watch each one several times.

      • http://www.francky.me Franck Dernoncourt

        Well, on average they are slightly harder  :)

      • http://www.francky.me Franck Dernoncourt

        Well, on average they are slightly harder  :)

    • Rivenhomewood

      I used some of the Kahn Academy videos on probability while working on the AI class. To my mind, the most impressive thing about them is that he actually did an entire series covering so many math concepts. I found the AI class videos more instructive, tho I usually had to watch each one several times.

  • http://www.francky.me Franck Dernoncourt

    On online classes, check out the Khan Academy: http://www.khanacademy.org/

    And a great TED talk “Let’s use video to reinvent education”:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html

  • http://twitter.com/BetterAtThings Moana Evans

    I’m taking both the AI and ML class, and I’ve written a few posts about it (here’s one I wrote for the symbolic logic section: http://gettingbetteratthings.com/2011/11/how-to-learn/)

    The ML class definitely is more difficult though more practical, and the AI class is less polished, with lots of problems with ambiguities and technical issues. I doubt that the AI class would be professionally beneficial to anyone without the programming problems to back up the theory we’re learning. My interest in the classes is purely curiosity – not just about the content, but also about how the professors use digital learning to reach a wider audience. 

    It’s great, too, to see how digital classes can bring people together. Apart from the online reddit group, I do a weekly meetup with a bunch of other people in Vancouver who are also taking the class (much like the online class, group attendance dropped severely after the first week!) and have talked with a woman in India who was struggling with one of the ML programming assignments. The intent may simply be to spread knowledge, but I think online classes are also a terrific opportunity to find other people who share your passions. 

  • http://twitter.com/BetterAtThings Moana Evans

    I’m taking both the AI and ML class, and I’ve written a few posts about it (here’s one I wrote for the symbolic logic section: http://gettingbetteratthings.com/2011/11/how-to-learn/)

    The ML class definitely is more difficult though more practical, and the AI class is less polished, with lots of problems with ambiguities and technical issues. I doubt that the AI class would be professionally beneficial to anyone without the programming problems to back up the theory we’re learning. My interest in the classes is purely curiosity – not just about the content, but also about how the professors use digital learning to reach a wider audience. 

    It’s great, too, to see how digital classes can bring people together. Apart from the online reddit group, I do a weekly meetup with a bunch of other people in Vancouver who are also taking the class (much like the online class, group attendance dropped severely after the first week!) and have talked with a woman in India who was struggling with one of the ML programming assignments. The intent may simply be to spread knowledge, but I think online classes are also a terrific opportunity to find other people who share your passions. 

    • Universityofireland

      Stanford Course on consciousness

      Hi
      all,

      We are currently offering a course on “Neuroscience and
      experience” precisely astaught as an advanced seminar in
      Stanford. A sample lecture and outline of the course can be found at

      http://floyddogdesign.com/sean/newsyll2010.html

      Queries can be sent to

      universityofireland@gmail.com

      It does NOT use video, as we believe that slides + voiceover is a
      more economical means of learning. The method of assessment is essay
      submission at the end of the course

      • Anonymous

        Stanford
        consciousness course will start as scheduled on Feb 7 2012

        There is an outline
        and sample lectures at

        http://floyddogdesign.com/sean/newsyll2010.html

        Please just follow
        the blog at

        http://consciousnesstalk.blogspot.com/

        if you want to
        register

        I will then supply
        passwords etc

        Please note;

        While this course
        is being taught precisely as at Stanford, it will not give Stanford
        credits

        Unlike the current
        batch of courses, it is NOT being delayed

        To repeat;

        It does NOT use
        video, as we believe that slides + voiceover is a more economical
        means of learning. The method of assessment is essay submission at
        the end of the course. As with all the other courses recently offered
        following the AI model, it is NOT accredited by Stanford, but taught
        exactly as in Stanford

        The detailed
        syllabus follows;

        Course description

         Subject area
        Cognitive:  science

         Position
        within subject area: Neuroscience and philosophy of mind

         Intended
        audience

         College
        students; intelligent and interested laypeople

         Course
        objectives

        When students have
        Completed this course, they will:

         -know the
        essentials of neuroscience, including the perhaps more veridical
        theories of neural function and communication that may currently be
        emerging from such areas as non- linear systems, quantum mechanics,
        and analysis of subthreshold neural oscillations

         - know the
        basic arguments in the philosophy of mind from Plato through
        Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Levine and such popular putative
        contributions as that of Chalmers.

         - In the
        absence of any certain conclusions about the nature of subjective
        experience , which this course dues not claim to give, be able to
        evaluate the many current and future claims that will be presented to
        them proposing a direct link from neural fact to subjective
        experience

         Prerequisites
        for students

         Interest in
        the area; commitment to engage with others in dialogue

         Session by
        Session

         Week 1:
        Historical aspects: Plato, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume,
        Kant, Husserl, Levine; the advent of cognitive science. 
        Neurophysiological plausibility: assessment of conventional neural
        networks, the integrate and fire paradigm, and approaches built on
        subthreshold resonance. Introduction of the resonate and fire
        (RFNN)paradigm; vocabulary of non-linear systems to be used in the
        course. The Hilbert transform as superset of the Fourier transform;
        its applicability to brain function. Criteria for consequences for
        phenomenal experience.

         Week 2: RFNs
        continued. The encompassing context; how does this work relate to
        contemporary controversies exemplified by the Noe/Hurley/Block
        debate, and the notion of a neural correlate of conscious experience.

         Week 3:  
        Continuation of analysis of the work of RNF theorists like
        Izhekevich, Reinker and Doris. The interaction of spatial and
        temporal codes. Topographic maps that go point-to-point into
        higher-level maps and retinotopic mapping  from the retina to
        LGN, from there to V1, and in the other “V areas” up to
        IT.  How do these spatial maps interact with spectral codes of
        Karl Pribram?

         Week 4:
        Multimodal mapping. Spatial location and information integration.
        What other binding mechanisms are there, for example in Martin’s
        LIMSI work? ;Filling ; mechanisms and change blindness.

         Week 5 
        The contrastive approach in consciousness studies. Axonal versus
        dendritic communication. The FM radio analogy pioneered by
        Izhekevich, Doris  and Freeman. Meaning as AM  in the work
        of Freeman

         Week 6: 
        Other theories of consciousness; conscious inessentialism in Lashley
        and Jackendoff. Fodor versus Descartes on modularity. Freeman,
        Suppes; consciousness as a sample.

         Week 7:  
        Edelman, involving the dynamic core hypothesis. Llinas and the
        thalamocortical system. Pellionisz and Llinas on tensors in the work
        popularized by Churchland

         Week 8:
        Recapitualtion of historical aspects and summary.. What theory, if
        any, will prevail? What seem to be the relevant criteria?

         Weeks 9 and 10
        Student presentations.

         Methods of
        Instruction While the instructor will prepare a detailed presentation
        for each topic, the students will be encouraged to debate the topics
        vigorously throughthe internet , and work together to give
        presentations

         Credit
        requirements and course grade 50% end of session examination50%
        project work (to be finalised)

         Background
        Reading

         Barlow H. B.
        (1972) Single

        Neurons and
        Sensation: A neuron doctrine for perceptual psychology. Perception.
        Perception 1, 371-394.

         Biebel, U.W.,
        Langner, G., 1997. Evidence for “pitch neurons” in the
        auditory midbrain of chinchillas. In: Syka, J. (Ed.), Acoustic Signal
        Processing in the Central Auditory System. Plenum Press, New York

         Braun, M.,
        2000. Inferior colliculus as candidate for pitch extraction: multiple
        support from statistics of bilateral spontaneous otoacoustic
        emissions. Hear. Res. 145, 130-140.

         Braun, M.,
        1999. Auditory midbrain laminar structure appears adapted to f 0
        extraction: further evidence and implications of the double critical
        bandwidth.

         Hear. Res.
        129, 71-82.

         J. C. Eccles
        (1957). The Physiology of Nerve Cells. Academic Press, New York, 1957

         G Callewaert,
        J Eilers, and A Konnerth Axonal calcium entry during fast ‘sodium’
        action potentials in rat cerebellar Purkinje neurones J Physiol
        (Lond) 1996 495: 641-647

         Georgopoulos,
        A., Kalaska, J., Caminiti, R., & Massey, J. (1982). On the
        relations between the directionof two-dimensional arm movements and
        cell discharge in primate motor cortex. Journal ofNeuroscience,
        2(11), 1527-1537.

         Hubel and
        Wiesel (1959) Receptive fields of single neurons in the cat’s striate
        cortex

         Hutcheon, B.
        and Yarom, Y. “Resonance, oscillation, and the intrinsic
        frequency preferences of neurons” Trends Neurosci. 2000 May;
        23(5): 216-22

         Izhikevich
        (2002) “Resonance and selective communication via bursts in
        neurons having subthreshold oscillations” Biosystems 67(2002)
        95-102

         Langner, G.,
        Schreiner, C.E., Biebel, U.W., 1998. Functional implications of
        frequency and periodicity coding in auditory midbrain. In: Palmer,
        A.R., Rees, A.,

         Summerfield,
        A.Q., Meddis, R. (Eds.), Psychophysical and Physiological Advances in
        Hearing.

         Whurr, London,
        pp. 277-285. Langner, G., Schreiner, C.E. and Merzenich, M.M. (1987)
        Covariation of latency and temporal resolution in the inferior
        colliculus of the cat. Hear. Res. 31, 197-201

         McCulloch, W.
        and Pitts, W. (1943). A logical calculus of the ideas immanent in
        nervous activity. Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics, 7:115 – 133.

         Rees, A. and
        Sarbaz, A. (1997) The influence of intrinsic oscillations on the
        encoding of amplitude modulation by neurons in the inferior
        colliculus. In: J. Syka (Ed.), Acoustic Signal Processing in the
        Central Auditory System, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 239-252

         O Nuallain,
        Sean (2003) The Search for Mind; third edition. Exeter: England

         Pribram, K.
        (1991) Brain and Perception: holonomy and structure in figural
        processing. N.J. : Lawrence Erlbaum

         Reinker, S, E.
        Puil, and R.M. Miura (2004) “Membrane Resonance and Stochastic
        resonance modulate firing patterns of Thalamocortical neurons:
        Journal of computational Neuroscience 16 (1): 15-25,
        January-February, 2004

         Rock, I.
        (1983) The logic of perception. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press

         Rudolph, M.
        and A. Destexhe (2001) “Do neocortical pyramidal neurons display
        stochastic resonance?” Journal of computational neuroscience
        11,19-42

         DeSchutter, E.
        and Bower, J.M. (1993) Parallel fiber inputs gate the Purkinje cell
        response to ascending branch synaptic inputs. Soc. Neurosci. Abst.
        19:1588.

         Sherrington
        CS. 1906. Integrated Action of the Nervous System. Cambridge
        University Press: Cambridge, UK

         Wu, M, C-F
        Hsiao, and S.C. Chandler (2001) “Membrane resonance and
        subthreshold membrane oscillations in Mesencephalic V Neurons:
        Participants in Burst Generation The Journal of Neuroscience, June 1,
        2001, 21(11):3729-3739

  • Anonymous

    Google’s era under Eric Schmidt had involved into multiple crimes in Stanford which is fascism by nature.

    Google’s Eric Schmidt had abused google resources to financially and politicially support a criminal suspect named Gabriele Scheler, along with a Stanford Computer Science faculty Sebastian Thrun, against ruling from Stanford and police authorities. During their fight with Stanford, Eric Schmidt’s side had murdered an innocent Stanford student May Zhou in 2007 to threaten me and to terrorize Stanford. When they found I would not compromise a bit but actively tried to clarify the case, Eric Schmidt’s side did plot a murder on me as well. The only reason they didn’t make it a reality is becaue they were closely watched by police and they are afraid of leaving evidence (not becasuse they have any mercy on me as a human being, fascism by nature.) Eric Schmidt lost his CEO position because of his involvment into these crimes.

    Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun had not paid for their crimes and they would have to, despite all the hypes about them.

  • Anonymous

    Google’s era under Eric Schmidt had involved into multiple crimes in Stanford which is fascism by nature.

    Google’s Eric Schmidt had abused google resources to financially and politicially support a criminal suspect named Gabriele Scheler, along with a Stanford Computer Science faculty Sebastian Thrun, against ruling from Stanford and police authorities. During their fight with Stanford, Eric Schmidt’s side had murdered an innocent Stanford student May Zhou in 2007 to threaten me and to terrorize Stanford. When they found I would not compromise a bit but actively tried to clarify the case, Eric Schmidt’s side did plot a murder on me as well. The only reason they didn’t make it a reality is becaue they were closely watched by police and they are afraid of leaving evidence (not becasuse they have any mercy on me as a human being, fascism by nature.) Eric Schmidt lost his CEO position because of his involvment into these crimes.

    Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun had not paid for their crimes and they would have to, despite all the hypes about them.

  • Anonymous

    Sebastian Thrun of this course Instructor and Google’s Eric Schmidt’s reputations are built upon crimes, conspiracies and censorship on my public challenges.

    Sebastian Thrun of this course Instructor and Google’s Eric Schmidt and are part of these plotted murders. And that innocent Stanford girl May Zhou was murdred by people on their side for their sake during their fight with Stanford Authorities over a criminal case which happened on Stanford campuse in 2004, in which an irrational and brutal lady named Gabriele Scheler bitterly assaulted me in the lab and then falsely accused me for sexual assault trying to escape facing the legal consequences. Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun joined with this criminal suspect Gabriele Scheler to fight against ruling from Stanford Authorities. They had plotted murder on May Zhou to threaten me and to terrorize Stanford; and later, when they found I would not compromise with them but actively pursue the case further, they had plotted a murder on me as well. They didn’t make it a reality in my case because they are closely watched by police and they fear leaving evidence (not because they have any mercy on me as a human being).

    — These accusations stand still which Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun dare never deny to the public. Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun had not paid for their crimes and they would have to.

  • Anonymous

    Sebastian Thrun of this course Instructor and Google’s Eric Schmidt’s reputations are built upon crimes, conspiracies and censorship on my public challenges.

    Sebastian Thrun of this course Instructor and Google’s Eric Schmidt and are part of these plotted murders. And that innocent Stanford girl May Zhou was murdred by people on their side for their sake during their fight with Stanford Authorities over a criminal case which happened on Stanford campuse in 2004, in which an irrational and brutal lady named Gabriele Scheler bitterly assaulted me in the lab and then falsely accused me for sexual assault trying to escape facing the legal consequences. Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun joined with this criminal suspect Gabriele Scheler to fight against ruling from Stanford Authorities. They had plotted murder on May Zhou to threaten me and to terrorize Stanford; and later, when they found I would not compromise with them but actively pursue the case further, they had plotted a murder on me as well. They didn’t make it a reality in my case because they are closely watched by police and they fear leaving evidence (not because they have any mercy on me as a human being).

    — These accusations stand still which Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun dare never deny to the public. Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun had not paid for their crimes and they would have to.

  • Anonymous

    — These accusations stand still which Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun dare never deny to the public. Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun had not paid for their crimes and they would have to.

    Google’s Eric Schmidt and Stanford Computer Science faculty Sebastian Thrun are part of these plotted murders. And that innocent Stanford girl May Zhou was murdred by people on their side for their sake during their fight with Stanford Authorities over a criminal case which happened on Stanford campuse in 2004, in which an irrational and brutal lady named Gabriele Scheler bitterly assaulted me in the lab and then falsely accused me for sexual assault trying to escape facing the legal consequences. Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun joined with this criminal suspect Gabriele Scheler to fight against ruling from Stanford Authorities. They had plotted murder on May Zhou to threaten me and to terrorize Stanford; and later, when they found I would not compromise with them but actively pursue the case further, they had plotted a murder on me as well. They didn’t make it a reality in my case because they are closely watched by police and they fear leaving evidence (not because they have any mercy on me as a human being, fascism by nature).

    • Anonymous

      Google’s era under Eric Schmidt had involved into multiple crimes in Stanford which is fascism by nature.

      Google’s Eric Schmidt had abused google resources to financially and politicially support a criminal suspect named Gabriele Scheler, along with a Stanford Computer Science faculty Sebastian Thrun, against ruling from Stanford and police authorities. During their fight with Stanford, Eric Schmidt’s side had murdered an innocent Stanford student May Zhou in 2007 to threaten me and to terrorize Stanford. When they found I would not compromise a bit but actively tried to clarify the case, Eric Schmidt’s side did plot a murder on me as well. The only reason they didn’t make it a reality is becaue they were closely watched by police and they are afraid of leaving evidence (not becasuse they have any mercy on me as a human being, fascism by nature.) Eric Schmidt lost his CEO position because of his involvment into these crimes. 

      Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun had not paid for their crimes and they would have to, despite all the hypes about them.

  • Rivenhomewood

    I registered for the AI & Database classes. I love the format of the AI class, but my lack of background in probability has been a serious handicap and I got bogged down at Bayes. I still feel like it was a worthwhile experience and that I learned a good deal. The class format makes it easy to review difficult places and eventually figure out the solution.

    I found the format of the Database class deadly – long, very fast-moving lectures with no opportunity to ask for clarification. But I was really impressed that when I mentioned my problems on Twitter, the instructor actually replied. And the content of her reply was relevant to my problems, not a canned stock reply.

    My son is taking the Machine Intelligence class and says he much prefers the format and content there to his sampling of the AI class. He seems to be learning a lot, working hard, and really enjoying the class.

  • Rivenhomewood

    I registered for the AI & Database classes. I love the format of the AI class, but my lack of background in probability has been a serious handicap and I got bogged down at Bayes. I still feel like it was a worthwhile experience and that I learned a good deal. The class format makes it easy to review difficult places and eventually figure out the solution.

    I found the format of the Database class deadly – long, very fast-moving lectures with no opportunity to ask for clarification. But I was really impressed that when I mentioned my problems on Twitter, the instructor actually replied. And the content of her reply was relevant to my problems, not a canned stock reply.

    My son is taking the Machine Intelligence class and says he much prefers the format and content there to his sampling of the AI class. He seems to be learning a lot, working hard, and really enjoying the class.

  • Anonymous

    Censorship would not excuse their roles in these crimes.

    — These accusations stand still which Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun dare never deny to the public. Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun had not paid for their crimes and they would have to.
    Google’s Eric Schmidt and Sebasitan Thrun’s reputations are built upon crimes, conspiracies and censorship on my public challenges.
    Google’s Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun are part of these plotted murders. And that innocent Stanford girl May Zhou was murdred by people on their side for their sake during their fight with Stanford Authorities over a criminal case which happened on Stanford campuse in 2004, in which an irrational and brutal lady named Gabriele Scheler bitterly assaulted me in the lab and then falsely accused me for sexual assault trying to escape facing the legal consequences. Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun joined with this criminal suspect Gabriele Scheler to fight against ruling from Stanford Authorities. They had plotted murder on May Zhou to threaten me and to terrorize Stanford; and later, when they found I would not compromise with them but actively pursue the case further, they had plotted a murder on me as well. They didn’t make it a reality in my case because they are closely watched by police and they fear leaving evidence (not because they have any mercy on me as a human being).

  • http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethCorcoran Elizabeth Corcoran

    Interesting piece on Sebastian Thrun’s “other” job — helping run the super-secretive Google X research lab. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/technology/at-google-x-a-top-secret-lab-dreaming-up-the-future.html?ref=technology&nl=technology&emc=techupdateema1

  • http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethCorcoran Elizabeth Corcoran

    Interesting piece on Sebastian Thrun’s “other” job — helping run the super-secretive Google X research lab. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/technology/at-google-x-a-top-secret-lab-dreaming-up-the-future.html?ref=technology&nl=technology&emc=techupdateema1

  • Saras Ramdas

    Really love the way it’s structured, taking you from where you see it applied in daily life, all the way to the complex Math behind the scenes. The instructor has made sure it caters to people with all levels of skills. I really enjoy doing the assignments and exercises. Just wish I had more time on my hands, to set aside for this…I am always at least 2 weeks behind! :-(

  • Saras Ramdas

    Really love the way it’s structured, taking you from where you see it applied in daily life, all the way to the complex Math behind the scenes. The instructor has made sure it caters to people with all levels of skills. I really enjoy doing the assignments and exercises. Just wish I had more time on my hands, to set aside for this…I am always at least 2 weeks behind! :-(

    • Saras Ramdas

      BTW, I am enrolled in ML.

    • Saras Ramdas

      BTW, I am enrolled in ML.

  • Nberliandro

    ⎝⏠⏝⏠⎠ Good

  • Nberliandro

    ⎝⏠⏝⏠⎠ Good

  • momomima

     gugugaga hahaha

  • momomima

     gugugaga hahaha

  • http://twitter.com/fachoper ferhat elmas

    These courses are more efficient than traditional education since I study when I want. Therefore, I can follow the lecture carefully or I don’t need to wake up very early and stuck in the traffic (save of much time). Moreover, they are well structured so when I got bored and need a break, I can stop and continue later. In short, I loved them.

  • http://twitter.com/fachoper ferhat elmas

    These courses are more efficient than traditional education since I study when I want. Therefore, I can follow the lecture carefully or I don’t need to wake up very early and stuck in the traffic (save of much time). Moreover, they are well structured so when I got bored and need a break, I can stop and continue later. In short, I loved them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1034583440 Wendy Langer

    I’m doing ai-class and loving it!

    Thrun and Norvig are friendly and enthusiastic, and although the level of difficulty seems to jump around a lot (from almost trivial to very tricky in one short moment), this at least helps keep us awake!
    When there is a very difficult question, the lecturers generally say so beforehand, so you know what you’re up against. Afterwards, they have little mini videos which congratulate you for getting it out, or at least for having had a go, and although it’s of course less personal than having an in-the-flesh teacher,  I felt wonderfully ‘connected’ compared to how I think I would have felt had it been just, say, typed words of encouragement.

    Getting loads of chances to test our understanding by answering multiple quizzes during each lecture is, I think, very effective, and it tallies with modern theories of learning, engagement, and reinforcement.

    This is of course the very first try at this kind of massively distributed online learning experience, so there is a lot to learn, but I think it’s already amazing and will only get better!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1034583440 Wendy Langer

    I’m doing ai-class and loving it!

    Thrun and Norvig are friendly and enthusiastic, and although the level of difficulty seems to jump around a lot (from almost trivial to very tricky in one short moment), this at least helps keep us awake!
    When there is a very difficult question, the lecturers generally say so beforehand, so you know what you’re up against. Afterwards, they have little mini videos which congratulate you for getting it out, or at least for having had a go, and although it’s of course less personal than having an in-the-flesh teacher,  I felt wonderfully ‘connected’ compared to how I think I would have felt had it been just, say, typed words of encouragement.

    Getting loads of chances to test our understanding by answering multiple quizzes during each lecture is, I think, very effective, and it tallies with modern theories of learning, engagement, and reinforcement.

    This is of course the very first try at this kind of massively distributed online learning experience, so there is a lot to learn, but I think it’s already amazing and will only get better!

  • Mark Notess

    Nice overview, Audrey! I’ve written about this topic too and mentioned your article, here: http://www.learningux.com/2011/11/15/whats-it-like-to-be-in-a-class-of-35000/ .

    Myself, I signed up for a MOOC this summer but it was heavily constructivist and didn’t draw me in too well. What I like about the Stanford classes is that they aren’t classes about learning technology or pedagogy, as most of the other MOOCs ahve been. I like to see how the approach transforms across disciplines.

  • Mark Notess

    Nice overview, Audrey! I’ve written about this topic too and mentioned your article, here: http://www.learningux.com/2011/11/15/whats-it-like-to-be-in-a-class-of-35000/ .

    Myself, I signed up for a MOOC this summer but it was heavily constructivist and didn’t draw me in too well. What I like about the Stanford classes is that they aren’t classes about learning technology or pedagogy, as most of the other MOOCs ahve been. I like to see how the approach transforms across disciplines.

  • Ogg78

    I’m taking all three classes and I must say they are kicking asses!
    My absolute favorite is ML – Andrew Ng is a wizard and deserves a full-scale statue casted in a pure gold for his teaching. I really feel I learn something in his class.
    DB class is also very well prepared.
    AI class is very interesting, but sometimes professors make mistakes in explanations and homework assignments have a bit vague formulations. But I like the class anyway.
    Can highly recommend all those classes.

    BTW more classes are on the way from Stanford
    cs101-class.org, 
    saas-class.org, 
    hci-class.org, 
    nlp-class.org, 
    game-theory-class.org, 
    pgm-class.org 
    Excited for Jan12!

  • Ogg78

    I’m taking all three classes and I must say they are kicking asses!
    My absolute favorite is ML – Andrew Ng is a wizard and deserves a full-scale statue casted in a pure gold for his teaching. I really feel I learn something in his class.
    DB class is also very well prepared.
    AI class is very interesting, but sometimes professors make mistakes in explanations and homework assignments have a bit vague formulations. But I like the class anyway.
    Can highly recommend all those classes.

    BTW more classes are on the way from Stanford
    cs101-class.org, 
    saas-class.org, 
    hci-class.org, 
    nlp-class.org, 
    game-theory-class.org, 
    pgm-class.org 
    Excited for Jan12!

  • http://www.facebook.com/curtwelch Curt Welch

    I’m talking the AI and the ML class and they are great.  Can you learn anything you a class of 160,000?  You bet.  Honestly, after taking these classes, I don’t see why there is any point in a traditional format class as long as the material is mechanical enough to be graded automatically by the computer and tested with simple multiple choice questions.  Even though there are too many students for the instructors to be able to give individual attention to anyone, there are plenty of on-line communities forming so the students can help each other – there are so many sharp students in these groups that you don’t need the individual attention of the instructors.  Though I see some students struggling, I believe it’s only because they don’t have enough of the correct background knowledge to keep up with the very fast moving AI class.  More online classes to cover the background concepts for them would solve that quickly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/curtwelch Curt Welch

    I’m talking the AI and the ML class and they are great.  Can you learn anything you a class of 160,000?  You bet.  Honestly, after taking these classes, I don’t see why there is any point in a traditional format class as long as the material is mechanical enough to be graded automatically by the computer and tested with simple multiple choice questions.  Even though there are too many students for the instructors to be able to give individual attention to anyone, there are plenty of on-line communities forming so the students can help each other – there are so many sharp students in these groups that you don’t need the individual attention of the instructors.  Though I see some students struggling, I believe it’s only because they don’t have enough of the correct background knowledge to keep up with the very fast moving AI class.  More online classes to cover the background concepts for them would solve that quickly.

  • http://twitter.com/av13 Alex Villasenor

    sounds great … i’m sure the people who are taking it will get a lot out of the class … but what i got most out of my university classes at UC Berkeley was the more personal discussions with a professor in a seminar class or with a grad assistant … i know that i learned the most from these small classes lead by people in the field … they knew how to direct the discussion and which questions to ask … totally invaluable! 

  • http://twitter.com/av13 Alex Villasenor

    sounds great … i’m sure the people who are taking it will get a lot out of the class … but what i got most out of my university classes at UC Berkeley was the more personal discussions with a professor in a seminar class or with a grad assistant … i know that i learned the most from these small classes lead by people in the field … they knew how to direct the discussion and which questions to ask … totally invaluable!