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Thread: ISU professor offering free course on Iowa Caucus

  1. #1

    ISU professor offering free course on Iowa Caucus

    An Iowa State University professor will be offering a free online class about the Iowa caucus. There will be several enrollment dates the first of which will start tomorrow September 1st. I don't know how useful it will be but it's worth giving it a look.

    Here is the link to an article discussing the course:

    ISU political science professor Steffen Schmidt is hosting a free online course about the Iowa caucuses during the upcoming fall and spring semesters.

    The class will be a massive open online course focused on the history of the Iowa caucus, the role of news and the media in political discourse and the future of the event. It is available to anyone with an Internet connection.

    The course’s modules will teach students through a variety of media, including pre-recorded video interviews, in-depth texts and forum discussions. Students will be able to take the modules at their own pace and select the types of learning that will suit them best.

    The class is being offered in four sections, each lasting about a month. The first section begins Sept. 1, and anyone can enroll in the sections now with only their name and email address.

    The course is not worth any college credits, but does come with a certificate of participation.

    Schmidt says more than 500 students are already enrolled in the September section, and even more are expected before it starts. Many of those pupils are not the average ISU student.

    “That includes journalists, and some of them are famous journalists. They are people who work for news services in France, Venezuela, Slovakia … you get a bunch of really interesting people in there,” Schmidt said.

    The class is also seeing high enrollment from AP high school students as well as ISU students.

    “Anyone who signs up for this course is going to get a mix of people in the discussion forum that they would never meet in a regular class,” Schmidt said. “It’s really accessible, and people who are interested and want to learn more can participate from anywhere they are.”

    The MOOC format is a new way of spreading information in the digital age. As Schmidt points out, “In the past, no one gave you any free information at a collegiate level.”

    Schmidt traced the start of the trend back to Khan Academy, a nonprofit institution and the brainchild of Salman Khan. Khan Academy offered free university-level information in courses available to anyone with Internet access, and the concept caught on. Universities like Stanford, MIT and Harvard were quick to follow suit.

    MOOCs give those who might not attend a normal college class an opportunity to learn, but they also come with benefits for the universities willing to offer them.

    “It’s goodwill for the university,” Schmidt said. “You’ll see a lot of people here who would never register for a course at Iowa State.”

    Schmidt is excited about the opportunity for courses in the digital age to engage students in a variety of ways.

    “Some students learn better visually, some students learn better in participation and discussion [and] some students learn better in reading dense material," he said. "This gives students three or four different ways that they can get the same information and develop that information through discussions. I believe this is the way people should be learning in every course.”
    Here is a direct link to the enrollment page:

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  3. #2
    Bump, perhaps I should post this in another section.

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