Learning to “read” classical Chinese paintings

This piece was extracted from one of the final assignments of a Massive Open Online Course, China Humanities: The Individuals in Chinese Culture from Harvard University that I have just completed successfully. In this essay (which this post is derived from), I tried to interpret the painting named “Fish and Fish Hawk” by Zhu Da (朱耷) (1626-1705). I was elated when my essay was one of the work picked up by Professor Peter Bol, the lead academic for this MOOC for the final discussion of this course!

Learning and commenting about Duke-Kunshan University

I have been a loyal student of Harvard University’s highly successful massive open online course (MOOC) on the history of China, ChinaX for the last 14 months. I have successfully completed 9 out of the 10 mini-courses and am now more than half way through the last mini-course. In week 46 of ChinaX, we were introduced to the remarkable success of Kunshan, a formal agricultural region between Shanghai and Nanjing. We learned that present day Kunshan has a per capita[…]

Low completion: a killer of MOOCs?

The New York Times reported recently that the University of Texas System may be having second thoughts about its foray into the realm of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). There are three major concerns that were raised: The completion rate of MOOCs offered has been languishing between one to 13 %; Majority of the learners were not from the home state; Of those few learners who have completed, the bulk of them were people who have already college education. I[…]

The M in MOOC stands for Massive!

Inside Higher Ed reported that the University of Wisconsin – Madison is revamping its Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) offering. It will put emphasis on MOOCs that have local interests. This was done at the back of 3.2% average completion rate for Wisconsin – Madison’s MOOCs. Although this is low, it still falls within the 3 to 7 % range that is the average for MOOCs in terms of completion rate. As a “veteran” MOOCer, I think Wisconsin-Madison has missed the whole[…]

A great way to learn about genetics & how it affects you

I was one of the “guinea pigs” of Queen’s University of Belfast in 1985 when along with 5 others from the Class of 1985, I was awarded a scholarship to be the pioneer batch of Master of Science students in the newly minted Biotechnology programme. A lot the then state-of-the-art knowledge that I was imparted with have indeed been superseded over the last 20 odd years of intense research in this domain. However, the basics in genetics, I hope do not change[…]

Creating tangible value from MOOCs?

Since the pioneers of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) movement have been the US universities, it is understandable for the World to expect some sort of leadership in this field from these pioneers. One thing that have been missing from most of these players is indeed a credible business model. Along the way, both Coursera and Udacity have introduced “premium” assessment model whereby the identity of the MOOC learner is verified (in Udacity’s case, it even have an online[…]

What’s going on in MOOC world?

This is the original article (unedited) on MOOC that was published in Focus Malaysia on June 08, 2013. It was written under the name of Plantcloner, the moniker used by Dr. YN Chow who had a column with Focus Malaysia for a stint. The published article’s title was, “What is going on in the revolutionary MOOC world”. A new learning phenomenon was born in early 2012. It is called Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). MOOC has revolutionized the learning world[…]