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Coursera Question

  1. May 26, 2013 #1
    I am a Freshman in high school who has been maintaining a 4.0 GPA and I want to take some coursera courses to advance my knowledge. However, I know that these classes are at a college level so it may be difficult for me to get an A in the classes I take. I don't want to send a college application off and then they see that I had less than satisfactory grades on the coursera classes that I took. So the question is should I take these courses and risk not getting an A or should I not do these courses all together?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2013 #2
    Do them. There are great courses offered by very good teachers. And it's free. Certification is based on pass/fail structure. If you get over x% (dependent on the course what x is), you get a certificate saying you completed the class. If you don't get the mark, well you don't get anything. Nowhere does it mention your actual grade. So I don't think you should worry too much

  4. May 26, 2013 #3
    I thought when you got the certification of completion it listed your total grade percent. Is that true?
  5. May 26, 2013 #4
    Alot of college level courses could be taken by high school freshmen. I read over their programming course from UToronto and enjoyed it but didn't think it was particularly challenging, thatd' be a good one to get a feel for coursera.
  6. May 26, 2013 #5
    only some courses give out certificates of completion. i've taken many courses there for programming and math. They're great and free, i don't care much for the certificate. i think you are under the impression that these are credit courses which they are not. Universities will not look at these. They are more for personal knowledge/learning/enjoyment/skills development. the certificate doesn't mean much at all. At least thats how i see it from what i read on their website
  7. May 26, 2013 #6
    Your coursera courses are not something you include in your college application. You do not even get any certification in many of them and you do not have to give any personal info to register.
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  8. May 27, 2013 #7
    So it seems that it would be a good idea for me to take some coursera classes but what do you think are the best classes on the site for me?
  9. May 28, 2013 #8
    Whatever you heart desires :)
  10. May 28, 2013 #9
    Coursera classes are great. Honestly, I think you should take any courses that are relative to the field of study in college. Coursera helped me work on my weakest areas of mathematics, which has helped me to maintain a 4.0 in college! I highly recommend Coursera and Kahn academy. The university of your choosing will never even know you took coursera classes so they can really help you out if you want to learn something, like programming or calculus. Most, but not all, of the classes I've taken provided the texts needed for the class. The ones that I had to buy were only 5 to 10 dollars, so it was worth it in my opinion.
  11. May 28, 2013 #10
    You're much better off learning from a textbook. Don't expect to get college credit; I would be astounded if college credit for courses completed on coursera.org were accepted at anywhere other than a community college, if that.

    Assuming you like physics/math, just find some physics and math textbooks (there are likely to be plenty of threads on this forum that you can find that will suggest to you books for you level and interest) and work through those rather than embarking in largely passive learning which is prevalent in coursera and KhanAcademy. Sitting and watching lectures and presentations is not actually a process by which you will retain much information.
  12. May 28, 2013 #11
    I've never passivly learned on Coursera or Khan but I work through the examples the provide as they do them, then work through any and all problems they provide, then do a google search for any other work I can find on the subject. It has worked out well for me so far. A benefit to Coursera is also the forum where you can interact with others taking the same cours you are. It may not be a standard for all classes but for all I have taken there was a forum.
  13. May 28, 2013 #12
    You seem to be studying the right way then. But the danger with coursera and with khan is that people will watch the videos and think they know the material by just watching. I've seen a lot of people on this forum who learned something by only doing that. Of course, their understanding of the material is very superficial. So I guess that coursera is a very good tool to help you learn, but you shouldn't rely on passively watching videos, but you should actively work exercises.
  14. May 28, 2013 #13
    The Scientific computing and Data analysis courses from UW are a lot of fun.They are also potentially useful for pretty much anything you might do in college.They do require some advanced calculus knowledge though.
  15. May 28, 2013 #14
    Yea I cannot argue that point. If you are going to only passively learn the material then you might as well not even bother signing up for the course. With me I only learn by getting hands on experience instead of just watching someone do it for me.

    I always thank Nikola Tesla for my study habits. The man was gifted with a very high level of intelligence and instead of just relying on that intelligence to just get by (which for him would have been straight a's anyway) he took it on himself to learn in excess. When he graduated college, if I remember right, he spoke nine languages. He also studied up to 20 hours a day some days. I try to get in all the studying I can and thankfully, so far, it has really paid off for me.

    Anyway I digress.
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