The course, Introduction to Applied Investing, is offered by Dr. David Krause (Director of the Applied Investment Management program at Marquette University). This is a self-paced MOOC (massive open online course). This means that there are no group assignments or peer review and that you will move at your own pace.
The course begins on September 23, 2013. It is intended that a student will complete one module per week; however, you are free to maintain your own pace so long as you complete the course by November 23, 2013.
The course does not require you to post or contribute to any of the discussions – your participation is purely voluntary. While it would be great if you provided comments, simply following the discussions and the blog will also be a valuable learning experience.
I understand that most MOOC enrollees have a life that probably includes classes, a day job and other commitments – so working at your own speed is valuable. Therefore, this course has been designed to operate in a linear, self-paced manner. While the video lectures are pre-recorded, the blog that accompanies the course is intended to be real-time. I’ll be offering ‘side bar’ postings and a running commentary on timely, investment-related topics of the day.
Here are some of my thoughts about why this course was designed to be self-paced, rather than controlled:
- You should be able to control your own progress. Students can view the lectures, blogs and discussions on their own time – before work, lunchtime, during a boring meeting, on the weekends, while working out, etc.
- There are no group assignments or required postings. While I believe in the value of peer learning, with self-pacing you can focus on how you learn best. In other words, the individual learner can control the timing and volume level of the course.
- Depending upon each student’s interest, prior knowledge and experience with the topic, it is possible to spend a lot or a little time with each lesson. In most cases, I have added external video links allowing you to explore each topic in greater depth if you wish – again at your own pace.
- There are assessments that appear in a linear manner. In other words, you must get a passing grade (at least a 70% score on a quiz) to move to the next lesson. However, you can take the quizzes as many times as you wish, so advancing to the next level is relatively easy.
Discussion boards play an important role in massive open online courses like this one. If you have trouble understanding a topic, you can turn to the discussion forum for help. And after you have mastered the material, you can contribute to the discussions and help out your fellow students. While I won’t have time to carefully monitor each and every comment on the discussion forums, I will check in and answer questions periodically. Hopefully you will enjoy the independence of a self-paced MOOC.