Monday, 8 September 2014

I Love Coursera + Some Online Courses I'm Taking

Howdy, internet!

Today I'd like to talk about one of my favourite websites: Coursera! Coursera is an amazing company that provides education in the form of online classes and courses, taught by professors from top universities. And best of all... it's free!

I'm the sort of person who's interested in personal growth. And I believe that personal growth comes from new experiences and learning.
And Coursera gives me the chance to learn as much as I want to!

Here are some courses that I've taken or am going to take in the near future.

1) Presumed Innocent? The Social Science of Wrongful Conviction:

Oh, how much I loved this course! This course talks about the many loopholes in the American justice system, and examines the issue of wrongful conviction using a social scientific outlook.
It was only by chance that I opted for this course. I was bored, and I felt like learning something about criminal law, and this was the only relevant course at that point of time.
But boy, am I glad that I clicked the 'Join for free' button.
Before taking this course, I had no idea that so many people are convicted or even executed for crimes they did not commit, and that too for the silliest reasons!
I now feel so strongly about this topic. There are people that spend more than half of their lives in jail for something they didn't even do! Sometimes they even get killed for someone else's mistake! Can you imagine the trauma these people go through? Not to mention the social stigma after they get exonerated!

This course has made me realise that I could never be a lawyer... but at the same time, it has made me really interested in the justice system.

I took this course not just for learning, but for the certificate as well. Grading is currently in progress - I hope I did well enough to get a distinction!

2) Social Psychology:

I love psychology so, so much. And this course has made me love it even more. Full of interesting facts, subtle humour, mind-boggling puzzles and very, very difficult assignments... Social Psychology is one hell of a ride!
I have learnt so much about my fellow human beings in the past few months, all thanks to this course and its amazing instructor.
A lot of renowned psychologists have shared their resources with us, which means amazing video lectures and interesting psychology books to read! I've heard that Social Psychology is actually Coursera's most popular course, and I don't doubt it for even a second.

I'm not taking this course for the certificate, so I haven't done all the assignments. They're very tricky, and I honestly don't have enough time to juggle college and all my courses. So this course is purely for fun.

3) Introduction to Forensic Science:

Growing up, I used to watch a lot of CID. And my favourite part in any CID episode (other than "Daya, darwaza todo!") was when they would go into the forensic lab to analyse evidence. The same goes for when I play Women's Murder Club on my laptop - the forensic aspect is the best part of those games.
So when I heard about this course, I immediately decided to pursue it. It only started a month ago, but I've learnt so much about DNA, decay, blood spatter and time of death. This course is exciting and educational at the same time - which is what learning should always be.

Again, I'm not doing this course for the certificate. Partly because it probably won't have any utility in my career, because... well, in theory, I enjoy learning about blood. In real life? That stuff makes me sick.
But it is a lot of fun to imagine that one day I could help an ongoing investigation and then become a detective. You never know what life has in store for you, right?

4) Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade (Fundamental English Writing):

This one hasn't started yet. It's a very basic course, and it's going to focus on grammar, editing and (of course) writing. I think I'm probably an intermediate writer, but I feel like it would be good for me to go back to the basics and see if I've missed out on anything that a good writer should know.

I will be taking this course for the certificate. I hope that works out well!

5) An Introduction to Marketing:

This course starts in a month.
I did a marketing project in school and I really enjoyed the process. I'm going to have an option between Marketing and Finance in my final year of college. Currently, I'm leaning towards Marketing based on my understanding of the subject. But I have no idea what a college-level course would be like, and whether I have an aptitude for it or not.
Taking this course would be like a test run. If I enjoy learning about marketing, and if I'm good at it, that decision at the beginning of third year would become much easier. And I'll do better in class, too!

I probably will take this course for the certificate. I'm not sure, though. By the time this one starts, Social Psychology would have ended, but I'd still have Forensic Science, English Writing, and my college courses to do. Depending on my workload, I'll decide later.

I'm glad my sister introduced me to Coursera. It's given me so many opportunities to learn subjects that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to learn. I could never study Forensic Science in an actual college, because I didn't study Science in my last two years of high school.
And I don't think there are any colleges in India that would let me take such diversified classes - psychology, writing, law, science, marketing... online education is so flexible!

There are no boundaries to learning, Geeks!
Check out this website and let me know what you think of online education. Which courses would you pick, and what are you planning to study in college? The comment box awaits you.

Happy learning! Bye!


  1. As always, the gifs are awesome! Specially the Sheldon one.

    I will definitely join Coursera next year. Social Psychology and Creative Writing are on my list too, and since I want to be a lawyer, any subjects related to law would be great. Forensic Science sounds good too! :-)

  2. I too took up a few courses on Coursera and I loved them. Time is my only constraint. I would have taken up many more courses otherwise.

    1. Same here! There are so many courses I still want to take, but I just don't think I could handle them all.

  3. I loved this post and all the GIFs. :D
    I'll probably take up "Wrongful Conviction" as an archived course in November (which seems to be around the corner). I've also enrolled for "Terrorism and Counter Terrorism" and one about American Constitutional Law. An archived course that I've signed up for is "Human Trafficking". This one was suggested by a friend (yes, this time not "friend", if you get what I mean) here. Boy! Was I glad or what to know that someone here knows about Coursera and EdX.

    Check out EdX, too. I registered myslef for their Justice course in March 2013 but, well, time's a bitch. :P But do check out one video of Justice course. It's available on YouTube. :D

    1. Thanks, Rosh!
      Wrongful Conviction is amazing. I think you, especially, would love it.

      I'll check out EdX and that video as well. :D


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