Thursday, June 13, 2013

This week's MOOCs

YouTube Creator Academy With YouTube Creator Academy done and dusted ->

it's time to move on to:

HRP258 Statistics in Medicine

This looks interesting, runs on the Stanford OpenEdX platform, and uses R. 8-12 hours a week is a big ask for the next 9 weeks though, so I'll be cherry picking as usual.  Very very xMOOC, no hashtag as far as I can see. My personal ILOs for this mooc are:

  1. A gander at this implementation of the the OpenEdX platform
  2. To improve my statistics knowledge
  3. To improve my R skills

Unit 1: Descriptive statistics and looking at data

I like the fact that all the content is there at the outset of the course, enabling self-paced progression. I particularly like the way the discussion is linked to the mini-lectures on the same page rather than residing entirely in a distant forum. The graphical navigation bar above the videos is a bit cryptic, it took me a long time to find the quizzes for each section:

HRP258 Statistics in Medicine

The R exercises are tagged on as optional extras, which is fair enough as not all participants will want them. However "For this course, we will be using R almost exclusively through the Deducer [package]." This is evil as I don't want to downgrade from R v3 to R 2.3 as required by this package installer. I can understand why this has been done but I won't be using Deducer as it is way behind in terms of R versions and compatibility with current versions of Excel is unknown. I'm not against using a GUI for R, but Deducer isn't the right one. Sad face. I will try to do as much as I can in this MOOC with R alone to achieve my personal ILOs.

The format of the Unit 1 Question Set is good - varied and makes full use of the web interface. Slight downside, a couple of the questions are ambiguously worded.

Marks for HRP258 Unit 1: 6/10. A solid start with room for improvement.

Progress towards my personal learning objectives:
  1. A gander at this implementation of the the OpenEdX platform: Excellent.
  2. To improve my statistics knowledge: Very good - in general, this is well taught.
  3. To improve my R skills: Slight.

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