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Australia Education Programming

Another Player In the World of Free, Open Online CS Courseware 64

Posted by timothy
from the teachers-yes-but-fewer-dirty-looks dept.
dncsky1530 writes "UNSW professor Richard Buckland, lecturer of the famous Computing 1 course on YouTube, is now running a large scale open online Computer Science course for the world. UNSW Computing 1 — PuzzleQuest and the Art of Programming starts off with microprocessors and works it way through C with interactive activities while taking students on an adventure of hacking, cracking and problem solving. It's based around a three month long PuzzleQuest with grand and suspiciously unspecified prizes as well as fame and glory for the intrepid. The next class starts December 3rd 2012."
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Another Player In the World of Free, Open Online CS Courseware

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  • Re:Richard! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @06:19AM (#42080833)

    Same!
    This is the most entertaining lecturer I ever had in my 7 years of higher educating. He does not teach programming, but rather computer science, and how to be a better thinker.
    He gave up an earlier life of making fortunes as an actuary to become a truly brilliant educator. His passions used to lie in teaching struggling students and the brightest (the run-of-the-mill are well-catered for by established systems), but I guess this is a new step in experimenting with scalability after his YouTube courses.
    Good on ya, Bucko.

  • by Half-pint HAL (718102) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @11:39AM (#42081925)

    My dad was a Chemistry teacher who was often accused of wasting time with silly stories. What he was actually doing was putting into practice the theories of David Ausubel, who proposed something called an "advance organiser" -- the teacher evokes a known and familiar concept analogous to the new concept to be taught, thus priming the brain to understand it implicitly in terms of the analogue and to approach tasks using the same strategies as it would employ on the analogue.

    It's not the simple idea of amusing with stories as an adjunct to teaching, it's an integral part of teaching. If this guy does that, cool.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @11:45AM (#42081939) Homepage Journal

    Okay, I'm not Anonymous, and I haven't taken any Richard Buckland courses.

    I have been involved with the MOOC movement since last year (Dr. Thrun's AI class), taken several online courses, and study human learning for my day job. I've evaluated and compared the teaching styles of MOOCs for my own purposes.

    From what I've seen of his work online (YouTube videos), Richard Buckland is the best.

    In my opinion his style of presentation maximizes the student interest. Regardless of the content, Richard Buckland will make learning enjoyable; he will cultivate the student's interest and perceived value.

    Coursera [coursera.org] and edX [edx.org] believe in the "learning is hard" model - they present artificial barriers and difficulties so that only the most intelligent and dedicated student will complete the course. For an example, watch the first lecture or two of Daphne Koller's "Probabalistic Graphical Models" [coursera.org] online course.

    Richard Buckland takes the view of "learning is fun", and does everything he can to motivate the students. He's been trying out different techniques over the years, keeping what works and dropping what doesn't. At this point in his career, he's got a pretty good handle on what encourages students to learn.

    I predict that "The Art of Programming" will have the highest completion rate of all the online courses.

    Of the course offerings and business models I've seen, this is likely to be the best one to date.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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