Doing the MOOC, ‘Becoming Human: Anthropology,’ was an intense experience. Not only did I get a chance to put my strong commitment to open education principles to the test, but it also required me to learn very quickly. Taping forty lessons in a week in a studio was greuling, but I learned a lot.
The feedback from the course has been quite good, but we’ve also managed to make some improvements.
I am so excited about taking my first course here – it was more to challenge myself, and answer a question that has nagged at me for decades – I never had the opportunity to study academically (my parents travelled and my education was spotty to say the least) but I often wished I could have, and wondered if I could have gone on to college or university – or was I kidding myself and simply didn’t have the application or confidence to have achieved anything worthwhile? Now in my ‘third age’ (which sounds better than old age) I finally have the time to seek the answer. This (and starting at rock bottom with math, never my best subject) is my way of exloring my ability to learn.
To say this course has been worthwile is an understatement. The tutor was a revelation to me – is this the kind of teaching I can have missed? He is brilliant, warm, completely coherent and makes every effort to reach the individual through the videos. I have vague recollections of schools I scrappily attended, and teachers shoving me to the back of the room with a book, never talking to me directly or trying to engage with me or assess what I already knew – I could read, that was all they needed to know. I always dreamed that education would open new doors for me, and it failed throughout my childhood even to let in a crack of light. But here I have discovered that I can learn, and dream, at the same time. The greatest reward is the courage and confidence to go on, find other courses and fill my head with knowledge.
I can only say thank you, Open2study and Greg Downey. You have no idea what this means to me. It may not seem like a great achievement, but to know I can learn and comprehend and pass a course is a gift.
Other evaluators haven’t been as elaborate, but they’ve also been really grateful and I’m just so happy to see that people in a lot of places and situations are finding the material interesting and engaging:
Greg Downey you made each and every topic in all the modules so interesting. Thank you, I really enjoyed the course. I haven’t studied for a long time and feel most fortunate I am able to learn this way. I hope the next course I take will be as good. Thank you again Greg Downey.
This was a terrific course. Associate Professor Downey had a great way of explaining things. I loved the glass blackboard (and the artist) and I especially loved Prof Downey’s comments after each quiz question. I thought I knew a bit about human evolution but this has opened my eyes to a lot more and has encouraged me to pursue further study on the subject. Well done, Prof Downey and Open2Learn. Thank you for a great course.
Brilliant introduction to both Anthropology and Study. As an older and first time student i now feel confident that i can further my knowledge in Anthropology. I feel quite proud of myself! Loved watching Prof. Greg Downey! He makes even the the most confusing topics a piece of cake 🙂
I really loved taking this course. The amount of ground it manages to cover in just 4 weeks worth of modules is quite incredible. I’m actually going to be studying Anthropology at university next year and cannot wait to get started – Becoming Human has really helped remind me why I chose this fascinating subject. Thank you very much Prof. Greg Downey for the engaging and highly enjoyable content.
For more on the reception of Becoming Human, see this post about a recent story on the Macquarie University teaching weblog, Teche.