domingo, 6 de enero de 2013

A Retrospect

A guinea pig student.
Last February 2012, an alumni sent to me an email telling me that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology would start a web course on Circuits and Electronics. For a week or two  I was very skeptical about enrolling; after all I was not a Circuit Analysis professor neither an Analog Electronics lecturer. However, To become a MIT student, even an online guinea pig student, was very challenging. By the beginning of March, I had already signed up. At that very moment I did not have any idea of the amount of effort that decision would demand on me. But I was resolved to be a MIT 6.002x student, to finish at the top, and to get the diploma.

I sent several emails to fellow professors. I told them about MIT web experiment. Only one of them signed up. By their own, some students,  full of enthusiasm, decided to enrolled. They kept that decision almost secret. They did not want to be bother by their peers with nerdy stigmas. At the end of the course five students and two professors finished it, all of them got A's.  One of our students got a perfect score.

MOOC's Advocate.
By May 2012 6.002x became EdX. I transformed myself in a kind of MOOC advocate. If 6.002x enriched my life it could do the same to others. So I started campaigning to take advantage of this new distance education initiative. I visited different classrooms. I talked with fellow professors. I visited several campuses. I traveled several cities. I talked to a physician friend (regarding PH207x). I gave a talk to a program for gifted students; where the viceminister of science and technology was present. Even I proposed, without success, to our local IEEE branch chairman to have a contest; and to award a prize to the university that enrolled and managed to get more students approved on Circuits and Electronics.

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