Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe MOOC

The first of the Australian National University’s edX Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), started today "Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe" (ANUx: ANU-ASTRO1x). I signed up for this and "Engaging India" (ANU-INDIA1x: ), which starts 29 April 2014. Previously I have tried MOOCs and have not found them a very satisfying experience, as a student. So I thought I would try two newer ones, from a leading Australian university, to see how the state of the art had improved.

The astrophysics course  started with a welcome message to the students, inviting use to watch a video. Unfortunately my home bandwidth is limited, so I clicked on the link in the email which took me to the course website to read the introduction. However, under the headings "Course Updates & News" and "Course Handouts" I couldn't find any content. It seemed odd that neither the welcome video, nor a text alternative (as required under Australian anti-discrimination law) was provided.

So I then went to the "courseware" page, which asked me for a user-id and password. It is some months since I signed up and could not remember the password, so I requested this be reset. So far the reset email has not arrived. So the only Great Unsolved Mystery so far with this course is "where is the content?". ;-)

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