I attended parts of a course titled AMST 246:  Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner from open source courses at Yale University.  I thought it was a pretty neat learning experience.  The course offers a complete syllabus which includes information about the professor, a description of the course, texts for the course, requirements (participation, short paper, term paper, and final exam), and the grading criteria.  There is also a link where you can purchase the required books for the course.  The next part of the course is divided into sessions.  This particular course met two times per week and had a total of 25 lectures.  All of these lectures are recorded and available to watch in full on your computer.  It was pretty cool to get to watch a Yale professor talk and teach about some of the greatest American writers.  I was not aware of the open source courses and love the idea.  It is a great way for someone to expand their learning and find topics that interest them.  It might also be a good way for a potential college student to “try out” college before making a final decision.  The video was high quality and once I got into the content, I felt almost as if I were sitting in the lecture room.  It does take a lot of time to actually complete and watch a whole course, so that is a downside.  But for someone with the time and motivation, it is a great resource and learning opportunity.

While this is definitely a great online course, it is not really what I consider online learning.  You do not receive any credit for the courses and are not required to do any of the work.  It is simply a neat way for someone to expand their learning.  It is definitely a bit different than a face to face learning environment, but with the way this course was designed, it was not all that different.  What I mean is that this course is designed as a lecture course and it easy to just sit through, learn, and take notes.  Of course, you are not able to interact or ask any questions along the way.  I did pause the lecture once to go to the internet and look up a term I was unfamiliar with.  This is similar to asking a question, you just have to answer it yourself.  Overall it was a pretty neat learning experience that I recommend checking out to the scholarly type.

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