Take a free online course this summer

Are you tired of that summer novel you planed for but never gets read? Maybe you should take the opportunity to learn something in the summer then?

Here are a few tips on free summer courses you can take via coursera.org collecting free online courses from universities around the world.

June 10th: Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps at the University of London.

For anyone who would like to apply their technical skills to creative work ranging from video games to art installations to interactive music, and also for artists who would like to use programming in their artistic practice.

5-10h/week

Moore info: https://www.coursera.org/course/digitalmedia

June 10th: The Law of the European Union: An Introduction at the Universitet Leiden

The EU is the most successful supranational legal order to which 27 Member States have transferred sovereign rights. This course explores the functioning of the unique creature that is the EU, the impact of its laws on states, citizens and companies, and the current challenges it faces.

5-8h/week

Moore info: https://www.coursera.org/course/introeulaw

June 13th: The Camera Never Lies at Royal Holloway University of London

Film, images & historical interpretation in the 20th century for those who have a general interest in photojournalism, and films based on historical events.

5-10h/week

Moore info: https://www.coursera.org/course/lyingcamera

June 14th:  Sustainability of food systems: A global life cycle perspective at University of Minnesota

This course explores the diversity of the foods we eat, the ways in which we grow, process, distribute, and prepare them, and the impacts they have upon our environment, health, and society. We will also examine the challenges and opportunities of creating a more sustainable global food system in the future.

3-4h/week

Moore info: https://www.coursera.org/course/globalfoodsystems

June 18th: Discerete Optimization at The Unversity of Melbourne

Tired of solving Sudokus by hand? This class teaches you how to solve complex search problems with discrete optimization, including constraint programming, local search, and mixed-integer programming.

10-15h/week

Moore info: https://www.coursera.org/course/optimization

June 24thThe social context of mental health and illness at The University of Toronto

Learn how social factors promote mental health, influence the onset and course of mental illness, and affect how mental illnesses are diagnosed and treated.

5-7h/week

Moore info: https://www.coursera.org/course/mentalhealth

July 1st: Online Games: literature, new media, and narrative at the Vanderbilt University

Focused on Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings Online, this course explores what happens to stories and films when they are turned into online games.

2-4h/week

Moore info: https://www.coursera.org/course/onlinegames

July 8th: History of Rock, part two at the University of Rochester

Learn about the growth of rock music, from the early 1970s through the rise of punk and disco in the late 1970s, and from the emergence of MTV, hip hop, and heavy metal in 1980s to the rebellion of Nirvana in the early 90s.

2-4h/week

Moore info: https://www.coursera.org/course/historyofrock2

Text & tip: Lisa Carlson

MOOCs, Open Access and Research Libraries

The fact that more universities join the idea to offer free courses free of charge to students from all over the world, known as Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs, creates issues concerning policys and legal matters for research libraries since they are often asked to support the development of MOOCs.

MOOCs is a form of scientific publishing because they are created by faculty in order to be used in education and research libraries should, just as they do with other types of scientific publishing, advocate that Open Access is standard for materials within a MOOC. Otherwise, the libraries end up in the same situation as with scholarly publications, they are forced to buy back the resources that were once created in their universities.

Libraries’ work to set Open Access as a default for publishing research also includes a thought concerning equal access to educational materials for students. Libraries often have two roles in this that in no way is new to them. First, to support faculty in their need for materials and resources that can be used in the courses. Second, to support the copyright issues surrounding “open” movements. This may require new or revised versions of licenses like creative commons or GNU. Materials used in MOOCs will need to be reviewed before this development includes courses at Swedish universities and other higher education. This is where libraries have the chance to put open access licenses on the material used and created within a MOOC right from the start.

Source: Massive Open Online Courses: Legal and policy issues for research libraries, Brandon Butler (2012).

Text: Lisa Carlson