This week we brought you the news that iversity launched with 24 available courses, so now it’s time to bring you a video prospectus of some of the service’s most interesting courses on offer.
Just like Coursera, iversity is a completely free learning experience that delivers the educational goods via video lectures, discussion and assignments; all of which are planned and delivered by lecturers at some of the world’s top universities. If you’ve been thinking “I could study that”, but don’t have the funds or nearby institution, iversity might be just up your street.
Here are 5 of the most interesting newly launched courses, sign up by clicking the Enrol With Email button to get started.
If you’ve ever been engrossed in a TV show to the point of analysing the minute details that make up narrative, character relationship and plot development then The Future of Storytelling might just be the course for you. Led by Professor Winfried Gerling of the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany; this interdisciplinary program offers a crash course in writing your own engrossing narratives.
As well as the obvious storytelling and serial techniques, this course looks at methods used in storytelling for video games (using interactive elements), role playing games and even alternate-reality gaming. The course runs for 8-weeks, with this first outing concentrating solely on fictional storytelling.
If there’s one thing many of us have wised-up to in the last year, it’s the fact that we completely lack any sort of watertight cyber security. While many people have presumed for years that governments have been spying on us, the brazen nature of PRISM and the NSA spying scandal removed any semblance of ignorant bliss.
This course takes a closer look at how the issue of privacy, security and government surveillance ties together with regards to basic human rights. Dry, geeky and oh-so-important, this is an 8-week course that’ll have you reaching for your tinfoil hat in no time.
“Let’s make stuff” says Design 101 course leader Stefano Mirti, and that’s exactly what you can expect from this exciting-looking course aimed at budding engineers, designers and those with a creative flair for making things. The course requires a little bit of work each day (“the quicker, the better!” so says the brief), but more to the point it requires you to actually use your hands.
A course designed to inspire and get the creative juices flowing as much as it is about learning new things, Design 101 takes the principles of online learning and collaboration, culminating in a three-day festival in Berlin where finished designs will be exhibited to the public, this is surely one of the most exciting free online courses available today.
Not only are they pretty, crystals are found all throughout nature and many continue to be fascinated by them. Their beauty, their symmetry and their development are all examined in detail in this course with instruction from Dr Frank Hoffman of the University of Hamburg, a chemist and x-ray crystallographer.
Whether you’re fascinated by the aesthetics, symmetry or the shapes that give these structures their unique strength and properties, this course should provide some interesting insight into crystallography.
DNA defines who we are. It can help trace ancestry, solve crimes and reveal potential health problems. Scientists are increasingly turning to DNA in order to research and attempt to cure diseases and mutations that show up through our genetic code, and that’s exactly what this course is all about.
If you’re wondering what gene therapy involves, why a cure for cancer simply isn’t that easy and exactly what are those strands of DNA that make up our very beings, then this course (which requires no specialist knowledge or qualifications) will help you understand.
There are a total of 24 inaugural courses for this “Coursera of Europe”, and while most are in English there are a good selection of German courses too. If you don’t sprechen Deutsch then you can wait for more to be launched, along with translations to non-English courses which should arrive in good time.
It’s early days for iversity, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction for free online learning and empowering those with a thirst for knowledge using the Internet – I can’t really think of a better use than that.
Have you signed up for any iversity courses? Have you studied with Coursera before? Let us know what you think in the comments below.