Friday, September 21, 2012

Coursera courses researchers here might find useful

We've posted a lot here about Coursera and other online higher education platforms. I certainly believe these courses should be a part of the training and research environment of our evolving research center. I dont believe these courses are a substitute for a full-year MA programme in a relevant discipline in a good university (that might change). However, I think they offer a remarkable opportunity to develop or refresh important skills and learn about domains that are important to our work here. I will certainly be talking to any graduate student or RA I am working with about which of these might be useful. Below are some pointers for now. Would be interested to talk to people offline about what they have found useful or not so useful.

1. The course on scientific writing starts next week. I really recommend this to anyone. It might be particularly useful for people with very strong quantitative skills but who find report and paper-writing difficult.

2. The course on principles of obesity economics should be valuable for people working on health economics and related topics. Similarly, there are a number of courses on public health such as this one that may be useful to people working on health topics.

3. Psychology graduates who want to get the basics of economics and finance should look at some of the introductory courses under the economics section.

4. I am not sure it's aimed at graduate student level but I am sure Dan Ariely's course on behavioural economics will be worth following for a number of reasons, including to learn from how he communicates complex topics.

5. The course "Computing for Data Analysis"  also looks very useful for people working with R and related statistical packages.

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