When I graduated college a few years ago I thought I was done with class forever. Never did I think, only a few short years later I would be volunteering to go to class even without earning credit or working toward a degree. I’ve began to realize I miss learning. Sure, I’ve read books here and there, but it isn’t the same as the structured learning of a class. Classes enforce deadlines for homework, assignments, and make sure that learning occurs at a reasonable pace. I needed that. I also missed the discussions and sharing thoughts with other people who shared the same desire to learn as you do.
I strongly believe that the direction the world is heading requires life long learning. Learning shouldn’t stop when you earn your degree.
So with this in mind, I decided to check out Coursera after a few people I work with highly recommended it to me. I was pretty hesitant at first, but ultimately I decided to enroll in the Machine Learning class taught through Stanford just to check it out. So far I’ve been pretty impressed. Coursera does a good job of organizing the content and provides a good framework for learning. The discussion forums are easy to search and seem to be used quite a bit by the students enrolled in the class. The assignments are challenging, but not obscenely difficult. I’ve managed to ace all the homework and assignments so far. I’d say the material probably isn’t as hard as it would be if you were to take the class at an actual University, but it does provide a good introduction to the topic.