Often equated to the revolution sparked by Gutenberg’s printed word, the MOOC is providing worldwide access to the most advanced ideas fueling human progress.
“This is part of going global. All the best universities are there,” explains Ronit Lis-Hacohen, Managing Director of the Technion International School. A MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is not a repetition of the traditional class given in the lecture hall, but a whole new form of education, she says. MOOCs have a dual impact – not only online, but also on traditional teaching methods. Increasingly, the online course brings focus and precision to course conceptualization, while students have the option of studying in and around their term-time activities.
“Educate the masses, elevate their standard of intelligence, and you will certainly have a successful nation.” – Alexander Graham Bell
There is even the possibility, demonstrated by Prof. Danny Levine, to flip the classroom: giving the MOOC as homework, and leaving the space of direct interaction with students in person for problem-solving, discussion and in-depth exploration of the subject matter. “It works perfectly and the average grade rises,” says Lis-Hachohen.
One of the exciting MOOCs that was recently launched by Technion is given by Prof. Michael Elad on Sparse Representation Theory (Sparseland), the first session presents basic theoretical ideas of sparse representations, and the second connects this model to applications in image processing.
Prof. Elad of the Computer Science Faculty, has made sharp inroads into the emerging field of Deep Learning together with his dynamic graduate team. Last year they introduced unprecedented theoretical foundations to the field of Deep Learning, explaining many of the important aspects of multi-layered neural networks.