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The Process

The Process
The process of this course is important, and if you have done MOOCs it shouldn't be substantially different, but I'll emphasize some key aspects. So, the first process is, that it'll be on demand, meaning it'll be self-paced. I have experimented with structured classes on-demand classes, and so on, and this class will be self-paced so that you have the time and the luxury of doing it at your own pace. Especially for an introductory class you want…you don't want to feel like you're behind. You want to take it at your own pace, keeping in mind that about six weeks should be sufficient if you're able to spend about five to ten hours.
There's a lot of developments in higher education where we're trying to take content delivery outside the class and one of the things that I spoke about earlier was how focused you can be, in a format that is seemingly constraining, right? Like the videos. For example, I feel like I'm talking to you. I really feel that! So it doesn't really matter whether I'm talking to thousands of people, or one person, because that's how I think, and the beauty of the camera and the way I'm talking to you, if you of course like it, is that it can be very focused. So there'll be videos, and they have worked pretty well in my experience, not just with me, with other people.
But what I'm going to do is I'm going to make them shorter, into bite-size pieces, but they'll be organized like chapters, so think about it as one chapter per module, or one chapter per week. Again, I'm using module, and modules and weeks synonymously. What are the supporting materials? Now it turns out I want to do this for free, I want you to have free access to the content. Now if you get into certification and want to sign up for a certificate, that does have a small fee, but the course should be freely available to you. One other thing that happens is that, we cannot use textbooks, or we should not. They cost a lot of money.
But there is a digital free textbook produced by one of my colleagues who have known for a long time at UCLA, University of California - Los Angeles, and what he has done is, he's made it available online, so what you can do is, you can read it online but you can't print, and so on. So please follow his copyright instructions very carefully, but it is available if you read the chapters. What I also do is I'll give you minimal notes, and why do I do minimal notes?
i It's because I have realized that actually, you making your own notes by watching the videos, or reading other content, you're always free to read whatever you want, I hope that's the case always, in fact I would encourage you to kind of go beyond the videos. But what's, what I'm highlighting here is make your own notes. I'll give you notes only when they are most efficient to do, but not, I think note-taking is extremely valuable for learning because it should be your take away, not mine, eventually. My goal is to empower you, not make you dependent on textbooks, and videos. You make your own notes, and run with that.
finally a couple of things that are extremely important to my class, and I want to highlight them. I got a lot of feedback saying my assignments in the introduction to finance MOOC were very difficult. Now these assignments for this class will be more accessible, right? Because that's the goal it's Finance for Everyone. However, some of the assignment problems have to be challenging, because the world's problems are challenging. So regardless of whether in high school as I said, or College, or retired. Whether you're a man or a woman, you want to address issues that can be addressed, right? So if the problem defines itself as being a little more complex than the first Finance 101, I'm going to take you there.
But I will do so in a very engaged way. As I mentioned earlier, I do a whole module on applications of Finance, very early on, which I don't do in the other programs, to make it accessible to you, but the point I'm making is, every week there will be an assignment. And this is extremely important. The assignments will be graded electronically, and they have been created by me and my colleague Qin Lei, and they're, I think, very interesting. But you can get frustrated, so please go back and forth between the videos, and the way I solve problems and then, take on challenges and do more complex problems. It will help you learn. Every week they'll be graded. Finally one
comment about the process: I know this has been a controversial issue, as to whether forums or MOOCs are used lot or not. My take on it is, even if I were five of you are using it and getting value out of it, why not? It is very low-cost way of interacting with each other, and I found that a lot of activity in the forums is of very high quality but it's not as if everybody's participating. So, although you shouldn't feel compelled to go to the forums, I think you need to, go to the forums if you are stuck, because one of the things we cannot do, is provide opportunities for direct interaction with the faculty and teaching assistants.
We are trying to work things out using technology, and the reason why you can't have direct faculty and teaching assistants as I say, I love you all, but it's almost impossible to interact with each one of you, one-on-one, and what we're trying to do is combine technology with very well-designed courses and assessments, so that you can go very far. And higher education where I am, it will then be pushed to do really high-quality face-to-face interactions. I hope you understand that. So learn from each other not just from me.
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