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April 20, 2010 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Help me find the best of itunesU/open advanced course materials with special snowflake request

Please help me generate a list of best courses/or a particular class in itunesU.

This weekend the New York Times had an extensive series of articles discussing, reviewing, and listing online courses freely available at itunes (Itunes U).

Although I’ve been a big fan of podcasts, I really wasn’t aware of the vast amount of material in there. Some of the ones recommended by the times…I didn’t really like or they seemed a bit too basic. However I have found a couple really interesting courses (e.g, Ben Polak’s “The Game Theory”, or UCTV’s “Science at the Theater”, and in particular, the Dark Secrets class). I'd love to find more and I don't want to go through all of them, so I'd rather poll the hive as to what they have listened to and would highly recommend.

Now for the special snowflake part.

Here is what I like:
• Material presented at a rapid pace (if the person is talking slowly, or drawing slowly on the chalkboard, you can hear lots of breathing…gone)
• Material that is beyond what you would encounter in a beginning level class (the material in the above courses are far beyond what I ever encountered in a 1st year uni course) – actually if possible, please exclude intro/first year level courses (I could rarely attend them when I was an undergrad). Before this happens, I actually don’t like the TED lectures that everyone suggests – just not enough material and it just barely touches on a subject.
• Video is helpful .if it includes just a few words, a basic graphic to make a point.
• I’d be ecstatic if it were very challenging (I may need to listen to it twice or think about it to get it – are there itunesU courses or lectures like that?)
• It would be great if the material is organized (each class has a unique title versus a big list of lectues called class 1,2,3,4 etc (this is a dream list, right?)

I am going to make a request to exclude psychology and biology (includes anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, medicine, genetics) – I actually love this material but have already completed undergrad courses, grad courses, and beyond, and at this point I get much more by picking up the actual journal articles and reading them.

My education in regards to other topics is rather limitted IMO, so this is also where you come in ... are there courses/topics that you look back and say "that changed the way that I think"? Please throw it on the list.

Asking the hive because I can’t peruse ALL the courses in itunes. If you can let me know a little bit about what the courses/lecture is about and why you like it, that would be helpful, too.

Thanks. Too little time and a billion podcasts and itunesU courses.
posted by Wolfster to Education (2 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Since you left "free" off your list of explicit requirements, you might want to check out The Teaching Company. Most of their courses meet your requirements.
posted by ES Mom at 4:46 PM on April 20, 2010

i've never watched the accompanying podcasts, but i've taken or at least sat in on these great yale courses (and yeah, i loved ben polak and am in that video at some point)
Death with Shelly Kagan-- extremely engaging professor
American novel since 1945 with Amy Hungerford-- obviously you'd have to read along
Theory of Literature with Paul Fry (I don't believe that this can be successfully taught without doing the reading, but who knows)
Financial Markets with Ben Shiller-- absolute classic
all of these courses are available in video and audio and I believe the quality is top-notch.
posted by acidic at 8:23 PM on April 20, 2010

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