What are MOOCs?

How do I register?

To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.

How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?

MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

» Browse more Sociology courses

10 out of 10 people found the following review useful

3 years ago

This was a great interdisciplinary course, relevant for all thinking people.
I have a background in economics and social science (two major applications of model thinking) and thus I was familiar with some of these concepts (e.g. prisoner's dilemma). However, the content was still 75% new, and totally fascinating. Som
Read More

This was a great interdisciplinary course, relevant for all thinking people.

I have a background in economics and social science (two major applications of model thinking) and thus I was familiar with some of these concepts (e.g. prisoner's dilemma). However, the content was still 75% new, and totally fascinating. Some highlights, that I still remember 8 months later:

- A Standing Ovation model that helps to describe patterns via a specific example of when audiences stand up after a performance based on where they are sitting & internal preferences...provides insights into tipping points

- A simple application of modeling Diversity, by conceiving of it as having different starting points on a terrain while searching for a global optimum. If there are local maxima, you may get stuck on one of them, but with more starting points you are more likely to find the global optimum. Dr. Page has a book on this, and it is an interesting abstract demonstration of the benefit of diversity.

- Cellular automata, a modeling method of having a grid of cells follow very simple rules about whether to be active or not, based on its neighbors. It is remarkable the kinds of results you can get from very simple rules. You can have simple patterns, complex ones, repeating or seemingly random chaos, from very small alterations, which is very non-intuitive. This helps demonstrate how very simple dynamics can lead to very complex phenomena.

There were several more gems in the course I still remember, such as the forest fire model, the urn model of colored balls, Markov chains, etc., all of which illustrate and shed light on some social phenomena. Drawbacks? It does rely on quite a bit of math--not complex, but there are lots of calculations, which might turn some people off. But the over-arching point of this is that when you see how the math works, you get a better feel for how the phenomena work.

This course has definitely changed the way I think about things, it should be a pre-requisite for understanding the world in the 21st Century.

I have a background in economics and social science (two major applications of model thinking) and thus I was familiar with some of these concepts (e.g. prisoner's dilemma). However, the content was still 75% new, and totally fascinating. Some highlights, that I still remember 8 months later:

- A Standing Ovation model that helps to describe patterns via a specific example of when audiences stand up after a performance based on where they are sitting & internal preferences...provides insights into tipping points

- A simple application of modeling Diversity, by conceiving of it as having different starting points on a terrain while searching for a global optimum. If there are local maxima, you may get stuck on one of them, but with more starting points you are more likely to find the global optimum. Dr. Page has a book on this, and it is an interesting abstract demonstration of the benefit of diversity.

- Cellular automata, a modeling method of having a grid of cells follow very simple rules about whether to be active or not, based on its neighbors. It is remarkable the kinds of results you can get from very simple rules. You can have simple patterns, complex ones, repeating or seemingly random chaos, from very small alterations, which is very non-intuitive. This helps demonstrate how very simple dynamics can lead to very complex phenomena.

There were several more gems in the course I still remember, such as the forest fire model, the urn model of colored balls, Markov chains, etc., all of which illustrate and shed light on some social phenomena. Drawbacks? It does rely on quite a bit of math--not complex, but there are lots of calculations, which might turn some people off. But the over-arching point of this is that when you see how the math works, you get a better feel for how the phenomena work.

This course has definitely changed the way I think about things, it should be a pre-requisite for understanding the world in the 21st Century.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful

3 years ago
**completed** this course.

Wonderful material, a rare opportunity to get a thorough overview of the topic.
It is not an easy topic, but Pr Page is a talented enough teacher to make it affordable in an enjoyable manner.
You can breeze through this course in a couple of hours, but the topic, in my opinion, requires a lot more work than advertise
Read More

Wonderful material, a rare opportunity to get a thorough overview of the topic.

It is not an easy topic, but Pr Page is a talented enough teacher to make it affordable in an enjoyable manner.

You can breeze through this course in a couple of hours, but the topic, in my opinion, requires a lot more work than advertise to really benefit from the learning.

A great course, a great opportunity that you do not want to miss to have a wide and thorough overview of most of the model families currently in use by economists, physicists, anthropologists, sociologists, and your beloved government in the control of the masses.

There is no other place to find all this information in gathered one source.

It is not an easy topic, but Pr Page is a talented enough teacher to make it affordable in an enjoyable manner.

You can breeze through this course in a couple of hours, but the topic, in my opinion, requires a lot more work than advertise to really benefit from the learning.

A great course, a great opportunity that you do not want to miss to have a wide and thorough overview of most of the model families currently in use by economists, physicists, anthropologists, sociologists, and your beloved government in the control of the masses.

There is no other place to find all this information in gathered one source.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful

3 years ago
**completed** this course.

"Model Thinking" was the first, and still one of the very best, courses I've taken via www.coursera.org.
I'm an engineer with a strong background in quantitative analysis. I've taught Operations Research at the MBA level, and so was skeptical that I would learn anything new or significant from this class. I
Read More

"Model Thinking" was the first, and still one of the very best, courses I've taken via www.coursera.org.

I'm an engineer with a strong background in quantitative analysis. I've taught Operations Research at the MBA level, and so was skeptical that I would learn anything new or significant from this class. I was wrong. Almost every week yielded a new revelation. It was eye-opening. Thanks to Professor Page I now have a whole new stack of analytical tools in my toolkit. I highly recommend this class, regardless of what you think you know or don't know about modeling social, business, or physical systems.

I'm an engineer with a strong background in quantitative analysis. I've taught Operations Research at the MBA level, and so was skeptical that I would learn anything new or significant from this class. I was wrong. Almost every week yielded a new revelation. It was eye-opening. Thanks to Professor Page I now have a whole new stack of analytical tools in my toolkit. I highly recommend this class, regardless of what you think you know or don't know about modeling social, business, or physical systems.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful

4 years ago
**completed** this course.

I'm currently taking this class and really enjoying it. It wasn't what I expected at all -- I thought it would be more based on physical science and math rather than social sciences -- but that is my fault for not reading the explanatory materials more carefully. Nevertheless, I have to say I have had some real insight
Read More

I'm currently taking this class and really enjoying it. It wasn't what I expected at all -- I thought it would be more based on physical science and math rather than social sciences -- but that is my fault for not reading the explanatory materials more carefully. Nevertheless, I have to say I have had some real insights from the lectures. I enjoy how ideas from many different fields are stitched together.

Dr. Page presents with clarity and a high energy level. The materials a high qualtiy. Really enjoying this.

Dr. Page presents with clarity and a high energy level. The materials a high qualtiy. Really enjoying this.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

4 years ago
**completed** this course.

This was my first MOOC and it hooked me in a big way. Professor Page keeps it fresh, interesting, and challanging throught the course. I found out that I was using models for most of my life without knowing it. He absolutly made me better at it (the more models the better, I got it Professor).

I never anticipated that the experience would be so rewarding.

I never anticipated that the experience would be so rewarding.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

3 years ago
**completed** this course.

A broad introduction to a diverse collection of useful models for thinking about the world. You will need a bit of algebra, but the course is not math-intensive. Great lectures. Over and over, I found myself saying "That's fascinating!" One of my favorites

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

3 years ago
**completed** this course, spending **30 hours** a week on it and found the course difficulty to be **medium**.

i learn more about the systematic thinking after completing this course. and would be able in future to understand any matter in model thinking.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

2 years ago
**dropped** this course, spending **3 hours** a week on it and found the course difficulty to be **medium**.

Very interesting but in my case just didn't had much time to do it. But i recommended anyway. I will try again in a further session.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

4 years ago
**completed** this course.

Very well taught by an enthusiastic and entertaining teacher. I learned a lot and would be excited about any available follow up.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

4 years ago
**completed** this course.

high quality material with real life application.

Dr Page presentation is highly enjoyable.

recommended for all levels.

Dr Page presentation is highly enjoyable.

recommended for all levels.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

3 years ago
**completed** this course, spending **2 hours** a week on it and found the course difficulty to be **easy**.

A very nice beginner level course with a lot of useful concepts which have a very wide range of applications.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

3 years ago
**completed** this course.

Best MOOC I've completed out of 35

Definitely changed my way of viewing the world

Definitely changed my way of viewing the world

3 years ago
**completed** this course.

The way the course touches each subject lightly is fine for me. The wide variety of models described, the examples given and the way the theory is explained is well executed. All in all the subject matter is quite easy.
What I don't like is that sometimes the speed is brought to a halt because long lists of examples o
Read More

The way the course touches each subject lightly is fine for me. The wide variety of models described, the examples given and the way the theory is explained is well executed. All in all the subject matter is quite easy.

What I don't like is that sometimes the speed is brought to a halt because long lists of examples or numbers are summed up from the sheets that do not really help understanding the subject. This probably is just a personal annoyance.

The quizzes seem to test if I can remember what the teacher said, instead of making me think and apply the knowledge I just acquired.

Very easy.

What I don't like is that sometimes the speed is brought to a halt because long lists of examples or numbers are summed up from the sheets that do not really help understanding the subject. This probably is just a personal annoyance.

The quizzes seem to test if I can remember what the teacher said, instead of making me think and apply the knowledge I just acquired.

Very easy.

2 years ago
**partially completed** this course.

Great course. It opened my mind to many new ideas that I didn't knew existed. The topics are so varied that unfortunately the contents don't have much depth, but Dr. Page teaches you just enough for you to start learning on your own about whatever topic picked your interest. Highly recommended!

4 years ago
**completed** this course.

I took the class last year. It's one of the best courses that I have done so far. Prof. Scott covers political, economical, business , and many other models. It's amazing how different fields are connected.

2 years ago
**completed** this course, spending **4 hours** a week on it and found the course difficulty to be **hard**.

The professor has a distinctive communication style combining approachability with rigour. It sneaks in some maths. Good access given to supplementary research papers

3 years ago
**completed** this course.

Models rule the world. We need models to make sense of the ocean of data that is being produced. This is a very gentle and interesting introduction to a very important topic.

3 years ago
**completed** this course.

Very useful insight on model approach to different situation .. help understand the world with the eyes of statistics logic and maths. Very straightforward!!

8 months ago

Awesome course. Professor Page is a great tutor, trying and showing models, what are they for and displaying a big mind map of this economical area.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

a year ago
is taking this course right now, spending **3 hours** a week on it and found the course difficulty to be **medium**.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

2 years ago
**completed** this course, spending **3 hours** a week on it and found the course difficulty to be **medium**.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

2 years ago
**completed** this course, spending **6 hours** a week on it and found the course difficulty to be **hard**.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

3 years ago
**completed** this course, spending **3 hours** a week on it and found the course difficulty to be **easy**.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful

3 years ago
**completed** this course, spending **2 hours** a week on it and found the course difficulty to be **easy**.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful