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Pat Bowden

Since discovering MOOCs in 2012, I have completed more than 90 fascinating courses. I am keen to help others make the most of online learning, so take a look at my website: www.onlinelearningsuccess.org It is a privilege to be able to learn about a wide variety of subjects without leaving home.

Pat Bowden
Australia
Writing, science and others

Taking right now ( 1 )

Completed ( 97 )

The Science of the Solar System

Written 3 years ago
Very well presented course. Plenty of optional material for those who want even more depth of knowledge. Quite challenging for my 40-year-old high school maths and physics but oh so satisfying when I finished the course!
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course.

Origins - Formation of the Universe, Solar System, Earth and Life

Written 2 years ago
This is a comprehensive 12-week course tracing the history of the universe from the Big Bang through the beginnings of life on Earth, evolution and changes in geology and biology culminating in the emergence of primates and humans and a discussion of biodiversity.

A fascinating course!
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

Written 2 years ago
I began this course thinking I only wanted to know how to find out my ancestors' names along with their dates and places of birth, marriage, and death. By the time I finished this well-presented course, I realised the story of their lives, what they did and how they lived would be much more interesting than dry numbers and facts on the page.

The estimated hours taken each week could be easily doubled by counting the time taken researching and beginning to write my family history.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

Written 2 years ago
If you only do one online course, this should be it!

If you plan to EVER do any study, you should do this course.

If you know someone who plans to study, either online or on campus, tell them about this course. (Yes, even school students.)

Of the 70 courses I have done online, this was one of the most useful and enjoyable.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.

A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

Written 2 years ago
A fun course. Occasional exercises asked for daily updates for a week, but sometimes I had not even read the requirements until a day or two before the deadline. This problem could be easily fixed by rearranging the order of the videos or asking students to start working on the exercises as soon as possible.

And, yes, the exercises were helpful for increasing happiness levels, and many were designed to continue after completing the course.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest

Written 2 years ago
I enjoy writing but did not think writing for children was for me. On a whim, I decided to try this course and really enjoyed it. Plots for several children's books started revolving around in my head while taking this course and a new opportunity has opened up.

The peer reviews were not always helpful, as there are many non-native English speakers doing the course and guidance for reviewing was fairly minimal, but there was plenty of information to help beginner writers start a career and work towards being published.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Paleontology: Theropod Dinosaurs and the Origin of Birds

Written 2 years ago
A fascinating course that discussed the evolution of birds and convinced me that the age of dinosaurs did not end 65 million years ago.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

Mountains 101

Written 2 years ago
If you enjoy the great outdoors, stunning scenery or learning about a variety of plants, animals and geological processes, this course could be for you! Not only does it explain how mountains are formed and degraded, it also teaches us about glaciers, the water cycle, and why mountain habitats change as the elevation increases. Mountain ecosystems are visited and adaptations of plants and animals to life in the cold, rugged landscape and sparse atmosphere are described. Various specific mountains are featured in the discussion of mountains in folklore and legends. The effect of climate change on the world’s mountains is analysed. As well, each week features a short video with practical tips on a different aspect of hiking and camping in the mountains.

An interactive world map is available most weeks to locate mountains and ranges discussed in the course videos, and the weekly course notes are a handy memory-jogger of many main points. Specialists in a range of fields provide short segments and there are even visits from two well-known public figures. Although it is a 12-week course, the weekly time commitment is not large.

I thoroughly enjoyed this course.

My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Moons

Written 10 months ago
Eight weeks of fascinating information in this course. Some physics and maths but the concepts are explained clearly. You don't need any prior knowledge of astronomy to enjoy this course.

There are plenty of beautiful images of many of the more than 180 moons in our solar system, plus other supplementary information and interesting links.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

Written 9 months ago
An interesting course for people interested in genetics. There is some mathematics, especially in calculations of where on the chromosomes the genes are located.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

How To Create a Website in a Weekend! (Project-Centered Course)

Written 9 months ago
As a complete beginner to creating websites, I found this course somewhat tricky. It would instruct students to do such-and-such, but it was not always clear to me exactly HOW to do it.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course.

Extinctions: Past and Present

Written 9 months ago
An excellent course. Many people know about the end-Cretaceous mass extinction that ended the dinosaurs' dominance, but fewer have heard of the four other earlier mass extinctions. Plenty of information presented by Dr Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan and a range of guest presenters. It provides evidence of a possible sixth extinction that is starting to happen right now and ends on a positive note by explaining how we can prevent it.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Understanding Dementia

Written 8 months ago
This is an excellent course! I thought I understood the basics of dementia, but learned that it is more complex than I thought. I was also relieved to discover that we CAN do things to reduce our chances of developing dementia.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Stanford's Short Course on Breastfeeding

Written 8 months ago
Although the course does not officially open until April 16, I was able to access the videos, practice quiz and final quiz as soon as I enrolled. It took me nothing like the recommended 7 hours to complete the course. The videos are short, making it easy for busy mothers and their support network to watch. It is suitable for both health workers and families. If you are not sure about the advantages of breastfeeding, this course clearly explains the health and cost benefits to both mother and baby. It also shows mothers how to tell if their baby is getting enough milk and the video about managing breastfeeding when the mother has to return to work or study is great!

I would have liked the opportunity to join more discussions, apart from the "set" discussion topics on several course pages. Also, I would have liked to see more details to actually encourage the baby to open the mouth wide for a good latch onto the breast. This crucial point was mentioned, and many mothers will be assisted by health professionals straight after the birth, but if the baby is reluctant to open the mouth wide, it can lead to difficulties establishing and maintaining breastfeeding.

Apart from these minor points, I thought the course was well presented and suitable for anyone expecting a baby. Don't wait until the baby arrives to start learning about breastfeeding! Although the body naturally produces milk after birth, the mother and baby both need to learn how to most easily breastfeed.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course.

Discovering the Instruments of the Orchestra

Written 8 months ago
This was a good course, but a few tweaks could have made it a great course. Many students (myself included) had trouble with question 5 of the first week's quiz and there were many comments in the class forums about it. No action was taken. No responses from staff were posted as far as I could ascertain. When I did the course a few months ago, the answers were available, so I knew how the question should have been answered. Now the Show Answers button seems to have disappeared, adding to current students' frustration.

Another thing that would have improved this course would be to simply add a short closing video. It really felt unfinished.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 12 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Perform at Your Best: Foundations of Performance Psychology

Written 8 months ago
If you have trouble performing well in stressful situations, try this course! It is aimed at musicians who already know technique and how to practice, but (like me) tend to fall apart during a performance.

One expert who is featured in several videos trains elite divers for competitions. Even before he was introduced, I thought this course would be useful for sportspeople and public speakers who feel nervous in pressure situations, as well as musicians and actors.

Several useful techniques are taught and the weekly assignments are designed to improve performance.
My rating
Pat Bowden is taking this course right now, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Preventing Dementia

Written 6 months ago
While age is the biggest risk factor for the development of dementia and genetics may play a small part, a number of lifestyle and health issues are also involved. This four-week course explains what we can do to reduce our risk of dementia.

It is reassuring to know that it's never too early and never too late to work towards lowering our dementia risk. Take this course and "Understanding Dementia" to find out how!
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

MalariaX: Defeating Malaria from the Genes to the Globe

Written 6 months ago
Interesting course aimed at people working in the field of malaria elimination. The course briefly describes the malaria life cycle in the human host and the mosquito vector, then discusses many available and possible future strategies to reduce its incidence and transmission. Some prior knowledge of cell biology and DNA coding is useful, but absolute beginners could probably follow the course enough to pass. Many assessment questions focus on how to minimise the disease in several hypothetical countries.

Specialists in various fields are featured. Many of the concepts discussed could also be useful for other mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika virus.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

生活英语听说 | Conversational English Skills

Written 3 months ago
I looked through this course as research for writing an article on learning a language online.

As a native English speaker, I thought this course was very well presented for learners of English who already have some knowledge and want to cope in an English-speaking culture. Suitable and unsuitable conversation topics are discussed as well as how to ask people to talk more slowly if you have trouble understanding.

Some topics covered:

How to greet people, both formally and informally.

How to make conversation by asking people about their interests and family.

How to discuss your own hobbies and interests.

Food from different cultures.

Although made by a university in China, this course is suitable for anyone from any country wanting to travel or live in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand or other countries where English is spoken widely.
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)

Written 3 months ago
I am still working on this course. It is well explained and easy to follow for beginners. The lecturer makes programming easy, at least in the first few weeks of the course.
My rating
Pat Bowden is taking this course right now.

Elements of AI

Written a week ago
The overall and weekly course objectives were stated clearly, much more clearly than many other courses I have explored.

The course had lots of reading, including extra links to other pages. There were no videos. Each chapter’s material consisted of three pages, but they were long pages full of comprehensive information. It was an excellent introduction to just what AI is and the implications in today's society of the many applications of AI both now and into the future. The assessments were unforgiving, with only one attempt available for most questions. I made basic mistakes in some answers but managed to pass the course quite comfortably.

I found the course surprisingly interesting!
My rating
Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

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