Seq15Oct12: Mailed October 3, 2012.
Members of Mechanical MOOC nation,
The rise of the Mechanical MOOC is nearly upon us–just days from now the gears will begin to turn. Here’s some idea of what to expect:
How It Works.
Once a week, Mechanical MOOC will send an assignment message to your inbox. Each message will reveal great resources that exist on the open web. No new content is being created for this experiment–rather, the Mechanical MOOC will be combining open materials to make relevant packages just for you.
Mechanical MOOC warns that this is an experiment–the content from the different tools may not sync up exactly. We encourage to you explore the resources MOOC gives you, and the open web.
In each message, the MOOC will signal your attention towards some combination of:
- Selected readings from the course text, How to Think Like a Computer Scientist
- Video from MIT’s 6.00 Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
- Exercises from Codecademy
- Homework sets from 6.189 A Gentle Introduction to Programming Using Python
And you always want to go to:
- OpenStudy’s forums if you have questions, are struggling or just want to chat with other MOOCers.
The Mechanical MOOC will present the materials in a recommended order, but really you can attack them in whatever order you prefer–though it will almost always make sense to do the homework last.
— Important: The Mechanical MOOC will not grade homework. In most cases you can check your own work using the Python interpreter. If you get stuck or can’t come up with a correct answer, ask for help on OpenStudy. Remember, the goal here is to become a great programmer, not to submit a bunch of correct answers.
What I Do If I Encounter a Problem?
Mechanical MOOC encourages you to see problems as learning opportunities. To wit:
- If there’s a technical problem with the site, email the Mechanical MOOC at email@example.com.
- If you’re stuck and want a quick question answered, consult OpenStudy’s forums.
- If you’re looking to discuss the problem or work through it with other people, email your fellow MOOC cluster members.
Soon, young MOOCians, this shall be you:
Mechanical MOOC thanks you for your valor thus far,
— The Mechanical MOOC
The Mechanical MOOC’s A Gentle Introduction to Python is a collaboration between Peer 2 Peer University, MIT OpenCourseWare, OpenStudy, and Codecademy. For this course, Peer 2 Peer University has developed an email scheduler that coordinates student activity across the participating sites to facilitate collaborative learning. This email was generated by the scheduler. For more information, please visit http://mechanicalmooc.org. For questions regarding the logistics of the course, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.