Tuesday, 5 February 2013

G+C: Module 7

So just one module this week, and quite grateful for the respite too. After the week was done, it was revealed that the instructor had gone down with a case of 'flu, and so was not available to record more videos.

This week was very interesting.
It started with some discussion of baryons, and where they are and what they're doing.
Then onto two videos on dark matter, the history and what it might be.
Then we worked on gravitational lensing, followed by a another on gravitational microlensing.
This week concluded with a module on dark energy.

So about 63 minutes in all. I got 8/10 on the quiz, so slipping from the original 10/10 days!

Interestingly they revealed some course stats today. The course started with more than 28,000 students registered. This is quite mind boggling. I'm use to a few hundred on the OU courses, maybe a thousand or two for the most popular. Apparently the drop out rate is very high - given you haven't paid for it, or anything like that, there isn't any penalty for dropping out. Coursera work on 5-10% making it through to the end.
This is a difficult course, with some quite scary maths in it, so if anything the drop out rate may be higher.

At nearly the half way point, there are more than 3,500 active users still present, so that's quite amazing.
Anyway - there is no wonder there are no written courseworks to be marked!

I'm quite staggered how popular this course in a rather niche subject is!