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Virtual Classroom

 

(SERENITY NGUYEN/The Stanford Daily)

As professors experiment with online courses, students who aren’t physically on campus can now work toward their undergraduate degrees in front of a computer. In fact, some of these courses are free of charge and open to the public.

 

Last quarter, professors offered three of Stanford’s most popular computer science (CS) courses−Machine Learning, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Introduction to Databases−to the public at no cost. Andrew Ng, Sebastian Thrun and Daphne Koller Ph.D. ’94, all computer science professors, taught the three courses, respectively. More than 100,000 students participated in the machinery and intelligence courses.

 

“I was excited to have the opportunity to reach a far larger number of students,” Ng said. “At Stanford, I teach a machinery class of about 400 students. One way to put that is that in order to reach out to 100,000 students, I would have to teach at Stanford for 250 years.”

 

The idea of online CS courses first started in January 2010, when Koller decided to transfer her lectures online to use class time for interactive activities. Students reacted positively to the change in electronic course evaluations.

 

“The lecture component has been shifted over to this online medium with these interactive, automated systems, and in class we do activities that make better use of the fact that I am there with these students in the same room at the same time,” Koller said.

 

The transition to online courses has the potential to benefit students who are interested in studying abroad or participating in projects that take them off campus.

 

Paul Kim, assistant dean of information technology at the School of Education, stressed that online courses allow students to participate in extracurricular activities off campus while taking courses with Stanford faculty.

 

“You could be working for a refugee camp in northern Uganda while communicating with the faculty at all times,” Kim said.

 

In addition, Kim said that the online courses enable the University to make more of an impact in terms of the sheer quantity of people it can educate. According to Kim, open course content from other elite universities is already educating millions of people today.

 

Kim predicted that any online university affiliated with the University in the future will continue to educate only a small percentage of all Stanford students, and the University’s physical campus will maintain its importance.

 

“When you bring in people who can brainstorm with our finest faculty members, their collective knowledge augmentation and generation process can lead to much more timely and meaningful global impact,” Kim said. “That’s why a physical campus is still important.”

 

In terms of implementing an online university, there are virtually no technical challenges. According to Kim, the main problem is that people are unwilling to change existing perceptions of what a classroom should look like.

 

“There is a resistance to adopt and enhance the new mode of learning in traditional education settings,” Kim said. “Many traditional educators do not consider learning online valuable and do not invest time to learn new methodologies. If it does not look, feel or sound like a classroom, it may not be considered a classroom for them.”

 

Learning Management System, Course Management System, video capturing and streaming tools such as ClassX and Open Classroom are some of technological tools available for professors teaching online courses. However, these tools do not exclude the possibility that students will cheat. Enforcement of the honor code still remains a challenge.

 

“Quiz questions were randomized so that every time you took the quiz you got a different set of questions,” Ng said of his course this past fall. “Randomization makes it more difficult to cheat.”

 

In the future, it might be possible for students to fulfill pre-med requirements while conducting research in the Amazon or attend lecture while on a flight to a football game. With the ability to take classes through the Internet, it will be easier for students to engage in educational and recreational experiences outside the campus limits.

 

The momentum behind increased online learning is evident in a number of recent developments, including the recent revamp of Stanford on iTunes U and the recent findings of the Study on Undergraduate Education at Stanford (SUES).

 

“We must be entrepreneurial in our approach to teaching and technology, just as we are in regard to research and technology,” the SUES report stated, recommending the creation of clear protocol on teaching material and a Learning Technologies Lab to assist faculty and students, in addition to dialogue on the best practices of online course delivery and course management and the integration of third-party services.

 

“Technology will certainly enhance the learning experience and also expand new possibilities for a variety of different types of new learning,” Kim said. “Technologies of all types and shapes will be used to optimize and maximize learning for students of all regions and ages anytime, anywhere around the world.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    I bring the case to the public because as a human being, anyone has the responsibility to crack down
    such a murder case which includes killing the innocent; and what’s more, Eric Schmidt had directed such a murder to threaten me for sake of Sebastian Thrun, as well as had tried an unsuccessful plotted murder on victim(me) during their fight with authorities over this case (Fascism by nature).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    As far as I understood, Sebasitan Thrun had tried to cover up his involvmented with May Zhou’s case on the questionable suicide theory in official authorities conclusion.
    However, after I pointed out major flaw of suicide theory, authorities no longer insist it’s suicide, but accept that May Zhou’s case is a plotted murder. As I further point out that it is people on Sebastian Thrun and Eric Schmidt’s side who murdered May Zhou for Thrun’s sake to threaten me and to terrorize Stanford.
    I’d tell more when those who’s responsible for this case have questions about my saying my contact: [ peter_vista@yahoo.com ]

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    This is actually a war between fascism and anti-fascism. At this stage, fascism still prevail in our lives. Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun are just two forefront people we can see in this fascism circle. There are whole pack of fascists behind them.
    Anyway, Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun’s names are not clear in Stanford Student May Zhou’s death, as well as their conspiracies on my life at later time, and neither Eric Schmidt nor Sebastian Thrun dare publicly deny his involvment into such crimes. But without clarification of this case, the criminal suspect side had committed more and more retaliatory crimes on victims. Can anyone deny this fact?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    Sucide theory in official conclusion of May Zhou’s case is definitely wrong. May Zhou’s case is a plotted murder. I’d tell why when the ones who who drew that suicide theory contact me directly 

    I have clearly pointed out major flaw of such suicide theory in my web blog [ http://tysurl.com/HsEERS  ]

    I believe the ones who drew suicide theory know my challenges, but he/she could not point out major flaw in my challenge, nor would contact me directly for more serious discussion to clarify major suspicious points we all have in mind.

    Sebastian Thrun and Eric Schmidt’s side is now depending on such questionable suicide theory to cover up their real crimes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    Censorship on my comments would only make people more curious of what’s going on, and people would  believe in what I said more.
     
    ————————–
     
    Isn’t it a fact that Sebastian Thrun dare not clarify his name in Stanford Student May Zhou’s death, as well as plot on my life at a later time, and Sebastian Thrun dare not deny to the public his involvment into such crimes till today. I am still waiting to see why he dare not.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    For Sebastian Thrun’s side, you don’t want to threaten another person’s life with the death of student from your own school. You don’t want to terrorize your school boss with the killing of student from your own school. That’s absolutely unforgivable. You never feel regret of what your side had done, and that make it even more unforgivable of you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

     It started from a 2004 Stanford campus assault case, in which a lady named Gabriele Scheler bitterly assaulted me; Police concluded that I am a victim while Scheler is a criminal suspect after serious investigation; However Sebastian Thrun later joined Scheler to false accuse me at Stanford, and Eric Schmidt had joined them to support Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler against ruling from Stanford and police. During their tough fight with Stanford in the early 2007, Eric Schmidt and Sebasitan Thrun’s side had murderred May Zhou to threaten me, by telling me: “You see May Zhou, she’s an Asian (me too an Asian), … Police might not even find out who did it, what if it happened to you?” , and to terrorize Stanford (because May Zhou is Stanford student), and they did plot a murder on me as well last year when they found I would not compromise but insist on clarifying their crimes

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    … … …

    The logic and evidence used in the initial official report to draw the conclusion of May Zhou’s death as suicide are superficial and inconvincible. e.g. the major evidence used to support official conclusion of suicide is on the finding that May Zhou had bought some sleeping pills before her death. But that evidence is too weak (she might as well buy that amount of sleeping pills for use of the whole academic quarter), which could easily be challenged by other evidence, as there is a big gap between buying sleeping pills and committing suicide; at least that would not explain why May Zhou would transfer money to pay off credit card debt before her disappearance According to media report, Stanford police had spent hundreds of hours interviewing all of May Zhou’s friends and relatives but found no indication that May Zhou had the tendency to commit suicide. The official conclusion of suicide in May Zhou’s case had not clearly stated the motivation behind May Zhou’s death either. The evidence found on scene like empty sleeping pill bottles, empty water bottle, flash light, etc., these ostentatious evidence are superficial, which could be staged by anyone with average capability and average intelligence to make it look like a suicide. And obviously the criminal intended to stage those evidence to mislead investigators to draw the conclusion of suicide, which the criminals succeed so far.
    … … …

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    For Sebastian Thrun’s side, you don’t want to threaten another person’s life with the death of student from your own school. You don’t want to terrorize your school boss with the killing of student from your own school. That’s absolutely unforgivable. You never feel regret of what your side had done, and that make it even more unforgivable of you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    … …

  • concernedNetCitizen

    Now peter.. you’ve been posting these comments on everything you can find.  But I have read what you have to say and you.. well say nothing.  Can you provide a motive?  You say the evidence to support suicide is superficial, yet provide no evidence to the contrary apart from he-said she-said comments about how you were threatened.  If you think you have evidence (and i mean physical evidence) to the contrary why do you not take it to the police, or at least post what evidence you have (and I mean PHYSICAL evidence like fibres, DNA, fingerprints and the like).  Baselessly slandering someone over the internet on every forum and blog you can just makes you come across as someone who is either an online stalker (in which case, maybe you had a motive to kill this poor girl), a sociopath, maybe even a psychopath or just someone with an axe to grind against google.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    @concernedNetCitizen,
    First of all I’d rather confirm your real identity. I’d rather talk such serious issue with the person who’s officially responsible for this case, are you?

    Second, most of your questions had been answered in my posters/blogs and I’d rather you read again. As one of the victims of their crimes, I am being cursed by powers behind those criminals for many years. My motive is clearly stated that I want to clarify these anti-humanity crimes to the public and have those fascism criminals concurred at authorities, as these criminals are covered up by now.

    Official explanation of suicide in this case is far from being convincible. I have clearly pointed out in above poster why the evidence to support suicide is superficial, which part you don’t agree? About how I was threatened had been described in words in the poster below. Just read carefully. About physical evidence, they are not always limited to ‘fibres, DNA, fingerprints and the like’. I’d provide convincible explanation and tell evidence to the contrary, but I got to talk to the one who’s officially responsible for this case to tell more serious stuff ( to be continued …)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BDMGSDJFPKKJYMVT5L3YALM4U Peter

    @concernedNetCitizen

    Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun had already got Google’s name into these anti-humanity crimes. They had put a stigma on Google, not me. I am not anti-Google, but anti-fascism, and we all know such anti-humanity crimes would not be tolerated anywhere in this world, neither in Google. I believe Google people would also be thankful once these anti-humanity crimes concurred.

    I dare publicly challenge because my saying are confirmed by authorities investigation, while Sebastian Thrun dare not defend his name beacause he feel guilty in these crimes.

    So it looks not only would I have to fight against those criminals, but also have to fight against powers who’s trying to cover them up.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EMMAXYMEHQNU6LYF5M42TC57SM Peterming

    concernedNetCitizen,Go through links in my web blog listed above, there are real names, dates, photos and details of events along with a police case number, on what basis would you say my saying is baseless slandering? Can you have Sebastian Thrun come here to directly deny any part of such accusations? I can’t count on your words to judge Sebastian Thrun. That’s the point.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/36WPGPPP4NGRSIQMJUEZRMAL3Y Peter

    Go through links in my blog listed above, there are real names, dates, photos and details of events along with a police case number, on what basis would you say my saying is baseless slandering? Can you have Sebastian Thrun come here to directly deny any part of such accusations? I can’t count on your words to judge Sebastian Thrun. That’s the point.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/36WPGPPP4NGRSIQMJUEZRMAL3Y Peter

    real names, dates, photos and details of events along with a police case number are listed  in my web blog link above in the [ Look-inside-dumbfounded ] part, which is at the bottom of the blog page.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2KO3BIWVRJ6NDGCUZ7OVRLM4QI Peter

    First of all I’d rather confirm your real identity. I’d rather talk such serious issue with the person
    who’s officially responsible for this case, are you?

    Second, most of your questions had been answered in my posters/blogs and I’d rather you read again. As
    one of the victims of their crimes, I am being cursed by powers behind those criminals for many years.
    My motive is clearly stated that I want to clarify these anti-humanity crimes to the public and have
    those fascism criminals concurred at authorities, as these criminals are covered up by now.

    Official explanation of suicide in this case is far from being convincible. I have clearly pointed out
    in above poster why the evidence to support suicide is superficial, which part you don’t agree? About
    how I was threatened had been described in words in the poster below. Just read carefully. About
    physical evidence, they are not always limited to ‘fibres, DNA, fingerprints and the like’. I’d provide
    convincible explanation and tell evidence to the contrary, but I got to talk to the one who’s officially
    responsible for this case to tell more serious stuff

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7ZHHXIL2CQOG5YS23HZAEVZ5GA Peter

    @concernedNetCitizen,
    About your ARROGANT question “If you think you have evidence (and i mean physical evidence) to the contrary why do you not take it to the police, or at least post what evidence you have (and I mean PHYSICAL evidence like fibres, DNA, fingerprints and the like).” ————————————————– I am not physically in America, so I’d rather communicate with the police officer who’s respnosible for May Zhou’s case via email tell serious stuff, my contact [peter_vista@yahoo.com] , or we could discuss it right here on this board. Before the officer who’s responsible would contact me for a serious discussion, how could you know there is no such PHYSICAL evidence to say May Zhou’s death is definitely a murder but not a suicide? As a matter of fact, such PHYSICAL evidence already exists and that’s what I am going to tell.

    The point at this time is, who is this officer who’s respnosible for May Zhou’s case, whom I should talk to? Could you have me connect with him/her?