Take An Online Class With No Homework For No Credit

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Eric Foner’s “Civil War and Reconstruction” and Kenneth Jackson’s “History of the City of New York” are some of the most well-known classes at Columbia, and every year, it seems half of Columbia tries to register for them. But there may be a better way. While stumbling around Columbia’s web site, Bwog discovered a cache of “e-seminars” from Foner and Jackson, along with other Columbia luminaries like Richard Bulliet and Alan Brinkley.

Watching a couple e-seminars obviously provides a different experience from attending class, for better (no final!) or worse (no midnight bike ride). The topics of the e-seminars also appear to vary slightly from the topics the professors cover in class. But even though these lectures are free and offer no credit, Columbia refuses to give them away to the public. Before watching each e-seminar, you have to log in with your UNI and password, which means your mother, brother, and second cousin can’t take Foner’s e-seminar (unless you give them your UNI and password).

Which e-seminar series should you check out first? Here are our recommendations:

And for those who miss Frontiers of Science:

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  1. No one  

    misses Frontiers.

  2. theres also  

    ItunesU also has a bunch of lectures, both from columbia and other institutions. and its public

  3. ...  

    this annoys me. while true leaders in higher education are pressing forward with more and more open access initiatives with the express purpose of actually realizing some of the noble goals of academia, columbia continues to treat lectures and course materials like proprietary intellectual property, accessible only with a username and password and often times only to those who are registered for a given class.

    how ridiculous is it that columbia tapes numerous courses every week for CVN, but on campus students only can see lectures for courses that they're registered? how ridiculous is it that as an on campus student, i can't even see the syllabi in courseworks for a course i'm considering next semester because it's "viewable by class only"?

    i mean, hell, open access is old news at this point. mit opencourseware is what, almost 10 years old now? berkeley and stanford have been posting lectures to youtube for years... at this point, the true forerunners have even taken to extending this idea of open access whereby you can even get coursework and exams graded (http://www.ai-class.com/overview) and can even ask the course staff questions, all for free, as a mere visitor on the internet...

    columbia truly has its head up its ass on this one. the world has moved forward, treating course materials as proprietary intellectual property is an incredibly dated and broken ideology. the leadership of this place needs to get with the program...

  4. why

    would I give my relatives my UNI and password?? What if they were to read my e-mails?
    Geez, sometimes Bwog doesn't get things.
    I mean seriously; imagine giving your cousin your UNI and then they read all your e-mails, like invade your privacy.
    not cool Bwog not cool

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