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Ryan Hoffman

EDEL 522
California State University, Fullerton
Found through Coursera
Taught by Professor Gautam Kaul from the University of
Purpose of course is to teach the basics of finance and
decision-making, along with providing tools that are necessary
for more advanced finance courses
Course runs for 10 weeks, but moves at a self-regulated pace
Consists of weekly video lectures followed by a weekly
Additional suggested reading provided
Discussion boards are provided with questions to deepen
understanding of concepts
Course moves at a self-regulated pace
I chose this course because of my mathematics background; I
wanted to deepen my understand of finance and how to
improve my own personal decision-making
As a student in this MOOC, I interacted and participated in
the course for two weeks. During my experience, I watched all of
the weekly video lectures, took notes on the key concepts, and
completed each of the weekly assignments. The first weeks video
lectures were about the basics of finance and some simple future
value computations. Having a mathematics background, I was
already somewhat familiar with these concepts. However, they
helped deepen my understanding of finance in general and helped
me tremendously with the second weeks lectures about the future
value of annuities and loans. The assignment questions were
financial computations that required the use of Microsoft Excel. In
addition to the weekly lectures, there were opportunities to join
discussions and live chats with other students to help better
understand the concepts.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience participating in the
Introduction to Finance MOOC. I believe MOOCs to be a very
useful tool for promoting IPC literacy amongst professional adults.
Prior to this experience, I was completely unaware of what a
MOOC was and why it might be useful. After just a quick search
on Coursera, I was amazed at the vast amount of free professional
development opportunities that are available at any time. In
addition, most of them offer opportunities for students to receive
certificate credit through prestigious universities offering the
courses. A major benefit to participating in MOOCs are the ability
to move and access information at a users own pace. This is
consistent with a benefit to distance education. I can honestly say
that I have taken away many principles of finance from the course
and will use them in my own life. After my summer session, I plan
to continue learning about finance from this MOOC.
MOOCS are consistent with the principles of an effective
distance education experience (interactive, collaborative,
feedback is provided, etc.)
Due to the large number of students, it takes many instructors
or teaching assistants to monitor and facilitate discussion
Assessment seems to be an issue for instructors of MOOCS
Large number of students in each class means instructors usually rely on
technology for grading
Problems must be instructor-created and cannot be taken from textbooks
due to copyright issues
A dollar tomorrow is worth more than a dollar today. Gautam
Kaul, Professor, University of Michigan