An email floated around at my work a few weeks ago about some free online courses offered by Stanford University. Coincidentally, I recently read the Wired magazine article about a free online class experiment initiated by Stanford professor, Sebastian Thrun. Thrun has since started a company to continue offering courses taught by top professors. It looks like the experiment has gained some traction at Stanford. The Venture Lab began offering a course this past spring and it attracted over 40,000 students around the world.
Five courses are offered this fall. I opted to take A Crash Course on Creativity. The first lecture consisted of some reading and a video. The first assignment was about getting to know our teammates and find out what we all have in common. The assignment had to be submitted as a team. There wasn’t much info on the format of the submissions. My team started communicating by email and a Google Docs spreadsheet to list our interests, hobbies, etc. When one person asked how we would present our submission, a Venn diagram came to me right away. I started a Google Docs drawing and invited the rest of the team to join in. We finalized the drawing at a Google+ hangout (my first!) and I volunteered to turn in the assignment.