These March MOOCs cater to faculty, IT admin, and your STEM students

MOOC-March-freeWith all the MOOCs available today, including the number of platforms and higher-ed institutions offering courses, it’s sometimes difficult to navigate the most credible—and most interesting—MOOCs that can cater to your institution.

In the interest of saving you time, the editors of eCampus News have aggregated 10 new, free (and often generating a lot of buzz) MOOCs that apply to not only students interested in topics such as digital imaging and robotics, but to IT staff looking to integrate the best mobile apps for campus, and faculty looking to develop their online teaching skills.

For example, this list includes MOOCs, all available in March, that range from “Google Ninja,” which helps attendees become masters of all Google programs, to “Teaching Online,” which discusses the challenge of designing and facilitating online courses with a diverse student population. Look for other courses on Computer Science 101, Gamification Design, and much more.

The best part? All of the courses are free and from vetted platforms, institutions and instructors. This story is the first roundup of our new monthly series that will bring you up-to-date on the MOOC courses you can’t afford to miss.

Know of any MOOCs coming up? Any favorite MOOCs still available that you’d like to recommend to your peers? Be sure to leave your comments in the section provided below the story, email me at, or find me @eSN_Meris on Twitter.

(Next page: March MOOCs 1-5)

[Listed in alphabetical order]


Title: An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python

From: Rice University

Host: Coursera

When: Available now

What: This MOOC course is designed to help students with very little or no computing background learn the basics of building simple interactive applications.  Our language of choice, Python, is an easy-to learn, high-level computer language that is used in many of the computational courses offered on Coursera. To make learning Python easy, we have developed a new browser-based programming environment that makes developing interactive applications in Python simple.  These applications will involve windows whose contents are graphical and respond to buttons, the keyboard and the mouse.

More information:



Title: Computer Science 101

From: Stanford

Host: Coursera

When: Available now

What: This MOOC teaches the essential ideas of Computer Science for a zero-prior-experience audience. The course uses small coding experiments in the browser to play with the nature of computers, understanding their strengths and limitations.  Everything works within the browser, so there is no extra software to download or install. This course also provides a general background on computers today: what is a computer, what is hardware, what is software, what is the internet. No previous experience is required other than the ability to use a web browser.

More information:



Title: Gamification Design

From: Play Jugo

Host: iversity

When: Available now

What: Games have become the new normal, and the gaming industry is already more powerful than other ways of entertainment like music or movies. An average young person will spend more than 10,000 hours gaming by the age of 21—almost the time that it takes us to master any kind of skill—and yet, there’s a huge engagement crisis in many other areas. It seems like only games touch on how human motivation really works. But how is that possible? Why are we glued to games? Can we design that kind of gaming experiences in non-game contexts to make them more engaging? And the most important question: How to do so? This MOOC can help answer these questions.

More information:


Title: Globalizing Higher Education and Research for the ‘Knowledge Economy’

From: The University of Wisconsin-Madison; The University of Bristol

Host: Coursera

When: Available now

What: This MOOC is designed to help students better understand some of these complex changes. Specific objectives include:

  • Provide an integrated ‘big picture’ regarding the globalization of higher education and research.
  • Reinforce the value of thinking about processes of change by focusing on emergences—the forward edges of change—as well as the frictions associated with these processes. We attempt to make this tangible by highlighting the role of relevant logics, thinkers, institutions, networks, technologies, ideas, temporalities, and regulations.
  • Highlight the role of relative and variable forms of power in shaping agendas and practices, as well as uneven development patterns and outcomes.

More information:


Title: Google Ninja


Host: Canvas

When: Available now

What: Whether you are 13 or 113, this Google Ninja MOOC course is for you. Most people think they know how to use many of Google’s free tools, but they actually only use a small portion of what’s possible. This course will help you become a near-expert at using the main Google programs, including email and calendaring, video conferencing and chat, spreadsheets, word processing, slide presentations, drawing, survey forms, drive storage, photo editing, blogging, and much more.

More Information:

(Next page: March MOOCs 6-10)


Title: Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing

From: Northwestern University

Host: Coursera

When: March 31st

What: This MOOC course will cover the fundamentals of image and video processing.  It provides a mathematical framework to describe and analyze images and videos as two- and three-dimensional signals in the spatial, spatio-temporal, and frequency domains. Not only will attendees learn the theory behind fundamental processing tasks including image/video enhancement, recovery, and compression—but they will also learn how to perform these key processing tasks in practice using state-of-the-art techniques and tools.

More information:


Title: Robot Mechanics, Planning, and Control Part 1

From: Seoul National University

Host: edX

When: March 28th

What: This MOOC course provides a rigorous introduction to hand grasp analysis, kinematics of open and closed chains, trajectory generation, motion planning, and control of robots. The emphasis is not on the latest research trends and technological innovations in robotics, content that risks becoming obsolete in a matter of years. Rather, the focus is on learning the fundamental concepts and core principles that underlie robotics as a scientific discipline.

More information:


Title: Statistics in Education for Mere Mortals

From: Canvas

Host: Canvas

When: Available now

What: This short MOOC course will provide a hands-on introduction to statistics used in educational research and evaluation. Participants will learn statistical concepts, principles, and procedures by building Excel spreadsheets from scratch in a guided learning approach using short video-based tutorials. The course is designed primarily for two audiences: 1) educational professionals who would like to be more informed about how to compute basic statistics and how to use them intelligently in their work; and 2) first-year doctoral students who want a short and friendly introduction (or brush up) to basic statistics before taking full graduate-level statistics courses.

More information:


Title: Teaching Online: Reflections in Practice

From: Kirkwood Community College

Host: Canvas

When: Available now

What: This MOOC discusses the challenge of designing and facilitating online courses with a diverse student population. This course invites your critical reflection on the methods of online instruction; beliefs and potential bias of the online learner; policies and rules and how they align with course objectives; tone and the purpose of communication. We’ve collected readings and experiences of practice from online instructors and students to provide a foundation for discussion. The decisions they have made will help us make similar or, upon reflection, different choices for ourselves and our students. Resource materials will be primarily open web readings and videos. Participants will be asked to collaborate, share reflections, and provide guided feedback to other participants.

More information:


Title: Web Application Architectures

From: The University of New Mexico

Host: Coursera

When: Available now

What: Learn how to build and deploy modern web application architectures—applications that run over the internet, in the “cloud,” using a browser as the user interface during this MOOC. Attendees will consider the fundamental design patterns and philosophies associated with modern web application architectures, along with their major components.

More information:

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