Stanford is giving the world an opportunity to participate in an Introduction to Databases course. There are many online courses, from MIT to UCBerkeley to Yale and Harvard, but this one a bit different. For a start it’s going to be live and not a podcast. Participants will get assignments, quizes and, yes, exams! All of which will be evaluated. There is even a forum and the staff/TAs will participate and the highest voted questions will get responded to by the teacher.
There are no credits or diplomas, but at the end of the course a statement of accomplishment and a grade relative to others will be given. The website is very usable and the videos even have 1.2x and 1.5x versions for the impatient or busy.
The courses start on October 10 through December 12. There are already preview videos that one can wet their appetite with. Enrollment is ongoing and as of October 3rd there are over 42,000 students enrolled. According to an introduce-yourself forum thread, there is a 15 year old and a 71 year old!
If you’ve always wanted to get some solid introduction to databases but didn’t have a chance, Professor Jennifer Widom has just given you one.
(If you know of similar live courses, please share them in the comments.)