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Course Review: Time Management Fundamentals

Teacher: Dave Crenshaw
Length: 2h 51m (course link)

I decided to enrol in the learning path Improve Your Organizational Skills because I am not the most organised person. Sure, I’ve done courses and read books on the subject in the past, but they never really stuck. I also tend to adopt habits of those that I live with. These habits work for them but don’t work for me. I hoped to learn at least a couple useful methods for addressing my shoddy organisation habits going in but I prepared for a non-event.

Time Management Fundamentals is the first course in the path and addresses three areas: Space, Mind and Time. From the beginning, Dave Crenshaw considers how we can reduce switch-tasking. Dave Crenshaw considers how we can reduce switch-tasking. You might have an idea of the inherent problems in switch-tasking already. For those that don’t, let’s just say that it isn’t an efficient way to finish your tasks.
I was a little sceptical initially but over time, the methods made a lot of sense. Within the day, I was able to implement many of the suggestions. I still have a way to go, but uncluttering your life goes a long way towards helping free up time that can be used for other things. I still have a bit of work in the email uncluttering department but I feel like I am in a lot better place than where I was before I did the course. To say that I got something out of this course is an understatement. I was able to implement many of the methods discussed immediately. This is where a lot of other books and courses on the subject fail miserably.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to make better use of their workspace and time. You can get a bit more of your sanity back in the process as well because you are less likely to rummage and forget things. If this appeals to you, give the course a run and try to implement the methods discussed.


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MOOC Review: Big Data for Better Performance

Provider: Open 2 Study (Australia) [course page]

English: A climate map of Australia.

English: A climate map of Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lecturer: Bud Keegan
Subject: Business / Marketing
Delivery: Intake-based asynchronous study 
Completion Date: 10/06/2013

Description: Bud Keegan teaches us how Big Data can be used to predict customer demand and inclinations.

Strengths: When I first started this course, I was tossing up which courses to drop from enrollment due to take constraints. I am glad I chose to continue with this one because the subject matter was presented in a manner that offers relevance for a number of areas, including disease prevention and treatment. Keegan offers up a heap of real-world examples of Big Data in use in really neat ways.

Weaknesses: My only complaint, if you can really call it a complaint, is the way that the lecturer holds his hands during many of the topics. More of a issue with style preferences, and one that doesn’t in any way take away from the really interesting material he is presenting.

Conclusion: If you are new to the concept of Big Data as I was going into this course, then you will likely come out of the modules with a real understanding of how Big Data can be applied to real-world situations and problems. This is relevant as much to the consumer as it is the large company looking to improve its performance as well. It also poses numerous questions regarding how we can protect ourselves from people using that information for nefarious purposes.

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MOOC Review: Financial Literacy


Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

Provider: Open 2 Study (Australia) [course page]
Lecturer: Peter Mordaunt and Paul Clitheroe
Subject: Economics
Delivery: Intake-based asynchronous study 
Completion Date:10/01/2013

Description: Financial Literacy discusses the various ways that we can take control over our own finances after first teaching people some basics as to how some of the systems work.

Strengths: A lot of the material covered offers some smart alternatives for folks whose finances are in dire shape. While Peter Mordaunt is the main lecturer for the course, Australian financial adviser and mild celebrity Paul Clitheroe does offer up some advice of his own in the first module. Though I don’t necessarily agree with Mordaunt in some areas, especially his advice to make special use accounts, his suggestions do have logic behind them.

Weaknesses: While the material offers smart alternatives, it does assume that most people that have for example a credit card make uninformed or dodgy choices, not that surprising given how many people are in dire financial shape due to poor decision making. Peter Mordaunt is also a little difficult to understand at times, but is otherwise a pleasant bloke.

Conclusion: Financial Literacy offers folks with a solid foundation for making smart choices about their financial situation, something that is especially valid at a time when the financial markets is unsteady and many people live with heavy debt.

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