MEDIA RELEASES

University of Queensland makes course free and online to 70 000 students

28 February 2014

Australia’s first not-for-profit online university course, “Think101x: The Science of Everyday Thinking”, launches next Monday 3 March.

The University of Queensland (UQ) course will be offered alongside the world’s best massive open online courses (MOOCs), through Harvard and MIT’s edX platform.

The course, which has already attracted 70 000 enrolments worldwide, is being offered free to anyone and aims to explore everyday thinking – why people believe weird things, how they form and change opinions, and how we can make better decisions.

Dr Jason Tangen and Matthew Thompson say that they have created something very different to traditional live or recorded university lectures.

“Topics range from hindsight to horoscopes, and from subliminal messages to placebos, and students will hear from 22 of the top thinkers on the planet,” says Dr Tangen.

“We’ve travelled the globe to ask these experts: what advice can you offer to those who want to improve their everyday thinking?”

In their quest, they’ve travelled throughout the UK, US, Canada, and Australia to interview the likes of the Mythbusters, memory expert Elizabeth Loftus, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, and cervical cancer vaccine creator Ian Frazer.

“It has been an amazing opportunity to meet and talk with these exceptional thinkers—it’s certainly taking the course to another level,” says Thompson.

“We want our students to realise that knowing how to think is far more important than knowing what to think”.

Think101x goes live on 3 March, which is the first day of classes for a group of 200 students atUQ who will take both the online and the campus-based course.

Students enrolled in the UQ course watch videos and write quizzes on edX, alongside the tens of thousands of people around the globe, before coming to class each week.

“The online component frees up the time of the lecturers and tutors so they can concentrate on the content of the live sessions, which is far more engaging than sitting in a lecture hall,” says course producer Emma MacKenzie.

Every week of the UQ course, the Think101x team will film highlights of the live class and bundle its “on campus’ segment with the 12 online episodes on the edX platform.

“The whole idea behind Think101x is to give the best online experience that we can, and the best offline course experience at UQ that we can,” says MacKenzie

CEO of edX, Anant Argawal, who recently visited Australia to meet with those involved at UQ  was impressed with the course.

“It is exciting to see MOOCs of this quality such as Think101x coming out of Australia and from our partner The University of Queensland”.

Dr Tangen says that this is just the beginning for Think101x.

“We want students to think better and, ultimately, we want them to have the tools to change the world”.

The course takes around one hour per week to complete, and anyone can enrol by registering here: https://www.edx.org/course/science-everyday-thinking-uqx-think101x-1

 

Massive course to feature the world’s brightest minds

8 January 2014

The Think101 team will travel overseas today to two continents, and ten cities to collect interviews for their course The Science of Everyday Thinking.

The team will travel to the United Kingdom and the United States over the next three weeks interviewing a range of people from Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel in economic science, to the MythBusters.

Think101x is offered through edX, the not-for-profit massive open online course (MOOC) provider founded by Harvard and MIT.

Dr Jason Tangen and Matthew Thompson, who are researchers in expert decision making, are designing the course to be very different from traditional university lectures.

Our aim is to offer the best online experience that we can imagine,” Dr Tangen said. “We’re meeting with 21 leading thinkers from across the world to discuss everything from hindsight to horoscopes.”

The MOOC goes live on 2 March, which is the start of semester at The University of Queensland (UQ) for 150 students who are signed up for the campus-based course.

Students enrolled in the UQ course watch videos and write quizzes on edX, alongside the tens of thousands of people around the globe, before coming to class each week.

“Putting the course material online allows us to devote more class time to exchange ideas, debate issues, and provide immediate, and thoughtful feedback,” said Thompson.

Every week of the UQ course, the team will film highlights of each class and bundle them with the 12 online episodes on the edX platform.

“We are offering the best of both worlds: the best online content featuring international experts, and the best live and interactive experience with discussions, debates, demonstrations, and activities that are designed to reinforce the content,” said Emma MacKenzie, who is the producer for Think101.

MOOCs like Think101 are free, open to anyone, students do not need any previous education or experience, and can participate as much or as little as they would like.

“What we want at the end of the course is for our students to realise that knowing how to think is far more important than knowing what to think,” Mr Thompson said.

Think101xwill officially launch on 2 March with the full list of interviewees released shortly before. Follow the Think101 team at: facebook.com/Think101x

 

From hindsight to horoscopes: UQ offers landmark “thinking” course to millions through edX

Registration for “Think101x”, a free online course on the science of everyday thinking, is now open. The University of Queensland course is offered through edX, the not-for-profit massive open online course (MOOC) provider founded by Harvard and MIT.

Dr Jason Tangen and Matthew Thompson, who are researchers in expert decision making, are offering a course that is very different from traditional recorded lectures.

“Think101 is about everyday thinking, so there won’t be anyone wearing a lab coat or standing in front of a whiteboard or bookshelf,” says Thompson.

“We’re filming real arguments at the dinner table and the pub instead.”

The course explores how people form and change their opinions, and provides tools to think better, argue better, and choose better.

Topics range from subliminal messages and placebos, to cancer clusters and miracles.

“We want to challenge people to be more curious,” says Dr Tangen. “Knowing how to think is far more important than knowing what to think.”

Think101x is open to anyone, and no previous experience or education is required. The course starts in March 2014 and anyone can register at edX.org.

 

IN THE NEWS

UQ News, Alumni & Community, 2 May 2014: “Amazing facts you would know now if you were enrolled in Think101x: the Science of Everyday Thinking. Read here. 

Westside News, 5 March 2014: “Course explores everyday thinking”. Read the article on page 12 here.

ABC 612 Mornings, 4 March 2014: “Think101x: Interview with Jason Tangen and Matthew Thompson”. Listen here.

The Australian Financial Review, 3 March 2014: “MOOC watch: Inside the flipped classroom”. Read here.

The Australian, 3 March 2014: “Huge headcount for everyday thinking”. Read here.

UQ News, 28 February 2014: “More than 70 000 sign up for UQ’s first free Massive Open Online Course”. Read here.

The Australian Financial Review, 28 February 2014 “New wave of Australian MOOCs about to go live”. Read here

The Australian, 22 May 2013: “See change: University of Queensland joins the online revolution. Read here.

UQ News, 21 May 2013: “UQ joins the world’s elite to enhance global access to its teaching and research expertise”. Read here. 

 

CONTACT

For interviews: Contact Dr Matthew Thompson on +61 401 204 295 or mbthompson@gmail.com

Course registration linkhttps://www.edx.org/course/science-everyday-thinking-uqx-think101x-1

Video: Please link directly to our YouTube video. If linking is impossible, a high quality version of the video is available for download [think101.mp4].

All of the media on think101.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.