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This version of the course -- the "Scholar" version -- is set up with lectures divided into clips, some as short as 2 minutes but others as long as 15 minutes or more. Each clip *should* begin where the previous one left off, with rare exceptions for situations where the designers of the course decided to change the order in which information was presented. I've noted that some clips appear to have the wrong starting point, so that instead of picking up at the end of the previous one, they repeat the previous one and then add more material. I assume this is due to minor errors in the implementation of this design. When I want to avoid repeating the material from an earlier clip I use the position slider in the viewer to try to find the beginning of the new clip. You can do this more easily if you take into account the stated length of the clip. For example, if the clip you're trying to watch is 7 minutes, move the position slider to where the longer clip has about 7 minutes left to run.
You might find it helpful, as I did, to watch the full lectures in order (taking written notes to improve retention), getting a few lectures ahead of the current OCW "session" before going back to the session-specific clips. Prof. Jerison delivers a really solid, logically sequenced flow of information in the lectures themselves, which provide a broader context for the recitations/exercises than just watching the selected clips for each session. When consuming the course in this way, you don't really have to worry about where you pick up and leave off, because you've already seen the whole lectures from start to finish and already understand the larger context of the clips. The full lectures can be accessed from any session's page, following the links underneath the heading: "Download the complete lectures from this course"
Excellent point. Conventional wisdom in the MOOC world is that students want things broken into smaller pieces, but there's value in the continuity provided by seeing the entire lecture. As a side benefit, you can view the downloaded video offline, and in higher resolution.
Thanks Creeksider. I've never actually downloaded the videos, have always streamed them...For my last several lectures, I'll be sure to download for better resolution! And to your earlier point, conventional wisdom probably applies to conventional students, of which I am certainly not one - I'm older than the typical student and looking to refresh my knowledge. So I don't doubt that the MOOC wisdom is correct for most students. I've just tried to decipher MOOC, using the only similar acronym I know, wich is MMORPG. So I'm pretty sure one of the O's means online, but the M probaly doesn't stand for Multiplayer - perhaps Massive or Multi-user; C must stand for Course, right? I'd ask you to enlighten me, but I'm about to google it, so I'm sure I'll get there first. Anyway, thanks again.
MOOC stands for massive open online course, a huge trend in higher education.
I like to keep a study folder on my bookmarks bar and save the last section I was studying for quick retrieval. The tips by jjslocum about taking notes for retention and viewing the whole thing ahead of time are very useful. Sometimes lately, I find it harder to retain abstract concepts until I have hunted down more information on real world application (or history behind) on what I am being introduced to. While I try not to spend too much time getting side-tracked in this sort of process, it is the reason I keep a running bookmark handy right on my browser bar.