May 10, 2017

Who the hell is teaching herbalism?

This was my first thought as the occasion came up lately to join watching and interacting in an MOOC about herbalism together with my mother-in-law. Well I knew at that time that there are programming or language courses, but a two hour lesson about herbals and their benefits? I mean herbals are great they have indeed much more benefits you can imagine, but why such an massive online course? What kind of people are joining this course, and, as I already mentioned, who the hell is teaching herbalism in a massive open online course on a Friday night? Good thing that I've decided to give it a try, I really haven't expected to use this experience to write a blogpost a few weeks later, but I guess that's what we call a lucky coincidence.
So I don't really remember who exactly was teaching this course, but the team consisted of a herbal specialist, who was talking 90% of time, and an assistant who actually just described some graphics from the PPT – the remaining 10 %. However the main topics of the course were: a) introduction & why herbs? b) popular herbs, where you can find them and in which season c) benefits d) side effects (pro & contra) e) different receipts and other forms of usage f) an interactive round of questions via chat cache g) References and Advertisement to further courses There was a live-counter how many people were simultaneously participating and I was very impressed that this „Herbalist" successfully entertained 300 people on average, especially considering the time, the place and the topic. So I don't know who exactly was watching, but according to the question round, I come to the conclusion that there were more women participating than men and of course, the viewers probably all have been across Austria and Germany By the way did you know that there is a small village in East-Asia with the highest rate of centenarians in the world whose staple food consists of rice, vegetables and seasonal herbs? Me neither. Although I was very distracted in the first place, but it actually turned out as a very informative course and I have to say I learned quite a bit – the fact that I am still remembering a few things from this two hours, which have been weeks ago, tell me it can't be that bad. Maybe I should stop attending to university and continue watching this MOOC's – Just kidding, the point is, that they are maybe not the best way to teach something to something but they're legit. It really depends on the topic and the way it is presented, respectively how watchers can interact and join the course, I guess, but if the individual parts sufficed the desired standard it is surely not a mistake to use time for it and maybe learn something new. In addition to the course I've watched, I've already generated two ideas which kind of course I would be rather interested in joining. The first one would be a statistical analysis course with R, from installing to programming to analyse the output, the other one would be about game designing, which is for me not really working related but still very interesting. I hope you enjoyed this post about MOOC's and don't forget: Herbals can save your life! (Because it was unexpected: here you got a short video of a turtle eating herbs instead of screenshots)


  1. -> the promised turtle

  2. So how can I start – the formatting is very bad – but beside that what's your problem with herbs? I don't think there's a big difference to languages or programming.
    Can you really not find out who was teaching the course, even afterwards?
    Can you at least find out the name of the village in east Asia or the country?

  3. After reading your nice blog post, I have several questions: What exactly is herbalism? Was it a scientific course? What do you think, who was the intended target audience for the course? Moreover, could you please provide a link to the course?