The Linux Foundation's Introduction to Linux starts on August 1st on the edX platform. Coursera has a course on Web Application Architectures and another on Algorithmic Thinking starting later in the month.
These three caught my attention by being among the ten most popular MOOC's starting in August in Class Central's latest MOOC Report. Don't be misled, however, these are not the only Computer Science MOOCs and online courses that are ongoing or will start in the next few weeks.
There's not much information about LFS101x:Introduction to Linux apart from the fact that it is taught by Jerry Cooperstein of the Linux Foundation, has an estimated workload of between 40 and 60 hours, and it is for
"experienced computer users who have limited or no previous exposure to Linux, whether they are working in an individual or Enterprise environment."
The latest edX post encouraging sign ups states:
Get to know the penguin and the operating system that powers Google, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter and Amazon, 94 percent of the world’s supercomputers and nine out of 10 of the world’s stock exchanges. There are over 8,000 employers currently looking for Linux professionals.
This, and the fact that it is Linus Torvald's himself in the promo video has led to loads of interest - there had already been 140,000 enrollments by the beginning of June, but how many will turn up in class or stay the course is another matter.
You have the option of earning a Verified Certificate for $250 or taking the course for free, in which case you can receive a free certificate by participating in all the course activities and submitting work which is satisfactory.
There's already a complete syllabus for Web Application Architectures which is a 6-week course on the Coursera platform, starting on August 11th with an estimated workload of 6-9 hours per week. It is taught by Greg Heileman of the University of New Mexico who explains in this video that students will learn how to design, build and deploy web applications and that it is a rigorous course with homework and programming exercises. There is the option of a Verified Certificate, which costs $49 or a free Statement of Accomplishment for successful completion.
What isn't mentioned in the video is the extent to which the course uses the Ruby on Rails framework, which is a factor that perhaps explains its popularity.
Also on Coursera, Algorithmic Thinking is an 8-week course taught by Luay Nakhleh, Scott Rixner and Joe Warren of Rice University. Starting on August 25th, it is part of the Fundamentals of Computing Specialization, which entails completing three course and a Capstone project and requires that you pay $49 per course for Verified Certificates. You can also study it for free and earn a Statement of Accomplishment.
In the video Luay Nakhleh explains what is meant by algorithmic thinking and points out that it is the second course required of all computer science majors at Rice.