Friday Update (30 March 2012): Twelve new classes, several new website features, and more

There haven’t been any Friday Update blog posts recently, so a lot is new since the last one.

First, new classes:

  1. ryugi created Creative Writing, which begins April 2: “A fresh look at creative writing, accompanied with powerpoint presentations and prompts.”
  2. Sine_Ira_Et_Studio created Roman Republic – Rise and Fall, which “examines the political, economic, institutional, social, and cultural history of Rome from its foundation until the end of the Roman Republic.”
  3. teach2622, who has a BA in Anthropology from UMich, created An Introduction to Teaching in the Inner-City Public High School, which “is designed to instruct a new teacher in how to effectively teach in a very specific environment, the inner-city public middle/high school.”
  4. aptfoto, who owns a photography studio, created Photography and Photoshop, which “will teach the basics on how to use your DSLR or Point and Shoot camera as well as the basics of Photoshop to create stunning images” and is to last eight weeks.
  5. creepfeeteatmeat, published poet and current MFA candidate, started Narrative Poetry & Fiction Workshop, a “workshop setting course that will focus not only on getting feedback on your poetry and prose, but help the student develop their own critiquing skills.”
  6. autotom is drawing on his CCNA certification to offer CCNA – Cisco Netowrking and Subnetting, which “is designed to assist people in completing their CCNA, either before or during study.”
  7. nottoobadguy, who heads the /r/dailyprogrammer subreddit, created Programming for Non-programmers: an Introduction to Python and will conduct it in a subreddit.
  8. Kaiko, a former DotA semi-pro, is teaching DotA 2 for Beginners and “will cover the very basics of DotA”.
  9. Mikhaillost created Basic Logic and Reasoning For Busy People, a weekend-based class that will “[teach] you fallacies, whole thinking, induction and deduction, how to read scientific studies, choosing your sources and a couple other things that will come up in relation to these.”
  10. pizzaguy, a Life Coach in Japan, will be teaching Hiragana in Beginning Japanese Writing.
  11. EpicNoiseGuy - who is in his final year of a music production degree, has performed in major UK festivals, and produces and DJs Electro/Dubstep under the name of Epic Noise Guy – is offering An Introduction to Electronic Music Production.
  12. chakrakhan, who is graduating in Spring 2012 with a bachelor’s in Philosophy and Mathematics, is offering Mind and Matter: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind, which “will survey philosophical ideas about the mind and knowledge, with special attention paid to the relationship between the mind and the natural world…. [and] will study philosophical ideas about the mind from Descartes to Dennett in an accessible manner.”

Quite an interesting and varied selection, isn’t it?

One might wonder what caused the sudden expansion of the UReddit catalog. The answer (aside from a lack of updates for a couple weeks) is that UReddit frontpaged on Reddit for a while, garnering about 200,000 pageviews over about 24 hours. The server was able to handle the strain, for the most part (though a few 502/504 errors did happen), and the UReddit community has expanded significantly. (A side effect of the large amount of traffic is that teacher’s class statistics are now cached and updated daily.)

In order to create more of a community feel and to make the site more accessible, UReddit is now optimized for mobile devices and has a discussion section on each class page (using the Disqus platform). There are no comments at the time of the writing of this blog post as the system was just implemented, but I encourage all of you to start using it to discuss the many new, current, and completed classes.

Follow @uofreddit on Twitter for timely updates and subscribe to/r/UniversityofReddit for discussion.

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