By Jessica Davis
Even before so many schools across the country pivoted to online learning in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, some schools had already pioneered how to do it...
But at least one school degree program was doing the whole online learning thing really well from the moment that first stay-at-home government shutdown order was issued. That's because the University of California Berkeley School of Information Master of Information and Data Science Degree program has been online only from the time it began in January 2014.
Unlike MOOCs (massive open online courses), the UC Berkeley Data Science program was created in the image of a typical advanced education course, just delivered remotely. The school has the same small classes and discussion groups you would expect from an on-campus school. The expectations of students are also high.
"Just because it is online doesn't mean that you can disengage and not pay attention to the discussion," said Kyle Hamilton, a lecturer with the program who teaches four sections of Machine Learning at Scale for the program each semester. Hamilton is also a graduate of the program.
Kyle Hamilton is a lecturer and alumna of the UC Berkeley School of Information Master of Information and Data Science program.