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Essential MOOC Courses In Business For October

Understanding Media By Understanding Google


School: Northwestern University (Medill)

Source: Coursera

Registration Link: Understanding Media By Understanding Google

Start Date: October 6 (6 Weeks)

Workload: 4-6 Hours Per Week

Instructor: Owen R. Youngman

Credentials: Professor Youngman spent 37 years on the editorial and business sides of the Chicago Tribune. Most notably, he helped develop websites like and before becoming a Senior Vice President overseeing online marketing strategy. Youngman has worked directly with Google, studying how their advertising strategies could be integrated into the Tribune Company.  He was recently selected by Google to participate in the testing of Google Glass.

Graded: Students will receive a signed Statement of Accomplishment for successfully completing this course.

Description: In this course, Professor Youngman will examine how journalists, marketers, politicians, and social networks are leveraging Google to reach consumers and impact their views and behavior. Students will also learn how Google is shaping everything from distribution (i.e. mobile devices) to content (i.e. entertainment).  Students will view several lecture videos, read case studies, study news sites, and complete several peer-graded homework assignments. Students will also be required to post content on Coursera’s discussion forum.

Review: “I took this course because the title intrigued me. Media is currently undergoing a transformational change and I thought this course might provide some interesting insights. It has been interesting but not in depth enough for my taste. I should point out  that I have worked in media and communications for more than a decade.

The weekly reading lists are relevant, through-provoking and, for the most part, timely.  While Prof. Youngman does include several books in the reading lists and he does reference those authors regularly in his lectures, course participants do not have to have read the books in order to complete the course or succeed in the quizzes. The lectures include a sense of fun but could delve more into strategy, consequences and ethics. The quizzes are too easy and I do not find the weekly writing assignment give me additional insights. They feel like make-work projects.

Despite these criticisms I have learned a lot about Google, search and the shifting content paradigm – that has certainly been worthwhile. I recommend the instructor – he’s passionate about his subject. I would have liked the course to be a little more challenging.” For additional reviews of this course, click here.