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September 01, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 15)

Supercourse-Epidemiology, the Internet and Global Health

  • Powerpoints of lectures on important health topics
  • Can you say multimedia?
A course is a course, of course, of course and no one can talk to a course of course, that is of course unless the course is the famous “Supercourse.” Aimed at health science training and research, the site boasts of 42,500 outstanding lectures from 3,200 faculty in over 150 countries. According to my math, this amounts to an average of less than one tenth of a lecture per faculty member on the site. Certainly, it seems, a good deal of the faculty here are solely along for the ride. Perhaps they should be made to carry their own weight. Unfortunately, the lectures appear to be simply copies of PowerPoint slides that one clicks through. There isn’t even audio available. Are these outstanding lectures? Well, the kindest thing I can say is that they are PowerPoints of what are purported to be outstanding lectures. Is Supercourse a super course? I have no recourse but to say this is not a “super” course.
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