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University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Comment: Critical thinking - thanks University of Copenhagen!

He is following his own program, drafted after analysis of his interests, market trends and the required skills to become a global manager of the 21st century. But in this featured comment Indian graduate Ankit Khandelwal thanks the University of Copenhagen for one particular course

In 2013, I saw the course ‘Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World’ at the online course provider Coursera’s website. The title of this course offered by the University of Copenhagen as well as the course description was exactly what I was looking for.

The video lectures were the most interesting part. Professor Ebrahim Afsah’s lectures were sometimes interesting, sometimes too lengthy. A lecture could range from 20 minutes to more than 50 minutes in some weeks. But the interesting content and thought-provoking questions raised by Prof. Ebrahim kept me in this course for 10 continuous weeks, even thought I often thought about discontinuing this course due to the high workload. Watching all the lectures, taking notes while watching, and then reading the material took more time than required to finish this course. In fact, sometimes when I found lectures too lengthy, I reverted to the text transcripts.

Nevertheless, each week presented something new to learn. It opened my eyes to many of the common misconceptions I had about the regions covered in this course. References to historical incidents, old news reels and quotes from famous writers made controversial points much easier to grasp. The subjects and the regional problems were often controversial but the professor handled it very well, igniting our curiosity and giving us a much needed critical eye to analyze the subject.

See also: Copenhagen professor’s online course on Muslim world hit by US sanctions.

Discussion forums

Unlike other courses at Coursera, I was not very active in the discussion forum of this course as most of the class participants were much more knowledgeable than me. As religion was one of the central themes of this course and discussing it difficult for me, I kept silent and preferred to read the posts rather than taking part in it. It is my habit to go through discussion forums after course completion, and this is what I am doing at the moment.

The Facebook group was an easier way to keep up the discussion. This group was always bustling with activities and side information. After the completion of the course, this will be the best place to continue interacting with participants in future.

Weekly quizzes on this course were not difficult after finishing the lectures, but the peer assessment assignments were. Even though there was much knowledge gained during this course, it was not an easy task to write a good essay showcasing the difficulties of the regions as well as what caused these difficulties. It was a combination of history, religious aspects, institutional set-up, economic performance, demographic challenges and all had to be summarised in 1,000 words! Many people spent hours just to edit their essays as there was too much to write from the good knowledge we have gained from this course.

Self-designed international management study

This course along with other courses taken at MIT Open Course Ware, OCWC(Open Course Ware Consortium), OYC (Open Yale Courses) as well as on MOOC platforms (Massive Open Online Courses like Coursera, edX, Open2study, NovoEd) are now part of my own self-designed international management program. It is my own invented program, drafted after careful analysis of my interests, future market trends and the required skills set to become a global manager/leader of the 21st century.

For the past 20-22 months, this has been my full time work, where I have taken 20+ courses from different universities, tried to learn three foreign languages and extensively studied newspapers from eight different places for regular happenings around the globe. I have extended my footprint by reaching every corner of the world through projects, study of the regions, or through an expansion of my networks. Equally important was my study of different cultures to prepare myself for negotiating/working in the multicultural environment.

We live in the 21st century, where the Internet has blessed us with tons of knowledge compared to our forefathers. But we also need to keep in mind that this information is often not verified and may never be removed even if it is completely biased.

Thank you Professor and the team on this course for telling me that what we see and read may not be what is happening. This course has taught me to be more careful in the future when drawing conclusions on such information. And thank you, the University of Copenhagen for providing this eye opening course even when I was sitting far away from your location.

In the future, I hope to meet you all and personally thank you for bringing such personal and professional changes to my life.

Thanks you very much!
Greetings from India!
Thanks & Regards,
Ankit Khandelwal

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