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University of Basel

Online Courses

Learn at your own pace, wherever and whenever you please

Since autumn 2015, the University of Basel is offering online courses in various subject areas with videos, exercises, discussions and much more.

  • Courses are free and open both to University of Basel members and the general public
  • English is the language of instruction
  • Depending on the course, each course lasts between four and six weeks and requires two to six hours of study per week
  • Course participants can choose to receive certificates of participation
  • The courses are also optimized for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets

Our partner for developing the courses is FutureLearn, an international platform based in the UK that has already offered online courses to more than two million participants from over 60 internationally renowned universities and research institutions.


 

Current courses

One Health: Connecting Humans, Animals and the Environment

Course start date: 25 Sept 2017
Course length: six weeks
Hours of study per week: 5

In today’s globalised world, old diseases persist and new illnesses spread faster than ever thanks to interconnected ecosystems and the close ties between humans and animals. Stressing this interrelatedness, One Health calls for closer cooperation between human and animal health. This course explores how One Health works in practice, bringing together different scientific perspectives. You will, for instance, study vaccination coverage data and discuss food safety enhancement. You learn how to calculate the added value resulting from the One Health approach using case studies.

 


 

Exploring Possible Futures: Modeling in Environmental and Energy Economics

Course start date: 30 Okt 2017
Course length: five weeks
Hours of study per week: 4

What will our future look like? Will we continue burning fossil fuels or will we live in a 100% renewable world? How can we address climate change and what policies do we need to implement? We will provide you with model examples to make yourself familiar with aspects of economic modeling and state-of-the-art research on current debates in energy policy.

This online course explores these concerns, using models in environmental and energy economics. You will learn how to design models, how to interpret and use results to make informed decisions, and use models to assess energy and environmental policies.

 


 

From Ink to Sound: Decoding Musical Manuscripts

Course start date: 6 Nov 2017
Course length: 4 weeks
Hours of study per week: 3

Music is all around us: we listen to it while we are on our way to work, when preparing lunch or even while showering. Most people know that music has its own script – the notation. But seldom are they aware of the long tradition of this notation system.

In this course, we’ll travel back in time and explore musical notations from the Middle Ages. We will show you how to decode and transcribe early notational systems. And we will discuss the challenges and principles of music notation, referring to semiotic approaches and visual theory.

 


 

Past courses

Statistical Shape Modelling: Computing the Human Anatomy

Course start date: 20 Feb 2017
Course length: eight weeks (until 13.04.2017)
Hours of study per week: 4

Statistical shape models are one of the most important technologies in computer vision and medical image analysis. With this technology, the computer learns the characteristic shape variations of an object or organ. The model resulting from this analysis may then be used in implant design, image analysis, surgery planning and many other fields.

In this free online course, you will get insights from mathematics, statistics and machine learning, in order to address practical problems, as well as a theoretical and practical introduction to the open source software Scalismo.

Requirements: This course is intended for students and professionals with a Bachelor in computer science, medical imaging professionals and biological anthropologists, who are interested in top-notch research, scientific insights and a useful application.

 

 


 

Literature in the Digital Age: from Close Reading to Distant Reading

Course start date: 13 Mar 2017
Course length: six weeks (until 21.04.2017)
Hours of study per week: 4

As we make sense of what we read, we construe meaning using the ancient cultural technique of interpretation. Only rarely do we actually reflect this process: what are the means that help us understand literary texts? How does interpretation work? And how has our increasing use of e-books and tablets changed the way we read and interpret literature?

This free online course addresses these key questions as it introduces you to a variety of ways of interpreting literary texts. We will look into time-tested methods such as close reading. We shall also address more recent, computer-assisted practices such as distant reading.

 


 

Switzerland in Europe – Money, Migration and other difficult matters

In times of economic uncertainty and increasing migration within Europe, the relationship between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) is severely tested. This course offers a legal and political look at the position of Switzerland in Europe and its challenges as a non-Member State of the EU. We will put a particular focus on much debated and sometimes misunderstood issues such as corporate taxation, banking secrecy and the debate about curbing immigration. With this in mind, you will be able to reflect on Switzerland, the EU and regional integration on a differentiated basis.     

Course start date: 3 Oct 2016
Course length: six weeks (until 11.11.2016)
Hours of study per week: 4

 


 

One Health: Connecting Humans, Animals and the Environment

In our globalised world, new approaches to preventing, treating and controlling diseases are urgently needed. New illnesses seem to spread faster than ever thanks to interconnected ecosystems and the close connections between humans and animals. Stressing this interconnectedness, One Health seeks an integrative approach to human and animal health. This course will explore this approach and examine the value of it - as well as explain how One Health strategies work in practice.

Course start date: 7 Nov 2016
Course length: six weeks (until 12.12.2016)
Hours of study per week: 5

 


 

Statistical Shape Modelling: Computing the Human Anatomy

Statistical shape models are one of the most important technologies in computer vision and medical image analysis. With this technology, the computer learns the characteristic shape variations of an object or organ. The model resulting from this analysis may then be used in implant design, image analysis, surgery planning and many other fields.

In this free online course, you will get insights from mathematics, statistics and machine learning, in order to address practical problems, as well as a theoretical and practical introduction to the open source software Scalismo.

This software is used today for the automatic detection of organs in medical images or the design of medical implants. You will come to a point where you can use your acquired skills and knowledge for real-world professional applications or academic research.

Course start date: 22 February 2016
Course length: eight weeks (until 16. 04. 2016)
Hours of study per week: 4h per week

 


 

Reading Literature in the Digital Age

As we make sense of what we read, we construe meaning using the ancient cultural technique of interpretation. Only rarely do we actually reflect this process: what are the means that help us to understand literary texts? How does interpretation work? And how has our increasing use of e-books and tablets changed the way we read and interpret literature?

This free online course addresses these key questions as it introduces you to a variety of ways of interpreting literary texts. We will look into time-tested methods such as close reading and historical contextualisation. We shall also address more recent, computer-assisted practices such as distant reading.

Course start date: 28. 3. 2016
Course length: six weeks (until 6. 5. 2016)
Hours of study: 4 hours per week
 

 


 

Exploring possible Futures – Modeling in Environmental and Energy Economics

Get a glimpse into the future and learn how to develop and use models in environmental and energy economics that incorporate conceptual as well as numerical modeling aspects.

Course start date: 19 October 2015
Course length: 8 weeks
Hours of study per week: 2 hours

 

 


 

From Ink to Sound: Decoding Musical Manuscripts

Travel back in time, explore the history of musical notation and learn how to decode early music manuscripts.

Course start date: 2 November 2015
Course length: 7 weeks
Hours of study per week: 3 hours

 

 


 

Information for University of Basel students

  • University of Basel students can participate in the online courses as part of their degree.
  • The online courses offer a new teaching format that is integrated into the University of Basel's existing degree programs.
  • For University of Basel students, the online courses can be complemented by courses requiring attendance (e.g. introductory seminars, projects, exercises, internships, seminars or lectures) and specific mentoring opportunities.
  • Classes offering online courses are announced and listed in the course directory.
  • To earn credit points, University of Basel students must complete an exam at the university.
     

Steering committee

A steering committee oversees the planning of online course projects during the pilot phase:

Prof. Dr. Thomas Grob
Vice Rector Teaching & Development (Chair)

Christoph Tschumi
Administrative Director

Prof. Dr. Philipp Schweighauser
Department of English

Natalie Hofmann
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Dr. Gudrun Bachmann
Teaching Technology/LearnTechNet

Dr. Thomas Lehmann
New Media Center

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