My learning position
Coursera is an AMAZING site that lets you take hundreds of university-level classes taught by highly respected people from different fields.
It’s also my latest addiction. Seriously – I may have a problem. Yesterday I finished one course, and immediately signed up for 4 more :)
I’ve taken courses on many different topics several of which have been directly useful and relevant to happiness at work so I thought I’d share the 5 best ones here:
5: Unethical Decision Making in Organizations
A seminar on the dark side of the force’ that teaches you how strong organizational contexts push good people towards unethical decisions. You will also learn how to protect yourself and your organization against such forces lurking in the dark.
4: Positive psychology
A great overview and introduction to the “science of happiness” taught by Barbara Fredrickson, one of the leading researchers in the field.
3: Introduction to neuroeconomics
Neuroscience, when allied with psychology and economics, creates powerful new models to explain how we make decisions. Neurobiological mechanisms of decision-making, decisions under risk, trust and cooperation are central issues in this course.
2: Critical perspectives on management
Using a wide disciplinary approach – from economics and history to social theory and even a smattering of biblical criticism – the course examines several core management strategies and debunks them mercilessly as wrong and damaging, including:
- Forced employee ranking
- The idea that all companies should always grow
- Shareholder value
Topics include: the function of the firm; the role of incentive; the ways in which narrative forces shape decision making, and how market relationships define the managerial culture in ways that can lead to sub-optimal outcomes.
1: Social pshycology
The best and most interesting online course I’ve taken so far. It examines how we affect each other in groups and almost all of the content is relevant to the workplace.
The course isn’t currently offered but will hopefully return.
But I’ve taken so many other great courses as well. Here are my 4 favorites outside of the field of happiness at work:
- Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life
- Revolutionary Ideas: An Introduction to Legal and Political Philosophy
- Philosophy and the Sciences
- Model Thinking
Have you done any online courses? What’s been your favorite things so far? Let me know in a comment!
UPDATE: As I was writing this, I stumbled on a course called Classical Sociological Theory and signed up for that too :) As I said… I may have a problem :)