Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Online-only course opens, dedicated to 'lessons' learned from 'The Walking Dead'

It's alive! "The Walking Dead" set ratings records for its series four opener, and this online course might score records, too. Launching on Monday, as the USA Today reported, "Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC's The Walking Dead," is a free, eight-week online course that offers tips on how to survive the world of "The Walking Dead" (and, we presume, "Night of the Living Dead" and "World War Z").

The course is offered through the University of California-Irvine, and is the brain-child (which must really attract zombies -- "Brains!") of Instructure, an educational technology company that approached cable network AMC about the idea for the course.

Earlier this year, the company offered -- to success, to be clear -- the course "Gender Through Comic Books," via through Ball State University.

Brian Whitmer, co-founder of Instructure said:
We wanted to try it again with something that was even more relevant to a larger population of people. Everyone just kept saying, "You gotta do Walking Dead; you gotta do Walking Dead." There's so many relevant topics there, and it's such an awesome show that's so interesting.
Current enrollment shows that fans are eating this up: It is in the tens of thousands, with over 20,000 signing up within a day of the course's announcement last month.

In the first week, course-takers learned the following tidbit of information from a to a paper by Italian physicist Davide Cassi: The more twists and turns there are in a structure, the safer you are from "random walkers." In other words, the best place to be is a shopping mall. And hey, does anyone remember "Dawn of the Dead," which took place in a shopping mall?

Each Monday, a new lesson module will open up. They will be available through Dec. 22, for those who work slower than others. No spoilers will be unearthed in the coursework, as the series of lectures, readings, discussions and videos relate to the first three seasons, and cover topics such as health, social sciences, nutrition and physics.

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