Keshav Gupta: How To Stay Motivated & Engaged in edX Courses!
April 13, 2016 | Monil Shah
Keshav Gupta, a 17 year old High School student from India, contacted us to share how edX courses helped feed his curiosity and also helped him make his first DIY Project- a Persistence of Vision (POV) display which reads “Keshav Thanks edX.”
From my childhood days, I have been fascinated by the electronics and computers around me and now it has become a hobby. Generally, most of my leisure time is spent tinkering around with computers and electronics.
The first course I enrolled in was “Microsoft DEV210x: Introduction to C++.” As I had only been exposed to C++ programming informally, I decided to get some formal exposure. I was very pleased with the quality of the content, and upgraded to a verified certificate. It was a self paced course and I could complete it in around 3 weeks.
After, I decided to give other courses a try, I stumbled upon 6.002x Circuits and Electronics course offered by MITx. After reading about it, I came to know that it was a three part course, and is the same course that students take at MIT. As my future plans are to major in Electronics Engineering and Computer Science, I enrolled for all three courses. I set myself the target of giving my best, and if possible, achieving a final grade of 100%. To motivate myself towards the target, I opted for the verified certificate as well. All the concepts, were explained in a very interesting manner, through video lectures, practice exercises and circuit simulation, which made the course a fun-filled journey.
One particular feature I really liked, is the “motivating example,” i.e. an example is given as to why the upcoming topic is really useful. I learnt many new skills, to complement a few I already knew. I worked hard for these courses, which also helped me in consolidating the concepts of my all-time favorites, Physics and Math. Posting discussions in the forum also made me proficient in LaTeX!
The course helped me to rediscover my passion for electronics and computers. I decided to put the skills learned to practice. I set out to design and develop a Persistence of Vision (POV) display entirely on my own. Starting from scratch, I designed the circuit board, etched it, soldered components on to it and coded the microcontroller (ATtiny2313).
As I had been inspired by edX, the first message I displayed on it was “~Keshav thanks edX!” I completed the third and final course of the series, and my POV project at approximately the same time. To my double delight, I had achieved a final grade of 100% on all three Circuits and Electronics courses, and the POV display was working quite nicely as well.
After taking these courses, my confidence level has gone up 6002x times. I feel, I will be at an advantage, as I have completed MIT level courses. I am really thankful to the creators of edX. Without edX I couldn’t have imagined having such an opportunity. As of now, I am enrolled in the MITx course “Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science” centered around Python.
My advice for prospective edX students is that they should treat the courses as actual school/college tasks, and they must give it their 100% to extract full advantage. After all, it is quality, and not quantity, that matters the most. When they do this they will find themselves engrossed in the courses, and will taste the sweet fruit of success.