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Take a Free Summer Course - COHE Teaches Humanism over the Web

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This article originally appeared as part of SSA eNews No. 12 - Secular Summer Fun.

This interview was conducted by Campus Organizer, Campus Organizer for the Student Secular Alliance.

Tim GordinierThe Continuum of Humanist Education (COHE) is the internet's first website offering interactive courses in humanist thought. COHE is a service of the Institute for Humanist Studies, a non-profit U.S. organization promoting nonreligious perspectives on social, political, and ethical issues and serving as a resource for and about the humanist community. Campus Organizer for the SSA, interviews Tim Gordinier, formerly of the IHS, about COHE.

Organizer: What was the motivation for the online courses?

Gordinier: We felt that the available distance-learning courses lacked a perspective that could be embraced by the freethought movement. COHE fills that need. It provides a uniquely humanist approach to the various disciplines offered.

Organizer: We know there are free classes, but how expensive can courses become?

Gordinier: They are modestly priced: $10 for the basic (intermediate) module and $25 for the comprehensive (advanced) module. Each of the six courses has all three modules.

Organizer: If a student had only the summer to take one of these courses, is that possible? When are the courses available?

Gordinier: The courses are always available because they are online. This is one of the advantages of using the Internet and not having to rely on traditional brick and mortar facilities. You can take as few or as many of the courses - or even just a module of a course - as you want. While they are interactive, they do not require the intervention of a human instructor. The student goes at their own pace and is tested at the end of a lesson so that they can see whether they have retained the material and understand the concepts involved.

Organizer: What courses are offered?

Gordinier:
(1) Humanist Activism

(2) Law and Politics

(3) Science and Humanism,

(4) Psychology and Humanism

(5) Religion and Spirituality

(6) Ethics


Again, each course has a free introductory module, a basic module and a comprehensive module.

Organizer: Which course is the most popular?

Gordinier: Currently the "Science and Humanism" is the most popular.

Organizer: What would be the benefit to a student who registered for one of these courses? How could these courses be helpful to a student activist who is involved in a freethought campus group?

Gordinier: They would give you a uniquely humanist perspective in one of the six fields of human knowledge that is being offered. All six instructors are experts in their particular field and have the appropriate degrees. Moreover, they are all involved in the freethought movement. We plan to offer additional courses in the future.

Organizer: How would a student register for one of your courses?

Gordinier: Simply go to the IHS website www.humaniststudies.org or go directly to COHE at www.humanisteducation.com . After that, just follow the user-friendly instructions. If you're just registering for COHE itself, you simply need to provide basic information about yourself. If you want to register for an upper level module, the site will guide you on how to enter the proper credit card information. The process is both fast and secure.

This article originally appeared as part of SSA eNews No. 12 - Secular Summer Fun.
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