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Crash Course: Making "Dry Subjects" Fun (TESTHEAD)

On December 4, 2014, in Syndicated, by Association for Software Testing
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As a software tester, this next recommendation is probably going to seem a little out there, but I think if you spend some quality time with it, you’ll feel differently. Also, I’m a total fanboy of this series, and I want to make sure as many people know about it as possible.

Have you ever wanted to have an introduction and then a continued consideration of topics that are big, meaty and maybe just a little terrifying? Would you like to have those topics be fun to listen to, and be something you’d like to go back to again and again? Finally, would you like something that would be a great catalyst to help you change up the way you think about the world and, well, how you think in general.

Then Crash Course is for you :).

What’s Crash Course, you ask? It’s the brainchild of brothers John and Hank Greene. Put simply, it’s a series of video collections that cover a variety of course areas. World History, U.S. History and Literature are taught by John. Chemistry, Biology, Ecology and Psychology are taught by Hank. A collection called “Big History” is taught by both of them with input from Emily Graslie of “The Brain Scoop“. All of these “courses” are available via the Crash Course YouTube channel. Below is a sample video that explains the series:

OK, so this is the preview they used to launch the series in early 2011.
They have *lots* of videos up now :).
So why would I bring this to a testing audience’s attention? Because it has been my experience that the more literate we are, the more engaged we are with our work. We talk a mean game about being epistemologists, so learning how we learn and what we learn should always be a priority. Additionally, we bemoan the fact at times that testers are (sometimes) lacking in scientific education and scientific rigor. 
Also, and my personal favorite reason, we don’t know where we are going unless we know where we have been. Perhaps its my own personal projection going on here, but it’s possible that I enjoy these so much because I NEED them to help fill out stuff I would have learned at a younger age would I actually have been a diligent student. 
Regardless, I think these are great examples of how to take potentially tough topics and make them engaging. They may not work for you the same way they work for me, but give them a try, and let me know if you don’t find them as fun and as addicting as I do :).
 

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