Zombies 101: Teaching with the Walking Dead


Taking a college course can be something like a zombie apocalypse. Hoards of mindless, hungry students converge to hear a lecture. And if it’s boring, they’ll moan. On the other hand, a course about a zombie apocalypse would be anything but boring. Thanks to a team-up between AMC, education company Instructure, and University of California at Irvine, a new massive open online course (MOOC) aims to do just that: take a look at a zombie uprising within an academic context

Relying on AMC’s zombie series The Walking Dead as source material, the free MOOC will start on October 14 and focus specifically on the new, fourth season of the show. But the show itself is not the only focus—instead, the free course will use the series as a springboard into exploring the principles of physics, math, sociology, and biology. Called “Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead,” the course description promises an inter-disciplinary academic journey deep into the universe of the TV series, covering such topics as social constructions in the show, the role of public health, nutrition, and—most importantly—the physics of headshotting a zombie.

Via Graeme McMillan with Wired:

Each Monday, the class will touch on events from the previous night’s episode, although no one involved in the course got any spoilers from AMC happens about the new season. “We did send them our [planned] weekly list of modules and said, Hey, is this going to align?” said Loble. “They gave us some feedback, so we do know we’re dealing with topics that align in some way with what’s going to be seen that week. Now, in what way they’ll align, we don’t know, but we do know that they’ll align.”

“It almost doesn’t matter what happens in the show, as long as there are zombies and they get shot in the head and get killed,” joked Michael Dennin, a professor of physics and astronomy at UC Irvine who helped create the course. “I really enjoy merging with the physics narrative arc with the pop culture I’m laying over it. It’s amazing how well a fictional physics example works to talk about real physics.”

You can sign up for the course here. The course will merge lectures, readings, small and large group discussions alongside quizzes. But at an estimated 2-4 hours a week on the course, it might just be a fun (and free) way to keep prepared for the inevitable zombie uprising.


Attribution

Apocalypse 101: Take the Free Walking Dead Online Course From UC Irvine” by Graeme McMillan, Wired


Commentary Ticker

  • Data Knows Best: Greatest TV Shows Get Ranked and Graphed
    March 26, 2014 | 10:50 am

    Every argument is better with charts and graphs. Sometimes a little linear regression can provide more insight than a long-winded report. GraphTV tests that theory by plotting the ratings of popular television shows. It all started with Breaking Bad. Data guru Kevin Wu was watching its fifth and final season and couldn’t help but think [...]

  • A Coin-Inspired National Spirit, Hopefully
    March 20, 2014 | 11:56 am

    The Lakota Nation, a group of seven Native American bands in North and South Dakota, voted to make a Bitcoin-like crypto-currency called MazaCoin their official currency, according to Forbes. Programmer and Lakota activist Payu Harris believes that the coin will help the Lakota people gain sovereignty over their land. “To be a truly independent state [...]

  • Smartguns and the Promise of Progress
    March 3, 2014 | 9:50 am

    With the recent Sandy Hook elementary school shooting (and the 44 school shootings since) still relatively fresh in our collective minds, and with Congress empirically unable to do anything to stop gun violence at all, it seems slowing, if not stopping, the gun violence epidemic has fallen on a strange coalition of gun manufacturers, Silicon [...]

  • Watch: Movies Without Imaginary Friends
    January 28, 2014 | 12:56 pm

    If you seriously haven’t watched Fight Club yet (or read the book by Chuck Palahniuk) stop and go do that right now. You’re fifteen years late to the craziest party. Okay, you’ve watched it now? Onwards. A visual effects specialist in New York accelerated himself to Internet fame in mid-January when he edited Tyler Durden [...]

  • The Racism of “Racism”: The Complicated Origins of the Term
    January 17, 2014 | 12:27 pm

    “Racism,” like race, was invented. The term “racism” has done a lot of heavy lifting for anti-racism advocates, helping to frame anyone discriminating by race as misguided. Just as with classism or sexism, not only does the word racism give name to an evil, it helps to create the thing as evil in the first [...]

  • RSSArchive for Commentary Ticker »

Join our mailing list!



Trending on The Airspace