Course Syllabus for "SSE101: Survey of Systems Engineering - Part 1"
Please note: this legacy course does not offer a certificate and may contain broken links and outdated information. Although archived, it is open for learning without registration or enrollment. Please consider contributing updates to this course on GitHub (you can also adopt, adapt, and distribute this course under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license). To find fully-supported, current courses, visit our Learn site.
Note: SSE101 was run as a scheduled open online course in Spring 2014. Since then, SSE101 has operated as a fully self-paced course. The description below and some course materials occasionally refer to time-based projects/assignments that are no longer available. Nevertheless, we invite you to enjoy and learn from this popular course!
Welcome to Survey of Systems Engineering - Part 1. This course is the product of a joint effort between NASA and the Saylor Foundation. As the inspiration and major content provider for this project, NASA's role cannot be understated. Their team of experts were integral in getting this course up and running, and ultimately in the fashion you see today. The Saylor staff served as technical and educational navigators in this process, offering support and input in online course design. Our excellent A/V team put together the videos that comprise the meat of this course. We are all extremely proud to have the inaugural, dual-branded NASA and Saylor course, living on Saylor.org. Each unit of the course will preset you with a survey of space systems engineering topics. For a more complete grasp of all that space systems engineering entails, make sure to visit Lisa Guerra's Space System Engineering course, which SSE101 was adapted from. This course features YouTube playlist (also available on Vimeo) as the main method of content delivery in every unit. Every unit has multiple videos in each playlist, so make sure to watch them all. At the end of most videos in the playlists, there will be additional required resources. There will also be unit assessments to gauge your learning, discussion forum activities, deliverables for the optional Mars Sample Return mission project, and a multiple choice final exam. Lastly, in Units 1, 3, 4, and 6, we have posted archived Google Hangouts on Air with NASA engineers and scientists who use the lessons you will be learning in their everyday lives at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
Grading: Unit quizzes: 10% each (for a total of 60% of your final grade) Final exam: 40% Note: To pass this course, you will need to complete every quiz and the final exam and have a cumulative grade of 70% or higher. Unit quizzes cannot be retaken but the final exam can after a one week waiting period. Mars Sample Return Mission Project: You will have the opportunity to apply the concepts you are learning to a real NASA mission currently in development, a Mars Sample Return mission. Look out for full project details at the end of Unit 1.
Primary Resources: This course is comprised of pre-existing content created by NASA as well as new video and assessments created specifically for this course. The main sources of NASA content are: Lisa Guerra’s Space Systems Engineering NASA's Systems Engineering Handbook NASA’s Science Visualization Studio NASA’s Systems Engineering Seminar All of the content created for this course is in the Public Domain.
Supplementary Resources: Five Hangouts on Air were recorded with various NASA personnel. These videos are linked within the course units. Separate from this course, you may also be interested in these extended interviews with five scientists from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center: - Saylor Asks Dr. Robert Cahalan - Saylor Asks Dr. James Garvin - Saylor Asks Dr. Holly Gilbert - Saylor Asks Nobel Laureate Dr. John Mather - Saylor Asks Dr. Compton Tucker
Additional Tips: - Although not required, you are encouraged to work with a partner or team as you complete this course. There will be a number of assignments that, while designed for individuals, can be completed with a group and potentially broaden your understanding of the topic at hand. - This is an extremely portable course. Everything you will need to learn is contained within one YouTube playlist per unit, including links to supplementary readings and activities. Although we designed Saylor.org to enhance your experience, you can (and are encouraged to!) take this playlist anywhere, whether that be another platform, or just opened on your phone through YouTube. Learning opportunities should be at your fingertips always, and we think we've done that here.
Table of Contents: You can find the course's units at the links below.