First observations from my Coursera class

courseraHaving no idea of what to expect from an online course I would say I’m pleasantly surprised.  The quality of the content feels very much like a real university level course.  In many ways it’s actually more work than some of my regular graduate courses.

Partly it’s because I’m taking on the role of the student and the teacher.  As the student I have an increasingly large amount of videos to watch every week.  The quality of the videos are fine.  They feel a little “homey” or “amateurish”.  Maybe its purposeful, they certainly have an authentic feel to them.  In addition to the video content there is a surprising amount of iterative sketching involved.  Sketching, interviewing, researching, brainstorming.  There is a lot.

Add to that this concept of all the students are the teachers as well.  With 17,000 students it’s really the only way to grade something which could be interpreted as subjective homework assignments.  If all of us we’re filling out multiple choice answers then perhaps it would work and feel more official.  But while peer criticism is entirely valid, I miss the communication and feedback from someone who I know has years of experience and education to back up the critique.



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