MOOC grumblings

I’ve completed the first assignment in my Coursera course, grumbling about the way the assignment is setup…

First, it’s not using the web to anywhere near it’s potential, not promoting eco-friendly practices, and actually says in the instructions, “Go through each item circling the number… When you have completed this draw lines… If possible use a heavy marker pen.” I thought this was an online course! Coursera needs to have a team of web guru’s who audit their courses to point out assignments that can be handled on the web a whole lot easier than printing out two pages of paper and taking a marker to them. I suspect SurveyMonkey or some other existing system is already offering something that will accomplish this task in an acceptably similar fashion online.

My next grumble was with Microsoft. I created circles in the Word document I downloaded and connected them with lines. Doing so was tedious because when I copied a shape the text wrapping setting didn’t come with copying while all other formatting did. This seems to be one of those complaints Microsoft often gets that their Office products think they know better than you, like with auto-formatting. Then, when I went to save it (not save as) using Office 2011 for Mac I got the following error and had to preserve formatting. This is another reason to have the assignment entirely online, so you don’t have to be concerned about which version of Office students have.

Word 2008 Compatibility Error

So my assessment at this point is that some MOOCs aren’t done well at all. I hope and suspect that there are some that are. The news of periodic & automatic online assessment (which I haven’t seen) and teaching for mastery, rather than to a test, make me confident that there must be better examples elsewhere. I feel like I should try Udacity instead.

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