firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
The free MOOC I'm taking through Coursera:
This format works for me because the course happens over a particular time period, and I had to sign up. Both of those make me feel like I committed to something. So I'm actually working on the course instead of just bookmarking it for later. Also it's free, so I didn't talk myself out of signing up with "This is too far outside my area of knowledge to spend money on." And it's not for any kind of official credit (although supposedly I get a "certificate of completion" at the end) so I don't worry about grades. (Although on the forums for the course a lot of people are worrying about what's on the tests. Maybe that's habit, or maybe they're taking it to fulfill a requirement elsewhere and it matters to them how they do.)

I sometimes use NewEgg to buy tech stuff. I didn't know they were patent law heroes.

Unrelated white people who look alike, especially because they're wearing similar clothes and hairstyles

Date: 12 Feb 2013 05:02 pm (UTC)
maize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] maize
Hey, I'm taking that course. :) And I did complain a bit about one of the questions on the midterm.

Date: 12 Feb 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
maize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] maize
I had an objection to the inclusion of, "If a tree falls in a forest and there's no-one around to hear, does it make a sound?" on a graded multiple-choice test. Initially I leaned toward "No," because I know that the professor's definition of sound requires an observer. However, the construction of the question also posits a forest, and "no-one" is awfully vague. Does that mean no people, or no animals, or...? People have put forth that plant grow differently in the presence of music (I think it's been discredited, but still, the idea exists), so since "forest" implies the presence of at least trees and whatever supporting creatres are requires to make that happen, I decided to go with "Yes" on that basis. Of course, the prof. wanted "No."

I also did notice that several of the questions (including the one above) weren't covered in the lecture material at all.

In terms of the overall course, I'm kind of on the fence. On the one hand, I'm not learning much, which isn't unexpected -- so far we're all covering stuff I knew already, and that's not a fault of the course. However, I'm finding that the teaching isn't as professional as I'd like. There are inconsistencies (I filed a bug report for his "six properties of sound" list being different each of the three times it's presented, for example), and he often uses terms he hasn't defined or says "as we've talked about before" about things he hasn't talked about. It makes me wonder if these have been pared down from existing online lecture materials.

For the most part, I've found the forums to be closer to 'don't read the comments' than 'enriching interaction with your peers', but that might be just me.

Date: 12 Feb 2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
maize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] maize
On the positive side, the structure, deadlines, and regular lectures to watch aspect has been kind of neat. And being able to think, "Oh, I need to work on my course," has been cool. I watch the lectures mostly during my commute, which is a fun way to spend my commute, even if it means I'm not reading at all these days.


firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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