How Coursera is now Irrelevant for my Education

I was really excited when  I first heard of Coursera. I tried and completed a couple of courses, and learned a lot interesting subjects. Unfortunately, life continues, and we do not have the desired time for what we want, when we want. In fact, I enrolled in a couple more courses, that I did not finish. In fact, I didn’t even go through week one.

In the next semester I look up to having a few more time, and was preparing to do a couple more courses in Coursera. Unfortunately, the interesting courses are now part of paid specializations. My main issue is not on them being paid, but the way they are paid. Coursera works on a subscription basis. Thus, if one doesn’t have full time to listen to the material, study, and perform the evaluation tasks, we need to pay for extra time.

While I agree that subscription makes sense, specially for people with time to do more than one course in parallel, for people with limited time, it is an expensive way of learning. And having limited time does not mean to have a good paying job.

This is my view on Coursera policy right now, and I challenge them to rethink on their approach to their motto: Education for Everyone (that is able to pay).

Edx + Microsoft Course on R

I participated in some courses in Coursera, with very interesting subjects. For the first time I decided to enroll in a course in edx, and I ended up in a Microsoft Data Camp course on R. The course is very basic, mostly on syntax than in statistics. Good enough. The course is based in 5 to 6 minutes videos, and then some exercises done online. Although too basic, the course was interesting enough for me, as I did not know anything on R.

But what really annoyed me was the final evaluation. First, the instructions claim we will have 4 minutes per question… but the timer starts at 3 minutes. Well.. Microsoft… Then, instead of having questions on using R for some interesting tasks (take this data, change it, then plot) the exam is a set of puzzle questions, with placeholder we need to fill to obtain some result. Yes, when using R we will be faced with puzzles. And worse, there is no pause button. I understand you might want to limit the time to answer to each question, but why not to pause in between questions? Specially when you are at home and someone rings your door bell. Well, after 20 minutes or so at the door, I returned to the exam, and still got 75%.

And, OK, I did not pay for a verified certificate. But at least you could show a digital certificate we might print and show. OK, I’ll get back to Coursera. See you, edX!