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What a mess!


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I am very dissapointed.

When I started my first specialsation almost 2 years ago, the course forums were still lively functioning platforms with a social aspect to it.

Then Coursera decided, like almost every platform, to work with 'Facebook Connect', which killed the forums.

We were told that there would be a facebook page for the courses. Any of those I have not found yet.

Now there is a 'Community', within Coursera's homepage, which I believe one must be a computer expert (I am not) to find ones way around. Are Coursera aware that there are students, who were not born with a screen glued to their noses?

Yesterday, after some time, I managed to enter the community, and also write a comment, but today, I have been back and forth, for I don't know how long and have still not found a way in, except to write this comment.

One can hardly call Coursera a community any longer, I certainly have no sense of belonging to a community anymore. In this aspect I am deeply dissapointed.

Kind regards,

Liliane

5 replies

@Xamãma
In the 7 years I have been with Coursera I have not seen a promise of Facebook pages. Some of my profs have created pages privately, and some universities have too, but not through Coursera as far as I am aware.
The drop in forums participation came with the rolling out of the ‘New Platform’ which allowed students to join courses whenever they want, so, people are all at different points in their courses. Also the unlimited chances to submit assignments and quizzes took away a lot of the discussions.
all in all things have changed a lot.....
Badge +2
Thank you for your answer. I would be tempted to say, that if it is "The drop in forums participation came with the rolling out of the ‘New Platform’ which allowed students to join courses whenever they want....", which is the course of it, then it was a very bad move for the students. The forums, which offered both opportunities to learn, to socialise and feel part of a community, have been destroyed and it has diminished the value of the courses significantly.

It is a damn shame, sorry to be so blunt. I hope Coursera will realise this in time, and revert it back to set start and finish of courses.
Userlevel 7
Badge +8
Hi @Xamãma Liliane,

Thanks for your feedback! As @Lochcarron mentioned, one of the unfortunate side effects of our transition to having courses start every few weeks has been the decline of activity in the course discussion forums.

Although it is, as you put it, a shame, we do think that the many other benefits of courses starting every few weeks are worth it. Many more people are able to learn and benefit from Coursera courses now that it is easier for them to fit learning into their schedule. Having courses run only a handful of times a year excludes many who are not available during those weeks, or who can't dedicate as much time per week as is needed to complete the course in the designated time frame.

We have started this community here as an alternative space so that learners can continue to learn, socialize, and feel part of a community, even if the forums in the course(s) they are taking are not particularly active. We are also working on improvements to the course discussion forums so it's easier for learners to use them to get and give help while they're learning.

I'm sorry you didn't find it easy to discover this community. Since it is so new we haven't done much to include it in the overall Coursera experience yet. Now that you have managed to find us, please feel welcome to help others, get involved in conversations that interest you, or start discussions which you think other members might find interesting.
Badge +2
Claire wrote:

Hi @Xamãma Liliane,

Thanks for your feedback! As @Lochcarron mentioned, one of the unfortunate side effects of our transition to having courses start every few weeks has been the decline of activity in the course discussion forums.

Although it is, as you put it, a shame, we do think that the many other benefits of courses starting every few weeks are worth it. Many more people are able to learn and benefit from Coursera courses now that it is easier for them to fit learning into their schedule. Having courses run only a handful of times a year excludes many who are not available during those weeks, or who can't dedicate as much time per week as is needed to complete the course in the designated time frame.

We have started this community here as an alternative space so that learners can continue to learn, socialize, and feel part of a community, even if the forums in the course(s) they are taking are not particularly active. We are also working on improvements to the course discussion forums so it's easier for learners to use them to get and give help while they're learning.

I'm sorry you didn't find it easy to discover this community. Since it is so new we haven't done much to include it in the overall Coursera experience yet. Now that you have managed to find us, please feel welcome to help others, get involved in conversations that interest you, or start discussions which you think other members might find interesting.



Hi Claire,

I started my first course about two years ago, when there was still set start and finishing times. I have a very fragile health, and were at times not able to perform as I should have. Even back at that time, I was able to 'postpone' handing in assignments and receive reviews.

Is the problem not, that in todays world, many wants to have it done by yesterday?
If one is in such a rush, is one truly serious? Or is it then, just a matter of gathering 'diplomas' rather than learning?

I would certainly say, for the serious learner, things has been seriously degraded. So much so, that I have been thinking whether I will continue to study beyond the course I am presently doing.

I know there are costs involved in running an organisation like Coursera, but I would rather pay a bit more per month, than this now haphazard kerfuffle Coursera has become.

We have become too busy, chop chop chop and we want it done, that's not a way to learn, no matter how much this suits the modern capitalistic effeciency driven world.

Festina Lente!

Kind regards,

Liliane
Badge +2
Yet another thing, it is now possible to take notes electronically. What a wonderful effecient way to do it! No, it is not. Taking notes by hand is far better for the learning process.
Taking notes electronically, is passive, you gain nothing from it. When taking notes by hand, pencil to paper, the matter noted is processed through the brain, helping the student to remember and digest the subject at hand.

Had it not been better, to have invested those resources in smoother running of the courses, than various electronic gadgets?

"In general, research shows that taking notes by hand allows you to remember the material better than typing those notes on a computer. ... A similar study on the topic showed that taking notes using the pen-and-paper method leads to better recall ability than typing them up."

Here the sudents, don't even have to type. Instead Coursera is promoting the worst possible way to learn in regard to notes.

Kind regards,

Xamãma

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