What are the benefits to being a beta tester? | Coursera Community
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What are the benefits to being a beta tester?

  • 20 February 2019
  • 9 replies
  • 2767 views

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Hi, everyone

What are the benefits of being a Beta tester? Sorry, I am confused. I have interest to become a Beta Tester.

9 replies

Userlevel 7
Hi @Hilda Aidee. Thanks for your interest in beta testing! I converted your question into its own topic because I think it's a great question.

As a beta tester, you'll get early access to courses. Read more about how to get started here: Join the Beta Tester Community!

To the rest of the community – Are you a beta tester? What do you enjoy about beta testing courses? @Namrata Tejwani, perhaps you'd like to add.
What about the benefits for Coursera and the institutions that create and manage the courses? Is that not the main objective of betatesting? Not the free certificates?
Userlevel 7
@Lochcarron, I think this is a question about beta tester motivations. I imagine beta testers generally enjoy accessing new content and providing feedback that can improve courses before they're launched.
@Laura
I betatest to make courses better for students and instructors, not for benefits for me 🙂 Maybe I am weird
Userlevel 7
🙂 I'm guessing that's another big reason that people beta test – they enjoy helping others!
@Laura
From what I have seen, it has changed dramatically over the years. The added bonus being that not only is the certificate free, the quizzes and assignments automatically pass you 🙂 For Certificate collectors a paradise....
Userlevel 5
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Free Certificates is, in my view, a really minor perk.

In my year or so in doing it there has only been one course that I actually wanted the certificate in (and would have otherwise paid for)

A lot of the courses you beta test are actually incomplete and so the certificate is meaningless anyway (e,g quizzes/lectures are missing).

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For me personally, I do it for a bit of fun. Sometimes you open up your 'beta test' email you don't know what you will find. Its almost like a 'lucky dip' or something.

Also I just whack it on the CV and call it "QA testing" -- which isn't a terrible thing to have as a software engineer.


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But my advice would just to apply to the testing team and try it out -- if you can find motivation for doing it thats great! If not, well, you didn't exactly lose anything by giving it a go.
Userlevel 1
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I would EAGERLY surrender my soul to be a beta tester here... (I :heart: Coursera)  :grin:

As for motivations [based on the insights scattered throughout this post], I get the impression that for most users, the certificates are more of a side-perk, and the real value lays in:

  • being part of the creation process
    • contributing towards something you care about 
  • having the opportunity to grow 
    • learning something new

That sounds like an ideal position to be in [as a learner].

Having said that, [for those who believe certs shouldn’t matter] consider that scarcity is an increasing reality for many people across the globe. Access to the corresponding certificates is a great way for some learners to gain credibility, recognition, and stability as they endeavour to do their part in adding value [via feedback and fresh ideas].

For context, recognize that in many ‘scarcity environments’, the reaction from family towards learning can often be “stop wasting your time!” (because no immediate direct benefit is being generated for them). Such attitudes make it more difficult for under-privileged/vulnerable learners to defend their efforts where lack of support [or outright resistance] from their ‘support network’ limits their freedom and access to growth opportunities. Financial Aid CAN help, but this group may also feel undeserving or afraid to accept such charitable support [due to pressures stemming from culturally accepted norms related to pride/shame]. Thus, allowing learners to retain a ‘beta-certificate’ for their efforts can provide some of them with an increased sense of value, self-worth, confidence, and independence as they attempt to ‘earn’ their charity and work towards freedom.

Individuals who already have access to feelings of success, liberty, support, and/or stability may be less inclined to value certificates because their climate allows for them to pursue their interests with less impediments, thus they are in a position to enjoy these experiences with a greater sense of purity. Overall though, offering beta certs provides Coursera & content creators access to a more diverse pool of candidates for testing purposes, so I think it’s a good thing. :slight_smile: 

Anyway… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


QUESTION: [based on the feedback I read above] From an outsider’s perspective, missing quizzes/lectures and ‘auto-passing’ strike me as curiously counter-productive for effectively evaluating a course; is that a norm? Is there a strategic value or purpose to this approach?


- Thomas

 


 

Also, P.S.
​​​​​​@hamster ‘s creative idea to include the experience as ‘QA testing’ on your CV/Résumé is an awesome application, very clever!

Userlevel 5
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QUESTION: [based on the feedback I read above] From an outsider’s perspective, missing quizzes/lectures and ‘auto-passing’ strike me as curiously counter-productive for effectively evaluating a course; is that a norm? Is there a strategic value or purpose to this approach?


- Thomas

 

From my experience I don’t think I have been in a beta where you auto-pass the assignments. With that said I usually only beta math/programming/ai courses so maybe it is different with some of the humanities courses or something.  

 

As for missing lectures/quizzes. I suspect that it just depends on how close the course is to completion. Maybe for some courses we beta when they are months away from being finished while others we beta are more or less finished and are awaiting a rubber stamp.

Basically I don’t think it makes any sense for coursera to hide material from us when we beta; so if the material is not there chances are it is not ready yet.

Anyway, best of luck with your application Thomas. :-) 

 

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