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Coursera fatigue


I am suffering a little from Coursera fatigue.

With Fantasy/SciFi, I’m afraid that I am rapidly losing patience with Cory Doctorow‘s Little Brother, which is thin on creative writing and thick on lecturing and ideological ranting. This is the last essay, which I have to complete in order to get the top grade for participation (and a little bit of me does care about the grade, even though it’s just a meaningless computer-generated certificate that I’m getting at the end!), so I’m going to power through, but I’d really rather not, and this is a disappointing book to end the course on.

With ModPo, I am a little put-off by the peer reviewing system, which seems to demand a good deal of reviewers but isn’t very well organised (because it uses the poorly structured Coursera forums). Plus, I did my close reading essay (on Dickinson’s ‘I taste a liquor never brewed’) without having listened to the professor’s lectures. To my mind, there was no barrier to this (and in practical terms, I joined too late to watch them all before the submission deadline), but the grading rubric he has given seems to be heavily predicated upon the ideas discussed in his lectures, so I feel a little disappointed at the responses being curtailed. Two of the essays I was given to review seemed to discuss the same theme in a very similar way (Dickinson’s intoxication as an experience of the creative process of authorship), so I suspect that this has flowed from his lectures, and that’s a bit disappointing too when I really wanted to read individual responses.

Greek Mythology has only just started, and I have watched the introductory lecture so far. I am feeling more positive about this course than I was before when I had a ‘go to class’ link that just took me to a page saying ‘this course hasn’t started yet’.

Still, I think the real trouble I’m having is fully engaging with the video lecture process. At university, physically going to class to listen to my professors’ lectures was easy enough, but with video lectures that can be watched ‘at leisure’, I’m finding it more difficult. I really need to take a strict approach to it and set aside an hour on set days to watch them, or else they will simply sit on my hard-drive!

I really hope these lectures don’t end up just sitting on my hard-drive…. Tomorrow I am going to try to watch the rest of the lectures for this week on ModPo, I think.



  1. Rachel says:

    I'm suffering from a bit of Coursera fatigue as well. In fact, I decided not to read the Doctorow novel at all! (I might get to it someday, but I'm just tired of rushing through books right now.) The Mythology course won't require as much writing and peer-reviewing, which means it won't be as intensive. πŸ™‚

  2. La Graciada says:

    It sounds to me as though the Mythology course will ask for longer essays, but I think I would prefer that!

    Are you going to skim a bit of the Doctorow to try to get an essay in, or let it go?

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