Dan Ariely, in some circles, is a rock star. He is a best-selling author, featured speaker at conferences such as TED, and not to mention a working professor at Duke University. So when I read that he was going to have a course on Coursera, I signed up immediately. Months in advance. The course did not disappoint. I was thoroughly enthralled and worked hard to try to get a perfect score. My plan however was completely ruined by missing a peer-reviewed assignment that I didn’t know existed until it was too late.
I blame the confusing Coursera interface for that. Weekly work is divided up across several unconnected tabs. You have to know to watch the videos under the lecture tab, and remember to check the Quiz tab to see if there are quizzes relating to that work (there might not be). And then suddenly this assignments tab shows up and you have to check that to see if there are assignments that are not quizzes. Some assignments give you weeks to submit them, and then you have to come back and grade your peers in order for you yourself to get a grade. And on some courses, there is no central place that reminds you of all the things due that week. But enough about that.
I do plan to take Mr Ariely’s course again the next time it’s offered. Yes, it was that entertaining that I would take it twice.
I wonder if Dan Ariely would call that irrational?