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A Thank You to the Professors Who Put the Extra Work into Their MOOCs

I just want to say, “Thank you”.

Thank you to all professors and educators who put significant time into creating online courses. As students, we must realize that creating any online class of even average quality takes a lot of time and effort. Now we also realize that a lot of the material comes from an existing class, and there are a handful of courses that are just tape recordings of in-class lectures with very little material added for the online audience – I’m looking at you, Financial Markets. But all in all, dozens or hundreds of hours have gone into creating this education which I mostly get for free. That’s awesome, and once again, thank you!

But every once and a while there are courses that go the extra mile for the online audience. Courses that animate the professor’s talk to make a more engaging video experience – a hat tip to Introduction to Communication Science. Some courses take the professor out of her office and place her in an interesting off-school locale – hey there, Introduction to Marketing. Some courses have sophisticated code review graders written specifically to analyze the output of your programming assignment which is both scalable to a large audience and something extra for the online course that the in-person course probably doesn’t get – Android Programming, Startup Engineering, the original Udacity AI class, etc.

And lastly, as I encountered today, there are the classes that seemingly create hundreds of quiz questions for a single weeks’ assignment, so that no two quizzes you take are alike. So instead of being able to take the same quiz multiple times to improve your result, it really is challenging after 2, 3 and even 4 attempts at the quiz. This hat tip goes to the new Microeconomics course. It took me 5 attempts at the week 1 quiz to get a perfect 10 out of 10. Bravo to you, good sir.


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