Confessional: I’m a half-ass MOOC student

Self-reflection notes on completing my first two courses in the Coursera Interaction Design Specialization

I waited until the last minute each Sunday to complete my homework. Now I know what it feels like when I tell students to complete their job applications before they are due.

I didn’t watch all the videos. A friend told me it’s easier to just skim the text below for key concepts needed to complete the homework. It was.

Sometimes I took the time to review other students work, a requirement to get my own homework graded. Other times I just clicked through. There is so much ambiguity in the grading process, especially across cultures, that I didn’t put much stock into reviewing others work. When I did, the ideas and homework were interesting. But without a way to talk to students about those ideas and ask questions, I quickly lost interest in the review activity. I felt bad, but not too bad – I have no connection to this community or class due to the distance effect and lack of community building in Coursera classes.

Even when I pay for the specialization, sign up for a skill that I’m passionate about learning more (user experience research), I still struggle to get the work done. Despite being obsessed with online learning and building courses for students, I struggle to complete online courses. I don’t enjoy the experience. The lack of connection to the professor, students, and learning environment leave me deeply unmotivated.

I am a half-ass MOOC student.


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