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Dennis Meier

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  • 2 reviews
  • 1 completed
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Having completed R Programming in this course series, I was prepared for the incoherence of this course. I have not been disappointed in the first week: the lectures are largely abstract, only occasionally teaching the methods needed to complete the quiz problems. In general, it seems as though the lecturer and the quiz author worked separately and rarely communicated. I'll complete the course, but I know not to get frustrated that the lectures and notes aren't all that useful. It's better to just dive into the quizzes and Google for the information you need. For example, the final question Quiz 1 instructs the student to use a function that isn't supported under the version of R Studio I am running. I just finished R Programming, so everything is fairly recent.  It is extremely frustrating that the course designers pay so little attention to helping the students get squared away into an environment where learning can occur. Instead, you'll spend much of your time scurrying around, trying to figure out why what you see on the lecture notes isn't working on your computer. Here's another example, in week 2, you spend significant amounts of time just figuring out how to get and install R packages before you can answer the questions in the quiz. Why not structure the quizzes so that the learner can immediately apply what was shown in the lectures? Give the learner some sense of accomplishment rather than just this chore of continually troubleshooting R until something works? Yes, we will likely download and install packages in R, but let us actually see something that works before showing us that the world is a complicated place. We already know!Frankly, it just doesn't seem worth it. I don't feel as though I am learning anything that I will use. If I need to learn how to add packages to R, I'll learn how as I need to. There must be a better course out there. I'm done with the John Hopkins series.
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The topic is fascinating, and the lectures are well done, but the use of peer grading for assignments was such a complete turn-off that I couldn't continue. After the assignment in which we compared passages in three gospels and gave our opinion of what was being said, I felt as though I was back in Sunday school, with the expectation that I was supposed to express an unstated and undefined group belief rather than what I read. I couldn't continue.