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  • 5 reviews
  • 4 completed
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A very good and informative looking at political events in the Middle East from a US policy standpoint. The lecturer promotes his view strongly - and as noted in another review- the scripted format makes the interjections from the interviewer contrived and stilted, and makes the lecturer come across as hectoring and patronising. (It should be noted that the lecturer's credentials to teach this topic are impeccable - see Wikipedia) Notwithstanding these criticisms, the argument and factual content of the course is very good. Compelling viewing.
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This course is not suitable for somebody without programming training even though the specialisation overview says otherwise. The course only scratches the surface of the technologies so as at best a high level overview on the tech side. The course is torn between trying to cover the wide range of software tools within the Hadoop umbrella, and trying to create the impression of giving some detail. I think this course and the specialisation is trying to bite off more than it can chew in this short course video format.
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this is the fourth module in the Big Data Specialisation. The preamble to the entire course states "Previous programming experience is not required!". I do not agree with this at all. The specialisation including this module required a computer engineers mindset. I stuggle to inmagine how somebody not from this background can do this course. There is an assignment in the Python language. Another assignment uses a software tool called Knime, which I found to be flakey on my normal PC. There is a need to go to the course discussion forums to handle IT glitches experienced - something I don not think should be requierd on such a course. The teaching materials are variable. At times they try to cram a lot in and I found this left information gaps leading me to stuggle with assignments.
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Of the fifteen or so MOOCS I have done this course rates right near the top as the best. Informative and inspirational. The pre-reading each week was fascinating, the content of the video lectures engaging. This is an excellent introduction to the qu'ran and the world it was born into. While respectful to the traditional interpretations of the text, the course does critique the text and pose interesting questions. The course provided me with the keys to study so much more about the Muslim world.
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This course is done in old-school style lecture format - a professor standing in front of the camera talking at length with a few slides for support. Each week groups countries together and discusses their history, economies, composition and legal frameworks to allow students to be more informed about each country's circumstances. it is fascinating. Some video lectures are up to 50 minutes each. A few hours of videos are present per week over ten weeks. The lecturer is erudite, and makes many interesting recommendations for further reading around the subjects. there are two written assignments (short) required over and beyond the usual fare of quiz based assessments. I thought the course was great.