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Miriam Poger

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I can't honestly recommend this course or its predecessor "Learn to Program: The Fundamentals". From a pedagogical standpoint, the quality of these classes is very uneven. Although the video lectures seem well thought-out (apparently honed in the classroom), there's often no connection between them and the poorly-written exercises or assignments - which means spending a lot of time doing research or just hacking away to complete them. There was one peer- evaluated assignment, which was botched on several levels. First, we weren't given the rubric before submission (so had no idea what we were going to be judged on); second, some of the criteria were subjective (meaning we were graded according to someone's personal opinion, not whether our code actually worked or not); third, even the objective criteria were worded so poorly that students didn't understand what they were supposed to do (resulting in people losing points even when they had successfully fulfilled the requirements). In the future, I suggest Coursera use this assignment as a template for how NOT to conduct peer-assessment. If you're a beginner and you enjoy puzzles or gaming, I would recommend "An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python". We did 8 peer-review projects with no problems - and it was a lot of fun.