- 3 reviews
- 2 completed
This was the worst online course I've ever taken. I think it should be permanently removed from Coursera. I completed the entire course but was tempted to drop out the entire time. Here is one of the reviews I got for one of the songs I wrote: "This is a songwriting course, not a course in how to attempt to write amusing non-fiction. You wrote a lot. Too bad you didn't focus on writing and performing what could be credibly referred to as a song. Good luck." BTW the song I submitted is here: http://soundcloud.com/ziggysnarfdoodle/the-peer-review-assignment-02 WTH? This is a well constructed song with good performance values and humorous lyrics and rhymes. It's a song about how inaccurate the peer review process can be for online courses due to illegible markings, foreign languages and a non-intuitive interface. I mean, what is wrong with that? Gilbert and Sullivan wrote funny songs that challenged the system and were immensely popular. Unfortunately, the instructor in this course focusses heavily on angst-ridden love songs and melodramatic interpretations involving an extreme pathos of life. He doesn't mention the songs of Broadway musicals or great songwriters like Steven Foster. All songwriting prior to the 1960's is completely ignored. Because of the way the course is taught, the results are expected to consist of the ultra sensitive tunes that adolescent teenagers identify strongly with. If you enjoy writing songs about despair, loss, or the fleeting nature of happiness and love, this course is for you.
This eight week course is divided into two "tracks". The first track is for artists and those who wish to gain a general knowledge of symmetry and how it is used. The second track is for those that wish to go further to learn the applications of symmetry in crystallography and atomic bonding. I am a graphic artist so the first track was of interest to me. This is a excellent course but was rather advanced for me. There is also a lot to take in during the first four weeks including point symmetry, asymmetric tiling and chirality, 2D and 3D symmetry operations and the 17 plane groups. Most of the descriptions of these concepts use equations. There is a fairly large amount of reference content, and some of it had legibility issues during the time that I took this course. Using discussion forums, I was able to locate better copies. I think this was the second time this course was offered as a MOOC so there are still some things being improved. Overall, the first track of the course was excellent and I feel that I've learned a lot. It is quite difficult and I could see how other student were struggling during the peer reviews. It would be great to offer the first track alone as an eight week course to make the learning more manageable. I plan to view the rest of the video lectures because now I am fascinated with how symmetry works and want to learn how it applies on an atomic level.
I enjoyed taking this course and found it to be very engaging. The first part has a great intro to Digital Audio Workstations with a crash course in the 30-day free software Reaper, so there is no cost for extra software or other materials. The second part uses a Python-based music programming software called EarSketch that compiles and runs in your browser, creating some unusual and unexpected results. I found both parts of the course fascinating and learned a lot about what has been happened in the field of music technology through the years.