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VKnutsen

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  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
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I loved reading (or rereading) most of the course literature (all but two works available online for free incidentally). Fantasy works...which bridged into Sci Fi...Brothers Grimm, Alice in Wonderland, Frankenstein, Dracula (the Great Granddaddy to modern vampire stories, some HG Wells works, other early sci fi...up to some modern authors, including wonderful Ray Bradbury. (How did I NOT read him earlier!!!) Now some of the more modern works (in my opinion) were too fashionable (i.e. followed modern thought/fashionable but ill founded ideas) and thus not so good (like Ursula LeGuin Left Hand of Darkness). Tho I must note that others loved her work. The course load is medium and you are allowed to miss a little work but still pass the course (10 weeks of reading in the 2012 version is a fair commitment...!). My writing skills quickly sharpened up as I wrote the short required essays. My analytical skills sharpened as I graded others' essays. But they have a little more work to do to make peer grading practices a bit more standard across the board. The boards lit up with comments of "Unfair Grading" or "Poorly written essays" as graders and recipients argued. (That spoiled some of my enjoyment.as my score reflects..till I learned to not obsess over the grade. If you do all/most assignments you will get enough adequate scores to pass.) That said, the Prof's lectures were short and engaging. Love the subtitled English. English is my native language, but when I was pressed for time, I could put on subtitles and set the video replay speed higher and still absorb the info adequately. If one's English is not good, this would be a hard class to take as a weekly essay is required and a moderate proficiency in English is needed. Perhaps they can address this issue, as the course does improve one's skills.
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I like the short video segments - usually 1-2 main concepts taught per a couple minute segment. (What's good also is that most had English subtitles-- so you can watch/listen to it at low volume if others are in the room). I typically set my video player at faster speed, put on subtitles and low volume, and then was able to understand and process these couple-minute yet informative videos. It's better if you have a little background in some kind of design, but you can still get through it if you don't. (They could offer more visuals on how to do the orthographic drawing part...I had learned a little ortho drawing previously---that segment would have been much harder without my previous learning.) The course is intense...notably as you approach the end, where you must submit a designed "artifact". Persons new to the industrial/web/creative design process should do a simpler project...in order to handle all the steps. The Prof has various helpful links which can help you generate a product/process name - decide what features of your proposed "artifact" should be emphasized - and get feedback from others on the quality of your artifact... Am fully expecting to hear a news report that some former DESIGN students have successfully put a product (or process) out there on the market because of what they learned in this class about design...!
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Noone and no course is perfect, tho this course has lots of well thought-out features. Didn't think I'd like Modern Poetry because some people just slop together words "and call it modern poetry". But, like some skilled, wonderful modern Visual artists who also take random elements but arrange them well (like Klee for instance), many of the readings/poems used in Modern Poetry (nicknamed ModPo) were well constructed. (All readings were free online, incidentally.) There were only four assignment dates and one did not have to pick a score to assign to one's peers. So tempers stayed calm amongst the thousands of us students...and we focused on the poetry. I read/viewed almost all videos, but this class was a pleasure also because of the lighter homework load. From Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman up to some modern poets whom Prof. Al Filreis knows and interviewed...it was an engaging class. And the Prof will continue the 2012 ModPo forum for a year. So some of us peek in and read/read closely some suggested poem. The regularly appearing video gang (Several returning members of the Prof's students who discussed the latest poetry which we read) were quite engaging. My small suggestion, tho, is that they incorporate more students of different ages to get more diversity of opinion. (Students not far from high school...are less likely to differ with popular opinions/or the Prof's opinions than older students.)