A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior

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A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior

Course Details

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FREE

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  • TBA

Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4807 reviews

Course Description

This course will draw heavily on my own research, and pulls largely from my three books: [Predictably Irrational](http://www.amazon.com/Predictably- Irrational-Revised-Expanded-Edition/dp/0061353248/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=13610 31703&sr=8-1&keywords=dan+ariely) (2008), [The Upside of Irrationality](http://www.amazon.com/The-Upside-Irrationality-Unexpected- Benefits/dp/0061995045/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1361031759&sr=8-6) (2010), and [The Honest Truth About Dishonesty](http://www.amazon.com/Honest- Truth-About-Dishonesty-Everyone---Especially/dp/0062183591/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8& qid=1361031810&sr=8-3&keywords=dan+ariely) (2012). We will examine topics such as our “irrational” patterns of thinking about money and investments, how expectations shape perception, economic and psychological analyses of dishonesty by honest people, how social and financial incentives work together (or against each other) in labor, how self-... This course will draw heavily on my own research, and pulls largely from my three books: [Predictably Irrational](http://www.amazon.com/Predictably- Irrational-Revised-Expanded-Edition/dp/0061353248/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=13610 31703&sr=8-1&keywords=dan+ariely) (2008), [The Upside of Irrationality](http://www.amazon.com/The-Upside-Irrationality-Unexpected- Benefits/dp/0061995045/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1361031759&sr=8-6) (2010), and [The Honest Truth About Dishonesty](http://www.amazon.com/Honest- Truth-About-Dishonesty-Everyone---Especially/dp/0062183591/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8& qid=1361031810&sr=8-3&keywords=dan+ariely) (2012). We will examine topics such as our “irrational” patterns of thinking about money and investments, how expectations shape perception, economic and psychological analyses of dishonesty by honest people, how social and financial incentives work together (or against each other) in labor, how self-control comes into play with decision making, and how emotion (rather than cognition) can have a large impact on economic decisions. This highly interdisciplinary course will be relevant to all human beings. **The goals of this class:** 1. Introduce you to the range of cases where people (consumers, investors, managers, friends, significant others, and even you) might make decisions that are inconsistent with standard economic theory and the assumptions of rational decision making. This is the lens of behavioral economics. 2. Help you think creatively about the applications of behavioral economics to the development of new products, technologies and public policy, and to understand how business and social policy strategies could be modified with a deeper understanding of the effects these principles have on all of us.
Reviews 10/10 stars
373 Reviews for A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior

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Diane L. profile image
Diane L. profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
I had only taken a very basic psychology course in college and it was nowhere as good as this course. It was very interesting to know our different biases and irrationalities, especially since it covered topics that would apply in my very own life. This course went above and beyond my expectations. The lectures were informative and entertaining. The instructor was fun and engaging. There was a lot of course material readily available (and for free!). The only hitch was the peer grading, which was very problematic. I do hope they will improve it the next time they offer the course. Overall, the course was amazing. I truly learned a lot and enjoyed the process.
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Muffie Michaelson profile image
Muffie Michaelson profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
I have met Dan Ariely and heard him speak, so I knew that this course would be very entertaining and that the information would be helpful both professionally and personally. After all, everyone can benefit from understanding the factors that influence decision-making. We all face choices and dilemmas constantly, and we all try to influence the decisions of others. In his video lectures Dan decodes complex economic and psychological concepts, reframing them into a narrative that anyone can understand. Some people may choose to only watch the ~ 2 hours of lectures per week, and there is some benefit in that approach. However, full participation in the course is the only way to really absorb the many concepts. The required readings can be time-consuming because they are articles from academic journals, and if you don’t have a background in psych or econ you will need to spend additional time looking up the jargon. (A class Wiki helped ... I have met Dan Ariely and heard him speak, so I knew that this course would be very entertaining and that the information would be helpful both professionally and personally. After all, everyone can benefit from understanding the factors that influence decision-making. We all face choices and dilemmas constantly, and we all try to influence the decisions of others. In his video lectures Dan decodes complex economic and psychological concepts, reframing them into a narrative that anyone can understand. Some people may choose to only watch the ~ 2 hours of lectures per week, and there is some benefit in that approach. However, full participation in the course is the only way to really absorb the many concepts. The required readings can be time-consuming because they are articles from academic journals, and if you don’t have a background in psych or econ you will need to spend additional time looking up the jargon. (A class Wiki helped somewhat, but I still had to research many terms.) Watching the videos as an introduction to the readings was the best strategy. The quizzes were challenging at first because the phrasing was somewhat awkward, but they were intended to be used as teaching devices rather than testing devices, in fact, you could take each one up to 15 times (questions were varied), and if you retook them you adapted to the odd phrasing. Some people were not pleased that the 800 word writing assignment was peer-graded, but my evaluators were very fair, and I tried to be generous to those I graded. The final exam was easier than I expected, but I prepped for it by retaking the quizzes until I scored 100% or understood my mistakes, and that helped enormously. This course occupied all my free time for 6 weeks, but I enjoyed it so much and learned so much that I blabbered about it to everyone, and now I feel truly disappointed that it is over. I would recommend this course to everyone.
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Sonelina Pal profile image
Sonelina Pal profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
One of two MOOCS I took together. So it was a first experience, but not the only one. I loved the format and the effort put into making the course worthwhile. The level of involvement required in order to get a certificate was high, so I learnt more than I would have if I had been able to cruise through it. The workload was heavier than I expected, and thus, studying for the other course suffered, as it was easier to get a certificate on that with less work. If I had known how much time this course required I would not have taken two on together.
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Panchito Lara profile image
Panchito Lara profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
It was my first time in Coursera , and I am extremely amazed with Dan and his dynamic way of teaching . His staff outstanding , the virtual platform was interesting , the fora exciting . I do really appreciate the video lectures and the close caption , they were very well planned . Believe it or not I did not notice , that I could also have access to the script of the video lectures ( I realized only yesterday ) . I can understand English , but it help a lot the subtitles ( Spanish is my first language) . The topic of behavioral economics was new for me , and I find it very helpful for my classes at the University . ( I am a psychologist and I teach undergraduate students at a local university) . I learned about hang outs , I did not know it before . Very useful opinions in the fora . Quizzes well formulated , but I would like to know the answers of my errors in many of them . 85 % is very high , but I think that it was Ok . I did no... It was my first time in Coursera , and I am extremely amazed with Dan and his dynamic way of teaching . His staff outstanding , the virtual platform was interesting , the fora exciting . I do really appreciate the video lectures and the close caption , they were very well planned . Believe it or not I did not notice , that I could also have access to the script of the video lectures ( I realized only yesterday ) . I can understand English , but it help a lot the subtitles ( Spanish is my first language) . The topic of behavioral economics was new for me , and I find it very helpful for my classes at the University . ( I am a psychologist and I teach undergraduate students at a local university) . I learned about hang outs , I did not know it before . Very useful opinions in the fora . Quizzes well formulated , but I would like to know the answers of my errors in many of them . 85 % is very high , but I think that it was Ok . I did not get the Certificate , but the whole experience for me was awesome and unique . I will try to be in other Coursera courses and I am convinced that we learn all of our life . Thanks Dan , again and the best for all your team . Oh , I missed , I bought by Internet your three books in Spanish , " muy buenos ". Warm regards, Dante Gazzolo D.
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Aaron Freeman profile image
Aaron Freeman profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years ago
Dan is a fantastic lecturer and a grand personality. BGIB was the first Coursera course I ever took. I did not successful complete it b/c I didn't understand how to use the site and find the assignments. I retook it this year and completed it with distinction. It was shorter and included less material. I can only assume that was b/c the class was sooooo much work for them all last year. This year was easier but no less fun. I was disappointed with the wording of the SOA, it seemed to mock the whole endeavour, but the information from the course and the interaction with classmates were wonderful. I highly recommend BGIB! Just don't believe Dan when he promises a cert you'll be proud to show your friends.
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CMW profile image
CMW profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
This was the first class on Coursera that I completed and I enjoyed it very much. Prof. Ariely is engaging and knowledgeable. His presentation made the course and material interesting and fun. The course was very organized and although there was a lot to do, it was easy to meet deadlines and course requirements with no problem. I would recommend this class and professor to anyone.
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John Maier profile image
John Maier profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
I took this course because I read Dan's book Predictably Irrational a few years ago. The course was every bit as educational as the book, and Dan is very entertaining (as professor go).
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Leticia Mancera profile image
Leticia Mancera profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
All the course was excellent . The videos were very well done, funny and with interactive questions. I think that after I took this course it is going to be difficult to find another one with this quality.
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jledoux profile image
jledoux profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 completed
7 years ago
An awesome course. I signed up when the course was nearly over, so only watched the videos and took a few quizzes after the deadline, and downloaded some of the readings. Very engaging, well-produced, well-written lectures and very interesting content. Great for listening while say walking your dog, or commuting to work. (Versus say more mathematical courses where you have to follow equations, plots, etc.) Granted I have a feeling that some of the observed experimental effects aren't as strong as purported (e.g., effects of experimenting on elite college students or effects of subjects attempting to go along with what they perceive the experimenters desired results are).
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K Partin profile image
K Partin profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
7 years ago
I signed up for this class completely out of curiosity, intending to learn a bit about what Behavioral Economics is about and expecting to drop out after a couple of sessions. Instead, I stayed for the entire course finding the subject matter fascinating and the instructor immensely engaging. I really liked the class lectures and resource materials. It was especially helpful to have the full reading list from the start of class. This was much better than other similar courses have posted materials only at the precise start time of each new week which squeezed study times because of my need to download for remote viewing later. My only regret is that I did not have the time to keep up with the lectures and readings, at least according to the class schedule, because I was simultaneously taking a couple other higher priority career- specific, demanding classes (and working full time, too).
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Nora Sierra profile image
Nora Sierra profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
My first MOOC, was really addictive, Dan is an excellent researcher and also a great speaker, has a good sense of humor. There was quite academic papers, fails to read them all. We spend almost three times the time it had intended. My favorite subjects were the psychology of money, dishonesty and emotions. It was a chance to chat with Dan and guests (although I could not do). The staff answered questions fast. There was a lot of camaraderie, creativity, solidarity, empathy and collaboration with classmates. I consider The passing score high, 85%. Strange the course and although I am taking other, I feel the same. I'm waiting for the second part. I recommend this course!
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Juan Garcia profile image
Juan Garcia profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
I have been highly surprised by the quality of this course. It has gone beyond my expectations. If i have to especially remark something i would definitely highlight the lectures not only because of the content but as well because of the clarity of the explanations, thanks professor Ariely ! Finally i would like to say that the overall preparation and dedication of the whole team has done the rest. 10 out of 10 ! !
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Ann Jacobson profile image
Ann Jacobson profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
This was my first MOOC course and I was extremely impressed. The instructor (Dan Ariely) was excellent, the support team was very on top of things, and the guest lecturers were well chosen and provided additional richness to the course content. I only committed to myself that I would watch all the lectures and take the lecture quizzes, and the material was so engaging that I had no difficulty sticking to that. Early on I looked at the readings and felt they were too dense for my available time. Overall, I think Dan and team should be very proud of what they accomplished, and if they offer this again I highly recommend it!
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Glaucia Loebmann profile image
Glaucia Loebmann profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
7 years ago
I took this course completely by chance. Had no previous knowledge on the subject, and no work related ( even if later on realized is was very practical in different aspects of our life). Professor Dan Ariely and staff did a terrific job , keeping us interested, and pushing forward. I would extremely recommend this course to anyone interested on human relations and behavior.
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Alvaro Z profile image
Alvaro Z profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
Entretenido e informativo¡¡. Me gustaron los videos y los ejemplos. Creo que me ha servido para entender muchos de mis propios errores.
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Marco Villanueva profile image
Marco Villanueva profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
More than I expected. Really interesting topics, with a great professor to explain them. :) Academic papers and lectures were great. The guest lecturers were the added bonus, and the jokes of Dan were "la cereza del helado" in this brilliant course.
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Lynn W. profile image
Lynn W. profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
Wow. If all my professors were this good with their classes, I don't think I would have ever left college. Dan gives engaging, educational, and informative lectures, with some humor and factoids thrown in for fun. I enjoyed the video lectures much more than the readings---I usually don't enjoy journalistic studies talking about beta's and regression analysis, etc. But overall this was a great class--would take anything offered by Dan Ariely. I think it would be great to have him over for dinner....an interesting guy!
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Judy Parente profile image
Judy Parente profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
I would recommend this course to people regardless of their field of study because what I learned has such practical real world utility. The lectures were always entertaining. The readings were also first rate.
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Marisa Averbuch profile image
Marisa Averbuch profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
This was my first MOOC and the bar was set high for all the others to come! Prof. Ariely is a wonderful lecturer! He and his team managed to put together a course that was extremely instructive, interesting and entertaining. The passing score was high, 85%. But instead of pushing people away, it motivated them even more through the quizzes, written assignment and finals.
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Ana-Maria Tanasescu profile image
Ana-Maria Tanasescu profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
This was the first Coursera class that I completed and I have to say that there could not have been a more challenging and inspiring experience. I discovered Dan Ariely's work through a course included in my master program's curricula and I had read his first book before joining the course, but I think that even without this prior experience I would have found the concepts and theories discussed easy to grasp, due to the professor's thorough and engaging explanations. I also appreciated the diversity of the elements the course consisted of: not only were the subjects approached very varied, but we also had the chance to watch lectures held by special guests and read articles we probably wouldn't have discovered through individual study. I sincerely recommend this course!
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Hai Brenner profile image
Hai Brenner profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
The course is most interesting and it is extremely well designed. It seems as Dan and his TAs have dedicated so much effort to this course - much more than what is usually found in courses (especially free ones). The real workload, though, is more than stated. Although you can do without reading the "required" papers, if you wish to do it as it should be done - it takes quite a lot of time. Also, the writing assignment (necessary for acknowledgement for the course) takes quite a few more hours. Nevertheless, you can have this course just listening to the lectures. They are very interesting, well lectured and extremely entertaining.
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LinBee profile image
LinBee profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
This was a very rewarding course. The subject matter is both interesting and useful and Dan Ariely is an excellent teacher. This was my first Coursera course and I found it purely by chance. I initially estimated that I would spend fewer hours and not take full advantage of the tests and discussions but very quickly I changed my mind and took it all in, even some of the recommended readings, and found I didn't want it to end. I have been enrolled full-time in one sort of academic program or another for 26 years of my life (27 if you count kindergarten) so trust me when I say this is an outstanding course and Dan Ariely is an outstanding teacher. His lectures are entertaining, his enthusiasm is infectious and his material is immediately applicable to real life. In fact, some of the material might save you considerable money and emotional suffering. As others mention, some of the required reading is dry in the way that academic writing... This was a very rewarding course. The subject matter is both interesting and useful and Dan Ariely is an excellent teacher. This was my first Coursera course and I found it purely by chance. I initially estimated that I would spend fewer hours and not take full advantage of the tests and discussions but very quickly I changed my mind and took it all in, even some of the recommended readings, and found I didn't want it to end. I have been enrolled full-time in one sort of academic program or another for 26 years of my life (27 if you count kindergarten) so trust me when I say this is an outstanding course and Dan Ariely is an outstanding teacher. His lectures are entertaining, his enthusiasm is infectious and his material is immediately applicable to real life. In fact, some of the material might save you considerable money and emotional suffering. As others mention, some of the required reading is dry in the way that academic writing tends to be, but it is worth persevering and Dan's own books are as delightful as he is. I can't compare it to other Coursera courses as it is my first. I can only hope there are others half as good.
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George Brindeiro profile image
George Brindeiro profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
I really liked the course and had a great personal intake from it. The only hardship I had was the amount of reading involved and the fact that I could not get partial credit for the course due to a late deadline (it was not possible to submit the writing assignment late for partial credit, and failing to do that meant you failed the course).
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Mats Lindberg profile image
Mats Lindberg profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
Tjis is an excellent course! Dani Ariely is a fantastic teacher. I was thrilled through all the course.
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Edwin Chua profile image
Edwin Chua profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
I really enjoyed this course. The concepts aren't that hard to understand, but it is a lot of information and there is a lot of reading involved. Dan Ariely's lectures are entertaining, and I found myself looking forward to when the new week's lectures went up. You have to really manage your time and put in the effort, but it's worth it!
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Gabrielle Koza profile image
Gabrielle Koza profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
I've been reading Dan Ariely's blog for a couple of years and found out about this course there. This was my first experience with Coursera. There were many topics covered in an entertaining and easy-to-absorb way, but the readings showed the academic rigor behind the information. The production quality of the videos were very high, and I enjoyed the relaxed approach of the office hours and hangouts. I have a feeling that the quality of this course may have spoiled me for other Coursera courses, but I will take some of them nevertheless. I especially appreciated learning about approaching and understanding human behavior in a scientific way.
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Hana profile image
Hana profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
\- Great course with well-prepared course materials. \- Video lecture is entertaining and fun to learn. \- Study groups were well managed and collaborative. Highly recommended!
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B Mohan Kumar profile image
B Mohan Kumar profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 12 reviews
  • 11 completed
6 years, 1 month ago
Brilliant content and delivery of the course. MOST of the additional reading material was good. The peer review process of the writing assignment was a disaster, because, the peer group was absolutely heterogeneous in terms of background , outlook and priorities. Took the course again. This time the peer review process and the grading process was modified. As usual, the best course on Coursera so far
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Slavica Lazarevic profile image
Slavica Lazarevic profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
This course is amazingly engaging and useful. This is my third MOOC and definitely the best. I enjoyed even the academic readings (once I got to realize how one should read them most efficiently :)). Do not underestimate the written essay.
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Luiz Ventura profile image
Luiz Ventura profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
7 years ago
The course was very well thought and very well taught... The video materials were very good (even the jokes), although some of the readings can be very especialized and maybe a little tough for a beginners course, unlike Mr. Arielys most popular books, that focuses on an average reader, those lectures are especialized published papers and sometimes hard to read. Some people complained on the peer assesment method for part of the evaluation... I don´t see any alternatives to evaluate 6000 essays in one week, but there is always some room for improvement...
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