Sunday, 29 June 2014

First Impression - Coursera and Its Supply Chain Management Course

Perhaps you have already heard of Coursera, one of the platforms which specialize in online education. It offers plenty of university courses for free. The only thing you need to do to access them is to register to have an account there (only one per person is allowed). If you register for a course, take it during its official period and succeed in fulfilling the requirements, you are entitled to receive a Statement of Accomplishment. In addition, if you pay an extra sum of money and go through a process of validating your account, you will earn a verified certificate, which lets you share your course record with employers or other educational institutions via a special URL. This option is currently available only for some of the courses.

Today I am going to give you a short first impression about a course called Supply Chain Management: A Learning Perspective. It has been running since 16th June 2014 and the total duration is supposed to be eight weeks. The institution providing this course is a public South Korean research university KAIST. The lecturer of the course is Professor Bowon Kim. The lectures are available in English with subtitles which seem to be automatically transcribed from the speech (not written by the lecturer). As for the pronunciation of a non-native speaker, it might be somewhat difficult go through the videos without having the subtitles switched on, despite them occasionally missing a word or totally misinterpreting a phrase.

The course is now in its second week, thus I will focus on the first week and all the assignments and quizzes related to it. The first-week's lectures are in total over 70 minutes long and contain no in-built (not graded) quizzes. The lecture is understandable even for a person with no background in anything related to economy, management et cetera. The special terminology is quite basic and easy to find online. The topic is, in my opinion, presented well and the graded quiz does not contain unclear tasks. The assignment, though, might be difficult, if you are not used to writing essays. However, I believe that after seeing the essays of other's after the deadline (when attempting to do a peer review), it might give a student the idea for the next time of how an essays should be written.

By the end of the course I will try to do some after-course review, since the courses are usually left on the website for anyone who wants to go through the material later or sometimes, they are updated and rerun. Thus, I suppose this and the final review might be useful.

Final verdict of the first impression: So far the course looks good and worth going through.

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