About Coursera and certificates/statements of completion

cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior MemberMod Posts: 6,915 Mod
I signed up for the class that Paperlantern posted the other day and a lively discussion came up on the board. You can either follow the course just by watching the lectures or you can complete assignments, case studies, and quizzes which involve peer grading. Either way, the instructor mentioned that there would be no certificate or statement of completion of any kind issued when completing the course.

I wonder what everyone thinks about this. Arguments were made on both sides as follows:

- It's a free course. You should expect nothing in return other than the knowledge

- I was hoping to use this course as my CPE credit for two designations I hold, but since the statement of accomplishment is not awarded I cannot use it. It is a shame as it appears to be a great course.

- I am with the majority here. I don't understand the logic being the lack of a Certificate of Completion,other than a push to get the real UW InfoSec certificate

- I can live without completion certificates, but I think that if UW believes this is a way of pushing for payed courses (or to pay for having one) should reconsider entirely its marketing policy and his beliefs about MOOC courses.

- I wouldn't expect a certificate from a free class anyway. Knowledge is power.

- I agree with several people here who are saying that you can't expect a certificate for a free course. Even if you got one, it is pretty much useless as none will take it seriously.

- Why you should be rewarded in some special way in the first place for spending an hour or two a day watching videos that improve your competitive position on the market?

- My main complain here is if they won´t give us a statement of completion, what is the need for quizzes and peer assessment?? At the end of the day, all of us will receive exactly the same, doing the quizzes or not...

- Bunch of crybabies. You sound so thoughtless requesting/complaining about a certificate. Think, if you can, you’re doing it for yourself… why the heck would they give you a cert? If I was the admin I would delete your accounts and have you look for a free education elsewhere. It’s so shocking how most people are saying “but we put so much time into it, we deserve it” deserve what? It’s free… so stinking dumb. This is the direction the world is heading in, so sad but paved out in words through this feed.


Looking forward to your thoughts.

Comments

  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I like your post and I have wondered about these things with Coursera myself. I started the Startup Engineering course but dropped it as I felt it was a waste of time for me. I already knew most of the technologies pretty well. I just wanted to comment on one thing.
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    - I wouldn't expect a certificate from a free class anyway. Knowledge is power.

    - I agree with several people here who are saying that you can't expect a certificate for a free course. Even if you got one, it is pretty much useless as none will take it seriously.

    - Why you should be rewarded in some special way in the first place for spending an hour or two a day watching videos that improve your competitive position on the market?

    I find it interesting that people in the same field attended the same course can believe such different things. Either the course is valuable or not. If it's valuable, it should be taken seriously. The cost of the course should be irrelevant. How can something that is useless improve your competitive position in the market? How can something that is not taken seriously improve your competitive position? If it's useless, how can it confer knowledge or power?

    I just find that interesting. What is your opinion of the course so far, or are you just finishing the first week?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    A engineer friend of mine from AT&T took the first crypto class and said it was rough. He's a smart guy too, CS from Rice, he's no joke. He said he will take the crypto 2 course next time they offer it.
  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Member Posts: 968
    Personally, I think that with "free" courses edX got it right.

    The courses themselves are free, however if you want some sort of cert at the end there should be some work involved and an assessment of some sort for a minimal fee (£5-£10), if a fee is required.

    Anyway, the term "free" isn't really relative, these organisations have paid to set this up, the development and for it's running (and these funds have been gained from previous/existing students, sponsors and or the Government). What is the difference between that and say work paying for your next certification/course? In both cases they are free to you, the individual.

    You could say that regardless of whether the course was "free" or not, that certifications are "useless". It really does depend on what point of view your taking.

    If you are expecting them to be a qualification, well that's not the point of them, they ain't. They are a certification of completion, that simply says that "I've done it". However if you looking at it from either a personal development point of view or a professional point of view (a lot of organisations have continuing professional development requirements as well as professions and professional/trade bodies that you can put this towards), that's where these hold their ground (provided they are relevant).

    And just like everything else, it does depend on the course and the organisation that is offering the course. Quality and content can vary between providers...
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @ Ninja the crypto course I am referring too is designed to give you a deeper understanding of a particular topic. This course was offered by Stanford. I don't believe this to be as challenging as if you took a course from the University itself, but it's still great to further develop yourself. And that is what it's really about, however a lot of times people miss the mark on that. They go for the piece a paper and all it's glory.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    N2IT wrote: »
    A engineer friend of mine from AT&T took the first crypto class and said it was rough. He's a smart guy too, CS from Rice, he's no joke. He said he will take the crypto 2 course next time they offer it.

    I tried that class and dropped out by the third week. It was really interesting but I could not keep up. I just didn't have the background in probability theory/math. If I had done some study in that area before the class I might have barely gotten through but I got lost quickly.
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    If the course is free, you're doing it for personal growth. You don't pay for the knowledge, you pay for the credits. Keep it simple.
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • demonfurbiedemonfurbie Member Posts: 1,819
    i would pay at the end for a cert of some sort but not make it a requirement for every one to pay

    say have a 3 or 4 class similar topic setup as a cert
    wgu undergrad: done ... woot!!
    WGU MS IT Management: done ... double woot :cheers:
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Robert nothing to be ashamed of like I mentioned earlier my engineering friend graduated from Rice. Not to mention he went close to 100% free of cost to one of the best CS programs in the world. (At least that is my understanding). He said it was very tough. @ instant precisely.
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