๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿค“ First impressions of online learning

Sophie Gill ยท 8 February, 2020

As I mentioned in my last post, Iโ€™ve started some introductory Computer Science courses, in preparation for starting my BSc in April with the University of London online course

As far as I can tell, the introductory courses offered on Coursera, are excerpts from the full degree courses, so give an accurate feel for the workload involved.

So far itโ€™s been a really mixed experience. There are three courses on offer so I decided to try all of them, as Iโ€™m auditing the courses which means there isnโ€™t a deadline.

One of the courses, How Computers Work, has been a breeze. Iโ€™m already pretty familiar with the subject matter, and by watching the videos at 1.50x or even 2x speed I have gotten through the first two weeks of content in a couple of hours. I canโ€™t access the assessment for this modules, but I think they are essay-style questions.

The second course, Introduction to Programming, has also been pretty quick to work through in terms of the materials on offer. However I got confused about the assessment and thought that the whole course assessment had to be done in the first week.
I went back and checked the instructions and concluded that these werenโ€™t at all clear! The assessment took around 9 hours in total, which was supposed to be spread across 3 weeks. This feels manageable, but I do have quite a bit of experience here, so someone new to programming might struggle.

The third course, Mathematics for Programming, has been a whole different board game. The material is by far the most challenging, but itโ€™s also the most enjoyable.

That said, Iโ€™ve been working through the first week for around 8 hours now, and still havenโ€™t finished!! The mathematics course will be one of the first modules I do for the degree, so Iโ€™ll need to keep this in mind.

Iโ€™m planning on studying two modules initially, so hopefully if the other module has a lighter workload, I can give maths the time it needs ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

One thing that Iโ€™ve struggled with across all three courses is the reliance on video content. I much prefer reading content so I can skim over the parts Iโ€™m more familiar with, and spend more time working through the harder sections. Every video has a transcript, but I often feel like Iโ€™m missing content when I rely on these alone.

Thankfully the built in player can be sped up, so Iโ€™ve been able to get through the videos pretty quickly.

So far Iโ€™m half way through the first two courses, and less than 1/6th of the way through the Mathematics course ๐Ÿ˜ณ So thereโ€™s still a lot to do, and plenty to blog about.

Twitter, Facebook