Week 2 of Creative Programming with University Of London and Coursera

It’s week 2 of Creative Programing with the University of London International Programmes and Coursera.  For me the beginning of the course has some fits and starts because of how I managed notifications.  The class is very interesting to me for a few reasons.  This course content is very interesting and just what I was looking for in a programming class this summer – we ‘creatives,’ or non-programmers who need these tools, are learning how to build Apps and games.  The pedagogy is also interesting because it is a little different from my regular degree track course work, and a little different from other Coursera modules I have enrolled in.  It makes sense that different subjects will be taught in different ways.  The ‘take away’ for me is that my daily and weekly schedules have to be managed a little differently.  That’s a very good thing because it helps me to evaluate how I work, and helps me be certain I can get the best results from my effort when my regular course study term begins in the fall.

This is my last term in the English Department, assuming I passed the exams we just completed in May. (I am typing this with my fingers firmly crossed.)  Each term I have major goals and what I call ‘sub goals’.  In the upcoming term my ‘major goals’ include completing a substantial research paper, daily engagement with research, and managing an increased work load.  Besides the great skill that I am learning in the Coursera module it requires me to manage my schedule and respond to the course in ways that I am not accustomed to.  This is really going to help me achieve my study goals next term.  The weekly quizzes and assignments with deadlines look very helpful indeed.

Unit instruction in the Coursera modules is mostly standardized, with email notifications, a course wiki, video lectures, assignments and quizzes.  For some reason I did not receive email notifications about the first assignments, although we had a lively email correspondence before the course began.  After suddenly noticing things went quiet I logged into my course dashboard to investigate.  What I found is that the second week is beginning.  I have to complete 2 weeks of work in 4 days if I want to enroll in the ‘Signature Track’ option for this course.  ‘Signature Track’ is a certificate option that verifies successful completion of this course.  There is a small fee, 49.00USD, which is really small compared to classes I have taken in this field with other institutions.  An 8 to 12 week course usually costs around 450USD at a school in my city.  If you are interested in a ‘Signature Track’ course there is a scholarship available to offset that cost for qualified students.

It’s kind of ironic that a tech glitch with email notifications has affected my study plan for this course and will require a revision of my schedule over the next 4 days.  It points out an important reality in self-directed study.  Time can slip past almost without noticing – miss no opportunity and take nothing for granted where study time is concerned.  NB – I will be sure to put all relevant course dates on the Google calendar with reminders.  It creases me a little to think I let myself miss the first week session, and not just because I really want the ‘Signature Track’ distinction.  I am also working on how to best manage the work load for the University of London International Programmes 2013-2014 term.  How I manage the Coursera materials is a great test for the study plan I am developing for the upcoming Michaelmas term.  This is a very busy summer professionally and creatively.  I enjoy that kind of schedule and I want to accomplish more in the areas that interest me.  Monday is the last day for enrolling in the ‘Signature Track’ for the ‘Creative Programing’ class.  The next few days will be an immersion in the material and I will decide on Sunday if I can make a decent effort towards the ‘Signature Track’ award.  Meanwhile, it’s time to concentrate and enjoy a course I am really looking forward to!

P.S.  ‘The Camera Never Lies’ course, also through the University of London International Programmes on Coursera, starts on Monday 24 June.  The courses are free of charge.  Register here.

Caowrites is studying the BA English by distance learning with the University of London International Programmes.

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