AI Class is interesting. It's hard because of the instructional incoherence - lectures seems a bit like a journey where all the signposts have been removed. It appears from Units 5-6 that some note has been taken of feedback as these are noticeably easier than units 1-4.
On production values, the presentations are annoying for number of reasons:
- handwritten text is always going to have the instructor's hand obscuring some portion of the material and this makes it hard to pause the video to take notes
- many many mistakes in delivery (spoken and written)
- lack of cross-referencing to the text or other material
- mix of easy quiz questions and really hard ones makes it hard to plan time ( I now find myself devoting 2 hours per unit just to watch it straight through) which is not the desired instructional intention. Easy quiz questions weighted the same as hard ones (same for homework)
- bad pedagogical technique in some places: "Concept X is not important for this class", then proceeds to ask a question about Concept X. Quiz: Can you fit a linear function to this data? Yes/No; next quiz: work out the linear regression. Questions that require answers based on prior experience: "Which one would YOU choose?" marked as Correct/Incorrect when the real question is: "Which one would I choose?" (the instructor) or even the inferred "Which is the correct choice, based on what you know from this material?"
- quiz questions that require spatial reasoning presented with no accurate spatial information
I hear the rebuttal "It's a free class, you get what you pay for. shut up and don't be negative". This isn't valid. Academics are trained to find fault; they have to also be able to accept criticism. Handwaving away flaw doesn't work when there are >100K participants. Moreover, this "experiment" is set up as a beta test for knowlabs.com
, which is Thrun's startup. Such criticism is more valid as it will inform the development of the final product. If you are getting your beta testing done for free by a large number of people, you have to take the rough with the smooth.