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Dissipate

Dissipate

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Machine Learning for Data Science and Analytics

Written 3 years ago
Like an earlier reviewer said, it is unclear who this course is meant to be for, and the outcome they aim to help learners achieve.

Week 1 consists general information and background on, and the future of, data science. Weeks 2 and 3 breeze through statistics, so you really have to have your elementary statistics down pat to be able to keep up. In addition, most of the lectures for Weeks 2 and 3 were given by a lecturer in respect of which English is not her first language, and I had some trouble following her.

Week 4 covers exploratory data analysis and visualization. Week 5 is on Bayesian Modelling.

Given that Weeks 2 and 3 covered statistics only briefly, I decided to drop out mid-Week 2 to find something more comprehensive on the topics in Week 4 and 5.

The quizzes were not really helpful in that although they would give the correct answer, it did not come with any explanation as to why that was the correct answer and the rest of the answers were wrong.

In general, topics in this course were covered briefly and broadly, and I see this course as more of a general overview of the area of data science , but not for beginners in statistics.

My rating
Dissipate is taking this course right now, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

A Crash Course in Data Science

Written 3 years ago
This course provides a peek into what data science is like, but only gives a general picture in relation to some aspects. The topics were fine, but the quality of lecturing is bad with the lecturers being unclear with vague phrases. I would probably have learnt more spending the time reading an introductory book to data science.

My rating
Dissipate completed this course.

Android Development for Beginners

Written 3 years ago
Instructors are clear, easy to understand, and make the course fun. If you have previous programming experience the course will be a breeze.
My rating
Dissipate is taking this course right now and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Intro to HTML and CSS

Written 2 years ago
Like many other reviewers commented, the title of this course is misleading. It is not an introductory course for complete beginners to HTML and CSS. The course is focussed on design, and I think you will need intermediate knowledge HTML and CSS, otherwise you will feel lost.

I went in with basic knowledge, and the first few videos were fine but got progressively worse as the instructors glazed over concepts and did not do much explaining. I felt like there were lots of gaps and I had to do a lot of self-learning. It was frustrating, and I stopped the course to explore other courses and books on web development.
My rating
Dissipate is taking this course right now and found the course difficulty to be hard.

Introduction to Marketing

Written 2 years ago
The depth of material was appropriate for an introductory course, and I think the entire course can be completed in a week. Very informative and helpful.

Barbara Kahn gave the lectures on branding, marketing strategy and brand positioning (weeks 1 and 4). Peter Fader gave the lectures on customer centricity (week 2). David Bell gave the lectures on market strategies (week 3).

I found Barbara Kahn's lectures the clearest and most structured with tons of useful concrete information. Peter Fader was second in place. I found David Bell's lectures difficult to follow, and it felt like he was regularly going off on tangents. I was taking notes through the course and managed to get structured ones for Barbara Kahn and Peter Fader, but my notes for David Bell do not really flow and connect.

Lastly, I think it would help if David Bell tried to neutralize his New Zealand accent. It was perfectly understandable but somehow fatiguing, and I stopped watching the lectures and just read the transcripts after 15 mins into his videos.
My rating
Dissipate completed this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Developing Android Apps

Written 2 years ago
Katherine Kuan is a great instructor as always, clear and consistent.

However at this point in time (mid-2016), the course is not workable for the main reason that it is outdated, and therefore the code provided by Udacity cannot even compile. The course has been outdated for more than 6 months and if you look at the relevant forum, you will come across many posts made by students who are confused and frustrated at the outdated code vs developments in Android Studio. I was one, and like a couple of people, left the course midway to take up an Android course on Udemy instead.

A second problem with the course is that there are leaps in what is taught. One moment you might be getting good instruction on how to do something. The next, you are expected to get a particular function running yourself and there is no clear instruction on how to do it or how it was done - you have to do research yourself, discuss with the other students, and/or just guess and feel around yourself.
My rating
Dissipate completed this course and found the course difficulty to be hard.

Introduction to Operations Management

Written 2 years ago
Unlike the other people who have commented on this course, I do not think it was very good overall.

First of all, the audio in the videos was of poor quality. That coupled with an accent and mistakes in the subtitles... it just made the course harder to get through.

Second, while there seems to be some structure to the videos, definitions were given in a somewhat haphazard manner, with different terms and formulas being used without having been declared or clarified upfront when they were first explained by the lecturer. Most explanations via a Google search were consistent with each other, but not the terms and formulas used in the lectures. This made in particular the section on process analysis, the calculation of flow rate, flow time, labour utilization, etc, confusion and immensely tedious. It was a struggle to get through and it made me feel like dropping the unit.

I think I would have done better learning the concepts from a book.
My rating
Dissipate completed this course.

Cybersecurity and Mobility

Written 2 years ago
I signed up for the class wanting to know more about cybersecurity issues relating to devices that are mobile - not just mobile phones, but also devices like laptops, tablets.

The annoying sound effects in the videos are one thing. The major issue I have with the course is that it is very shallow with so much fluff and little solid foundational content. It feels amateurish, as though an aspirational cybersecurity content producer with no knowledge and no original thought in the area put the course together. There are numerous links to external content and opinion interviews with people which are not very educational at all.

It's not a course. It's more of a trainwreck of an attempt at a TV documentary.
My rating
Dissipate is taking this course right now.

How to Finance and Grow Your Startup – Without VC

Written 2 years ago
I have watched most of the videos in the course, and have found it rather peculiar. The amount of original material coming from the instructor himself is very little. It is usually contained in short clips at the start and end of the series of videos each week You are pretty much supposed to read his book, The Customer-Funded Business.

So what are the massive number of the videos in the course about? They consist of interviews with entrepreneurs and investors on their experience and opinions, and they are asked some questions are asked that touch on the theme of the week. Unfortunately the interviews can be hard to follow just because they are more like conversations, and the interviewees' responses are not pruned so that you receive what is essential. A huge time sucker.

It makes me wonder whether I should just read the book and un-enroll from the course.
My rating
Dissipate completed this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Written 2 years ago
I can't say much as to the content of the course since I dropped it in Week 2. The content in Week 1 was merely introductory, and not too easy nor difficult.

The problem was that the lecturer speaks way too fast in the videos. At first I thought that I had accidentally set the video to run at 1.5x. But, the video showed that it was running at 1.0x and I thought edX might be broken. Upon refreshing a few times, I found out that nothing was broken. There was the option of 0.5x, but that was too slow-mo, I do not think an accurate 0.5x.

There are subtitles, but it just means that you have to read at a fast speed as well. You can read the subtitles without watching the video, but you may miss the slide that it is paired with, and what the lecturer is writing on the slide.

Since it was highly unlikely that the videos would be redone with the lecturer speaking at a pace that everyone can follow comfortably, I dropped out. More trouble than worth it.
My rating
Dissipate is taking this course right now.

Rethinking International Tax Law

Written 2 years ago
This is a 6-week broad base introductory-type course on international tax law, covering corporate tax law systems, transfer pricing, and tax planning. The lecturers speak at an appropriate pace and are interesting enough to keep you awake. They also provide lots of links to external material for reading. As I am new to tax law, the subject is fascinating to me.

The problem I have been encountering in the course is that English is probably not the first language of the lecturers, so you get unclear English throughout the course. I got confused regularly about what the lecturers were saying, for example whether a phrase they were using, "interest receipt", was a term of art, or as another example where the lecturer said that "the US company will not tax any income of the Dutch CV until it makes a distribution to the US company", whether they meant that the US, and not US company, will not tax any income.

It gets tiresome having to ask for clarification in the forums. Further, most of the teaching staff and mentors are inactive. I wonder if the lecturers should have gotten an English-speaking person to review the course before adding it to Coursera.

Because of issues like this I found myself Googling a lot, and would have found it easier to manage if there was some recommended textbook that I could read and that the course was based on. I may drop out soon just because it might be more efficient to study one good tax law textbook, than go through lectures getting confused and having to Google and piece together explanations from multiple sources.

Perhaps one last point is that this appears to be more of a business course on international tax, not an international tax LAW course. There aren't really any laws discussed, but merely policies.
My rating
Dissipate is taking this course right now and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Intro to Information Security

Written 2 years ago
This appears to be an older course at Udacity taught by instructors from Georgia Tech. At Udacity it is described as "a graduate-level introductory course in information security" which "teaches the basic concepts, principles, and fundamental approaches to secure computers and networks". A range of topics are touched on - software, OS and database security, crytopgraphy, malware, network threats. The recommended textbook is Computer Security Principles and Practice 3E.

Firstly, I have to say that the recommended text is in no way a textbook for beginners. There is a review of it on Amazon by a law student which explained his / her difficulty well.

As for the course, I decided not to waste any further time on it after three hours of lectures. All the lectures up to that point were given by someone with an Indian accent. The accent was not that strong but still a little hard to understand and I had to rely on subtitles. There were bits of broken English and sentences that did not make sense, making it seem as though the instructor was trying to explain concepts impromptu without having first sorted it out in his mind. Unfortunately there are no transcripts, so I had to reply certain parts of the video a few times to try and figure out what the instructor was trying to say. Many times, explanations and the slides were inadequate, for example, the explanation given for "non-executable stack coupled with address space layout randomization" was "uses OS / hardware support". Now what is that supposed to mean? How does it make use of OS / hardware support? Many many times I had to turn to external websites to search for better or more comprehensive explanations.

After those three hours of pain (plus two more hours of self-reading to supplement the videos), I dropped out and went for Pluralsight's Ethical Hacking course. It is really introductory, and the instructors explain things clearly and comprehensively, and do not hide behind terminology. Delivery is good, and there is no confusing impromptu type speech.

Udacity has built itself up as a brand but I think it really needs to set standards for the people who want to put up lectures on its platform.
My rating
Dissipate is taking this course right now and found the course difficulty to be medium.

HI-FIVE: Health Informatics For Innovation, Value & Enrichment (Clinical Perspective)

Written 2 years ago
All of the lectures consisted of powerpoint slides to a voice recording. I think there was a lot of potential for this course to be engaging and interesting, but it ended up very dry and boring. Lots of jargon and loaded words are used at various points, which makes it difficult trying to understand what the instructor really means. The instructors also draw certain conclusions in the course without explaining how they got there.

For example: "How do we address these health care waste areas and unnecessary care? Through value-based care and successful strategies like care management. For example, using primary care services more effectively, consistently, and broadly. Utilizing a primary care team with care managers at the helm to allocate resources more effectively contributes to reducing waste and unnecessary care. Care managers can encourage and guide care teams toward more evidence-based care that looks critically at outcomes and value. Patients also receive the enhanced care management services they need to become and stay healthy."

--But what is "value-based care" and "care management"? How does having a care manager at the helm help to allocate resources more effectively, and reduce waste and unnecessary care?

Another example: "Looking first at the supply side, we have alternative payment models being used by providers. On the demand side, we have consumer-directed health plans that provide coverage based on outcomes. These both can be utilized to eliminate waste in the system and yet avoid a hard trade-off between cost, quality, and care. Care management can support both sides, supply and demand. And at the same time, support the care team and the patient."

--Wait.. what is an alternative payment model? What do you mean when you say that care management can support both sides? How is it able to do that?

Not all bits of the lectures were bad. Some were quite informative. But at many times the lectures just left me baffled.

The quiz questions were absymal. Some were not quite based on the lectures, some plainly asked questions on material not covered in the lectures, some had broken English, some just did not make sense, and the answers to some made assumptions that were not written out in the question.

For example, this example speaks for itself: "Which of the items below is NOT an element of trust?

- Patients are vulnerable and dependent on the provider for quality care

- There is an indirect influence on health outcomes through a direct therapeutic effect of empathy and caring

- Those seeking healthcare are frequently experiencing uncertainty

- Providers who relate to their patients using a paternal style experience higher levels of trust"

Another student could not make sense of the following question and asked about it in the forums, but it has been five days and none of the staff have responded so far: "Which of the AHRQ recommended strategies for effectively utilize resources, realizing cost savings, and enhancing patient experiences, needs to focus on predictive modeling?

- Identify populations with modifiable risks.

- Align services to the needs of the population.

- Train appropriate personnel for needed services.

- None of the above."

The persons listed as lecturers and mentors in the course do not seem to be around. The only person that has been making posts in the discussion forum is Raven David, who is listed as Project Manager at Columbia University. A student posted that the transcripts for one of the lectures in Week 1 was different from what was being said in the lecture. It has been a week and the problem has not been rectified. Strange, given that this is not the first run of the course.

It is unfortunate that the course appears to have been poorly put together, and it is not my first bad experience with a Columbia University MOOC.
My rating
Dissipate completed this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination

Written 2 years ago
Informative and very interesting introduction to forensic accounting and fraud examination. Lecturers were clear, spoke at a good pace, and not boring. The course made me want to read up external material and find out more.

The quizzes on the other hand were not great. Poor English, some questions were vague, did not make sense, or contained matters not covered in lectures.
My rating
Dissipate completed this course.

Health Care IT: Challenges and Opportunities

Written a year ago
Many videos in this course are interviews with people, and the rest, sort of a video conversation with viewers. That makes the course feel very unstructured because people do go off tangent.

The lecturers and interviewees have lots of knowledge and experience to share. Unfortunately, with the poor structure and planning, I could not get the big picture and points of it all. Lots of times the videos were putting me to sleep.

The quizzes were poorly written. Majority of the questions were not touched on during the lectures. In one case, a course mentor realised that some course material required to answer a question was missing, and he posted that he would look into it. However, that was 6 months ago and to-date the issue has not been addressed. Some of the "correct" answers to the quiz questions were dubious.
My rating
Dissipate is taking this course right now, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

Ethics and Law in Data and Analytics

Written 6 months ago
This course covers legal and ethical issues in data analysis, and touches on specific areas where data analysis is used such as employment and school admissions. It also prescribes lab exercises, which I am not sure are that important to the concepts to be taught.

Nonetheless, this is an area that is developing and is very interesting. It could have been very interesting. Unfortunately the lecturers were very dry and boring, it felt like they were reading off a book which I could read myself. I dropped out after an hour into lectures.
My rating
Dissipate is taking this course right now, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

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