I had a great time with Coursera, one of the big three MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) providers, and happily completed my Human Computer Interaction (HCI) course. This is my first course in Coursera.
It was amazing — free great lectures with Professor Scott Klemmer from Stanford University, challenging assignments and, best of all, peer evaluation process. We had nearly 30,000 students from 130 countries watched the lectures and 765 completed all five assignments (including me :) ). The lessons were not so much difference from those in a lecture hall. Scott guided us through an thorough process to build to an application — need finding, storyboarding, rapid prototyping and user testing. Other than this, for each assignment, my peers (from anywhere in the world) and I graded each other’s work. Thus, I had the chance to enjoy brilliant ideas and learn from hardworking students around the world. How awesome that was!!
I enjoyed my HCI class at Coursera a lot, and glad that I spent my spare time on something truly helpful to me as a UXer. I had a hard time to come up a good topic for my work at the beginning, and went through some crazy days to work it out, struggling to keep balance among my full-time job, two Coursera courses, exercises and chores in my life. But nothing is easy if you have a goal to achieve.
Finally, I built this “Better Speech” prototype in Axure. The purpose of this application is to help people to improve their public speaking skills with other community members’ assistance. Click the image below to play with it, and note some minor functionality is not working because this is just a prototype.
My prototype still has so much to improve. I actually thought about what business model can be made out of this idea, but to be frank, I am not good at it yet. If you have good ideas, or want to send me your feedback, I am more than happy to hear from you.
I had such a great time with Coursera and my HCI course that I am currently doing two other courses. Check them out if you like to learn something useful in your spare time: Design, Create Artifacts in Society; Think Again: How to Reason and Argue. I also plan to have more courses in the future. It’s so fun and I hope many more people can join this online study community!