I’ve just completed my first lab and “homework” for MITx 6.002x – and I achieved a decent result too!
However, before I get too excited, I need to point out that they have a rather odd system of marking assignments – and one that anyone who’s studied an OU course would love!
You are allowed to make as many attempts at each question as you want. Not only that, but it the course software gives you instant feedback on whether your answer was right or wrong. So getting 100% (or close to it) didn’t ought to be that difficult for every lab and “homework”.
30% of the course marks are awarded just for completing these 12 weekly “homework” assignments and labs – in other words, just for (virtually, of course) turning up. This leads me to wonder if the same will apply to the mid-term and final assignments – worth 30% and 40% of the course respectively.
Leaving assignments aside, it’s been an interesting week going through the material. It’s reminded me of many of the things I first learned 30-odd years ago (Kirchhoff’s Current and Voltage Laws, for example) and had since forgotten about. The material has been engaging and even the over-use of words like “fun” and “cool” isn’t annoying me too much at the moment.
I’ve found that other people are blogging about the course too. For example, Alison Wheeler has written about how 6.002x fails the internationalization (i18n) test. It’s an interesting article, and I agree in principle with all of the points she makes in it.
However, perhaps such criticism at this stage of MITx’s development is a little harsh, and Alison does close her article by partially conceding this point. DD307 “situated knowledges”, anyone? After all, you know before you sign up that you’ll be taking a prototype course, designed by Americans, using material adapted from a “live” (and paid for!) presentation to Americans on MIT 6.002.
For the time being, I’m more than prepared to forgive them for using a 115 feet length of wire in one of the exercises, instead of referring to it as having a length of 35.052 metres.