by Min-Chul K•
Sep 25, 2017
Worst online course that I have taken so far - and I have taken quite a few on edX, Coursera, and Udacity.
The peer review system is a joke. If not enough people take this course, well then what you have submitted weeks ago will remain as 'grading in progress' forever.
This course is designed to sell the book. The entire course is a series of interviews with the author, talking about the chapters about the book, followed by excerpts from the book to read.
The content is not in anyway good or at least intellectually stimulating. Where is the value in this course? To what audience is this course designed for? In contrast, the Design Thinking course from the same university is far more refined and well-prepared.
The author has little understanding of science from which this way of thinking comes from. Right from the beginning the author "compares" systems thinking with science. As a physicist and a chemist, I can tell you that the author's understanding of science is not coming off as that deep at all. Systems thinking is an integral part of science - in fact, it comes from science (think biological and earth systems). In fact, there is an entire branch of physics dedicated to complex systems. To degrade science just to promote Systems Thinking as some sort of branding is typical business/management bullshit. This translates into this very shallow view of systems thinking where someone without any knowledge of systems thinking could already go about thinking the world. I mean come on! Didn't the author go through primary education? Ecosystem? Water cycle? You really didn't come across systems thinking (or some version of it) until after college? Perhaps the target audience is for those who didn't pay attention in school, but maybe - just maybe - the level of the target audience is way too low.
Even though I am giving a harsh review, I am still guessing that the author is not an idiot, and that the author is genuinely concerned about issues such as sustainability. It must be frustrating that the society as a whole does not pay more attention to such issues. The author must have put in effort to try and make such material accessible to the wider public, even throw in a little soccer to make the content more relatable. I do commend that. But perhaps the target demographic and the medium is not well thought out. Something like a 40 minute interview/presentation on a youtube channel would have been much better. I would expect something more academic on coursera, rather than trying to pass off something not quite ready as a course worthy of a certificate or spending 6 weeks on.
The course title was so interesting that I thought this would be a very innovative delivery of a subject matter that really triggers thought and provides insight. But the course ended up being overwhelmingly disappointing.