Great class for the content I needed. I audited this class and benefited from the theory discussion and practical exercises. The class guided me to improve my writing style which was my ultimate goal.
Lessons were well done, good mix of teaching and illuminating discussion between accomplished writers. Exercises are creative and well thought out. Feedback from classmates is generally helpful.
By Daniel C•
By Iris R•
By Priyam G•
By Carreen P•
By Sana N•
I enjoyed Salavatore's lessons, video and reading materials. I have ended up following the thread started in the videos and researching more from those rather modest starting points .
The better a video lesson is the more I am left feeling it could have been even more, given a little more, a longer, less compacted teaching/learning curve.
Most importantly, direct input and/or contact with the professors would be beneficial, as ell as getting reviews and feedback from QUALIFIED STAFF.
This aspect of the course had not been made clear before signing up, I found out about it while doing the first of four courses, accepted it and carried on through all 4. Having anyone read our work is great and hard to come by, but having a professional, at least from time to time - now that is what learning is really about.
Way back when I was still a student in London I remember noticing the beginnings of this trend in the university I was at: "peer feedback" and "peer learning" became all the rage, the new buzz words. And yes they are very important elements of the learners experience, but they should complement, rather than substitute the process.
It is so very convenient to have learners teaching one another, both in an online as well as presential course, not the least because it decreases the time and money spent on a qualified teachers. The fact that this details is overlooked in the course description shows that it is a sensitive topic and that it might put a number of potential learners off.
The course has value and brings satisfaction as well as surprising (self) revelations. Therefore it can afford to be more transparent.
To cut this short, why not re-introduce the qualified staff and make this an even more valuable experience? Paying for a course should not leave learners feeling we are being saved on by an educational institution or that only paying a little more would afford us teacher feedback.
By Maria J d C M•
(+) Great course for the self-paced, self-managing student. The instructor is incredibly erudite and poetic, which made this module more challenging for me (beginner). I felt that this module requires a mastering of basic knowledge that I didn't have, as a beginner, and despite having gone through all the previous courses. Perhaps this is why it's the fourth course in the specialization (though one can take them in whichever order one likes) - the degree of difficulty of the subjject goes up as one moves on. The assignments were also the most challenging, but that, to me, made them more interesting; one needs to push oneself more, go back and review what was taught in the other courses in the specialization.
(-) The peer reviews remain the major minus of this and other creative writing MOOC courses. The tips on how to improve one's writing, provided by mentors, are excellent but rare, in my experience. The reviews by by beginners like myself - doing the best one can, offering constructive detail advice within our limited know-how and experience - are helpful but a small a minority. Many are too brief, or consisting of monosyllabic answers ("good", "great", "ok", etc.) I suppose it's part of the creative arts MOOC experience, all the people that with moderate to little interest in the subject that just want to fast forward their way to a relatively inexpensive certificate - no expense tuition and living costs, no stringent admission requirements - by a good university...
ALL IN ALL a good experience like the rest of the courses in the specialization. Recommend it to all ambitious beginner / beginner plus writers, with a word of caution about peer reviews - don't expect a fraction of a live class or work group.
Last but not least: THANK YOU to the teacher, course mentor M.L. Barnes, and the peer reviewers who took the time to write constructive critique!
By Deleted A•
I liked the course very much. For a foreign speaker, though, I found it particularly challenging. The nuances of words are particularly important when dealing with matters of style, and I struggled through the exercises, which I found a bit more "abstract" than those in preceding courses of this series. Maybe it was just self-consciousness... In any case, because I encountered this struggle, the course was helpful in making me think about how do I want to pursue my next steps in the process of creative writing -- should I continue in English, or should I try, instead, to do it in my native language? I am sure this is a question that many other students have asked themselves. I shouldn't conclude without saying that I do recommend the course, in any case.
By Michael H•
This is the fourth class I've taken in the Creative Writing specialization program. As a whole, I enjoyed the class, with only a few notes to make. As with the other classes in the specialization, I feel the curriculum could be expanded upon, perhaps with assigned readings to help illustrate the points made in the lectures. Another thing I wish to note, albeit a minor one, is that the videos in this course particularly feel a bit cut up. It seems like several takes were combined into one video, which makes the overall presentation feel a bit jerky in comparison to other courses in the program.
By Sandy B•
The instructor gives clear examples and good interviews on writing style. I expected it would cover different styles of writing, but was challenged to see that the things I thought of as grammar are important pieces of the story puzzle. How and where you use them matters.
I had one late submission and had to advocate for reviews after completing all four weeks. It can be frustrating, but II was not alone in it. The courses encourage peers to support each other and they do. Taking the time to read through extra submissions was an opportunity to internalize more of what I learned. Thank you.
By Freddie d M•
The video's were all great and the exercises were really quite helpful. They all felt like they pushed me to try something a little outside of what I might be used to. The main issue with this and all the other courses is the feedback. It's extremely frustrating to give detailed feedback for pieces to quite often get very innane responses(or on more than a few occasions a single word). I know many of the people aren't native English but some moderation for the feedback would be great, perhaps in the same vain as the assignment.
By Marilyn G•
While the subject matter was useful it was not always easy for me to follow the lectures / discussions. I know online learning can be challenging so I can only imagine that online teaching is extremely challenging as well. I did like the variety in presentation methods that Salvatore used and I also liked the various lessons we were assigned. However, I got very limited feedback from my peers in this course, moreso the others. Thank you for the opportunity for me to share your knowledge! I learn a lot.
By Christine W•
I really enjoyed this class and got out of it exactly what I put into it. The only thing I disliked was the exercise where where the subject matter was specified and I had to write about that particular matter rather than creating my own. I get that the entire point of the exercise was to execute what the gist of the lesson was, but personally, I prefer to write about my own content rather than being restricted to A reacts to B and what is C.
By Tania R F•
This was an interesting course that challenged me in many ways.. The only complaint I have is that it was too short; the concept can be difficult to understand (at least for me), so I would have liked it better if it extended to 6, or even 5 weeks, but I guess the system has been designed this way.
Prof. Scibona is a passionate lecturer, and definitely made me think outside the box...
Thank you Wesleyan University and Coursera!
By Melissa C•
Great course on the application of style in fiction writing. Professor does reference a few books for further understanding and example. He explains things well and in a concise way, sometimes with the use of simple diagrams. Very effective and useful assignments and topics. The only drawback is that auditing students cannot receive peer review internal to the course.
By Syam M•
Salvatore Scibona is probably the best instructor as far as targeting his course to the beginner students. I really enjoyed the course. One thing I like to see in all these courses is direct review of the instructors instead of peer reviews. While peer reviews help understand, the one that truly matters is the instructor's and that is missing in all these courses.
By Keith G•
I found this to be a very useful course. My only reservation is that some of the assignments were open to interpretation, so the peer reviews I received (and gave) were in some cases given from a different point of view from that of the author. That reduced the value of the feedback and therefore of the course itself.
By Andrea G G•
I really enjoyed taking this course! The teacher is great! I've learnt a lot about using the right words and understanding what is relevant for the reader to know. The only problem is related to the feedbacks, as not every peer take it as seriously as they should.
By Sahara Z F•
The course is very good although I did have a problem with someone plagiarism my work. Besides that, the course offers some excellent tips and tricks. I think Coursera should install a plagiarism detector for all the assignments in the site though.
By Esther M•
I made comments in the discussion board which I think would help with the assignments. I would like to see the idea of "style" communicated a little better, but I haven't seen the fifth course yet to know where it's all supposed to finish.
Very good course, emphasizing brevity and clarity in writing. Main issue is that very few seem to be enrolled so reviews can be hard to get if you don't submit early. I found the other courses, reviews were relatively easy to get.
By Anne M•
I enjoyed the course. There are some drawbacks... the peer reviews and discussion are not useful but the videos have a lot of good info and the writing exercises are fun and good practice.
By Emmanuel A•
I felt this course was slightly tough. When it comes to the degree of strictness in passing, I had my share. I thank God I finally passed, though some peers are very hard to convince.