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Back to Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course)

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course) by Michigan State University

429 ratings
163 reviews

About the Course

What you’ll achieve: In this project-centered course*, you will design a series bible and write a complete pilot episode for your own unique television or web series, be it drama or comedy or something in between. You’ll learn to break down the creative process into components, and you’ll discover a structured process that allows you to produce a polished and pitch-ready script in just a few weeks. Completing this project will increase your confidence in your ideas and abilities, and you’ll feel prepared to pitch your first script and get started on your next. This is a course designed to tap into your creativity and is based in "Active Learning". Most of the actual learning takes place within your own activities - that is, writing! You will learn by doing. "Thank you so much for your direct way of teaching this course. It was encouraging for us all to creatively flow and find our own voice in writing and developing our scripts. This aspect was very important to me." Ingrid The course curriculum is simple: you’ll write, revise your work, and share feedback with your peers. I am a proponent of Experiential Learning (active learning). My lectures are short (sometimes just two minutes long) and to the point, designed in a step-by-step process essential to your success as a script writer. I will guide you but I won’t "show" you how to write. I firmly believe that the only way to become a writer is to write, write, write. “David's lecture style for this course is inspired. The videos are succinct and engaging. When I watch the lectures I feel David’s sincere desire for me to create something truly amazing. He is teaching us how to write a script, and he is providing wisdom and tools that will help us do so in a compelling way - by writing; not by watching him talk at us.” - A R Adamson What you’ll need to get started: To begin with, any basic word processor will do. During week two, you can choose to download some free scriptwriting software such as Celtx or Trelby or you may choose to purchase Final Draft, or you can continue to use your word processor and do your own script formatting. Learner Review: "I am in love with this course. Having never written a script before, or any substantive fiction since college (15 years ago) I had a small idea in my head that has now exploded into something I really believe in. David's guidance is spot on, he's his own compelling story teller, he gives you enough, and then you have to figure it out, make it happen, WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! " *About Project-Centered Courses: This is a ‘project-centered course’, which means it is designed specifically to help you complete a personally meaningful real-world project, with your instructor and a community of learners with similar goals providing guidance and suggestions along the way. By actively applying new concepts as you learn, you’ll master the course content more efficiently; you’ll also get a head start on using the skills you gain to make positive changes in your life and career. When you complete the course, you’ll have a finished project that you’ll be proud to use and share. Time: 1-2 hours of study, 30+ hours of active project work...

Top reviews


Jun 14, 2016

David Wheeler is awesome, and I love this course! I am so glad that Coursera and Michigan State University have partnered to offer this course to those of us who have a thirst for learning! Thank you!


Sep 28, 2016

Fantastic course, loved the way it walked you step by step through the process and the formatting. This course could have been ten weeks and still wouldn't be enough. Awesome hands on learning.

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1 - 25 of 160 Reviews for Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course)

By Laura S

Mar 10, 2016

No significant instruction/teaching provided. Appears to function only as a self-directed workshop, which doesn't teach the craft itself. Disappointing.

By Marianne

Apr 03, 2016

The instructor says in the first video: ”you do not need to read a book on how to write a script” – in my opinion YOU DO! Better to read a book or two than waste your time on this course; the videos are extremely short, shallow and a waste of time!

By Ashil J V

Mar 09, 2016

There isn't any real teaching happening. I guess this isn't a course for beginners.

By Patricia L

Apr 14, 2019

Writing ain't easy, but it sure is satisfying as hell!

By Robert G

Apr 18, 2019

This was my first writing course and trust me when I say, I wasn't disappointed. In this course, I experienced and learned so much from David. These learnings weren't just about techniques and methodologies, they pushed me to look deeper into myself and the writer I want to be. Regardless of whether or not I ever have a book, script, play or poem published, I will write and continue writing because I write for me. I write because of the peace, joy and challenges writing offers. I write because I can and I write because I ENJOY it.... Thank you David for encouraging me to "Just Write!"

Robert Garlington

By Lauren V B

Apr 19, 2018

This is not so much a course as a cut-throat writing incentive. If you're looking for anything beyond the basics of basics, go elsewhere. I think the rapid pace of the course is causing major student drop-offs and disengaged peer reviews. I don't think a total of five people even finished their script during my run. Jan Zurcher, the mentor, is this course's saving grace. He's endlessly patient and very helpful. He will be critical, so use that to become a better writer. This course helped my novel writing as it forces you to take a step back and look at your story's bare bones. It was a lot of fun, but it lacked the writing group kinship I'd hoped for.

By Alejandro B

Jul 25, 2016

this course will make you write a script... and that's it, if you want to LEARN how to write a script, don't take this course.

This course just push you to write a script without clearly teaching you what to do, if you want to learn, look for another course (I took one from while in this course, it's free, this one is a waste of money if you pay)

By Barbara B

Jun 26, 2016

I'm sorry, but I have taken many courses on Coursera and this is, without a doubt, the absolute worst. This isn't minimal teaching, it's practically nonexistent. Frankly, buying a book would at least give more guidance than tossing one-minute 'lectures' out there and having students blindly fend for themselves under the guise of "experimental learning".

Plus, you then have an all or nothing grade system - there is no middle ground, just pass or fail on an assignment that had little to no instruction or examples listed to begin with.

I'm truly surprised that Coursera agreed to allow this course as it is. I suggest that the instructor and team see how other instructors at universities are teaching their Coursera courses. Just because something is free, it doesn't give free reign to be lazy. If I had paid for it, I would have asked for a refund. This entire course needs a serious revamp.

By Kamalika S

Apr 17, 2016

I should suggest my fellow Coursera students not to waste their money and time for this course. You'll learn a lot more than this course has to offer if you consult some websites with screenwriting tutorial blogs, read books and write on your own.

I am a PhD student of theoretical film studies and and a fan of Coursera courses. I was eager to learn screenwriting as an interesting hands-on course. Well, it's project-based alright, but where's the real guidance??

This is a lazily designed course with poor content and almost zero guidance. The videos are very short and feels like a layman is trying to motivate you to write something, that's all. No methods explained other than some terminologies like bible, acts, outline being thrown at you. No examples, no comparisons, no detailed approaches.

Lastly, scriptwriting has a significant difference with other humanities course. Being peer-reviewed doesn't help here -- a total novice can not effectively judge another newbie's work nor give them quality feedback.

By ksl

Jun 07, 2016

What a lazy excuse of a course. Why would you call it a course? Just call it "Start Writing" and put it on a blog. No guidance, no tips, no effort whatsoever. Without any guidelines, how does review from a fellow novice help? It's like blind leading the blind.

I'll go with the minimalist style of this course and use just one word to describe it: Rubbish.

By Shawn J

Feb 20, 2018

Very disappointing course offering; do not pay, do not audit, just read through the syllabus and move on.

By Jack B

Nov 01, 2018

Supremely basic and a near total lack of notes. Helpful only if you have zero experience in screen writing.

By Dimitri

Nov 19, 2018

Excellent course. The lectures are very short and to the point but they provide enough for you to start doing the most important thing of all - getting an idea down to paper and writing and writing and writing. The course does require a significant investment of time and energy - but if you provide that, you are the ultimate beneficiary as this is very much learning by doing. The peer feedback system provides and interesting opportunity to see what other members of the class are doing but unfortunately most peers do not provide much quality feedback on the work you submit. Having said that, I requested feedback from one of the course mentors and I was blown away by the depth and quality of the feedback that he provided on my final submission. This was my first Coursera course and I feel very happy with the final outcome.

By Allison M

Nov 22, 2018

I had a wonderful time completing this course. This was my first time writing a script and I learned so much along the process, especially by getting reviews from my peers. Having assignments week by week also made it better since I was committed to finish before due date. However, there were occasions when I couldn't finish on time so I resubmitted and then waited to be graded. I feel incredibly happy to have learned so many important aspects about writing a script and even happier to be a writer.

By Karan T

Jan 17, 2019

So fun and it didn't seem like a task to do, it seemed more like a hobby.

By Ali M

Feb 15, 2019

Great course to take for starting your ideas flowing.

By Francisco F G L

Feb 22, 2019

Great course, amazing experience!

By nitika

Feb 22, 2019

The course was crisp. I could learn at my pace. Assignments were very helpful. I enjoyed the well designed course

By Edward H

Mar 11, 2019

I took this course out of curiosity. I just want to know if I have it in me the creative flare.

By Jesus G

Dec 18, 2018

Great teaching

By Nicholas N

Oct 10, 2018

This course will teach you the proper way to create a three act- screenplay. I loved it.

By Tanmay A

Sep 15, 2018

Very useful course!

By Ellen H

Oct 03, 2018

This is a tough course but what makes it simple is how the instructor breaks everything down little by little. I love that I can re-watch the videos. That helps a lot. Feedback is real.

By Charlotte P

Oct 04, 2018

This class has motivated me to write the pilot of a story that I had in mind for a couple of weeks and I love it. Compared to other online classes, I love that we have feedback from other classmates. However, I would have liked the teacher to tell us more information on how to write a good script.

By Prashant K

Apr 04, 2018

This course helped me a lot. Anyone who want to start writing a script will get benefit form this course. For long I had thought of writing and developed few ideas for movie or web-series but all of those remain in my mind, I never wrote them down. This course helped me to prepare frame work for the script and break it down into Acts. There is still a lot to learn but this course gave the required impetus to begin. One area where this course need an improvement is peer-review, we get the grade but we don't get to know where to improve and what was strength of our script, giving feedback should be made compulsion in peer-review.