I am very happy to have the opportunity to learn new material through UDACITY, so please take this criticism in that context. I know a great deal of time has gone into preparation of the course, website, teaching, grading, etc, so please do not take my comments as being ungrateful.
However, I am currently very frustrated with the grade I have in the class, considering how much time I am spending on the class, given that time is taking away from my family, my job, etc. I do feel I am learning new material, and am enjoying that, but when I see a grade barely passing, it makes me wonder if the time spent on this course is wise for me.
I started the class late, so did not have time to finish the programming for HW1, and due to a stupid calculation error, I got the Bayes Rule wrong, giving me only a 50% on the first one. No problem, I thought, as I can drop it.
Then in HW2, I got the state transition matrix marked wrong, due to the grading error, eventhough I finished the programming part correctly, so that gave me an 83%.
Now on HW3, I miss the Single Particle and Circular Motion problem, giving me a 67%. I understand that a programming error caused the Circular Motion to be graded wrong, so hopefully I will get it correct eventually. On the Single Particle, I checked that it likely fails, and ignores both robot measurement and movement - an answer I still think is correct given my interpretation of "ignores" (with only 1 particle, we will replace it regardless of any motion or measurement, so we 'ignore' the fact that it may have moved in the right direction, or the measurement is better. I have read the other interpretations for this problem, and can see them, but I also think there was enough ambiguity in the question that there are several 'right' answers.
So while I have gotten the programming projects right, which proves I understand the material, my grade so far in the class is only a 67% - basically a 'D'.
So why do I care about a grade on a free class that no one will ever see?
Sorry for the long post - if you have read this far, I hope you take away the following points:
Does that make sense?
The better way to encourage your daughter is to keep going despite the low grades and the difficulty of the course.
I, for one, see getting high grades to impress your daughter is not a good strategy. I think the good grades will come with a good motivation.
answered 13 Mar '12, 02:19
Tran Duc Hieu-1
I share your frustration but for slightly different reasons. My main problem with the grading system is that I don't feel like I learn something from the grading process. When I did the DB online class at Stanford, you could take a quiz multiple times with different questions. If you got a question wrong, you were told what the right answer is and why. This way a failure to perform well on an assignment was a an opportunity to learn. Then you retake the test to see if you understand it correctly after the explanation. I enjoy this about quizes in the Udacity videos and I think they really help me. In contrast, I find the grading (not so much the assignment itself) not very helpful. Here, I get a binary correct/incorrect assessment in my progress bar without an explanation. Whereas I understand that giving an explanation for the programming assignment is difficult, it would be rather easy to explain the reasoning behind the multiple choice questions.
This input is really helpful. Thanks everyone.
@RodneyR- Don't worry about your grade yet! It will be changed when we update our back end. Your right answers will be recognized and your grade will reflect that (or in the worst case your unfairly graded questions will be thrown out). Students in the first run of these classes are both blessed and cursed. With the excitement associated with being on the ground floor of this (I think) revolution in education comes the frustration of dealing with the bugs of a beta run. My dad is taking this class too, and even though his grade isn't perfect I am really excited to see him enthusiastic about learning. This enthusiasm says way more about his educational philosophy than a grade ever could.
@Stefan- This is something we are aware of. We want to get to this level of specificity as well. Grading should be a learning experience too, but implementing that in an automated way is difficult. We are working on it!
@everyone- thanks for being patient and always being constructive with your comments. It really is helpful. Keep learning!
answered 13 Mar '12, 03:56
I share much of the same feelings you have towards the course.
Also, there's bound to be some good news shortly:
answered 13 Mar '12, 02:08
I agree with your interpretation of "ignores robot movement", I did the same. And I also share some of the frustrations arising from grading.
answered 13 Mar '12, 02:22
Juan Carlos ...
The Udacity team has said they're going to correct everyone's scores on the questions that had grading problems, so your "real" grades on HW2 and HW3 are 100% and 83%. It seems likely that your score on HW1 will be dropped. So you can tell your daughter that you're getting a 92.
Also: how can you know how well you're doing in the course? Well, I think you said it yourself--you're getting the programming questions right, which shows you're understanding the material, and the only question you've actually missed (aside from a calculation error on Bayes Rule, which happens to everyone sometimes) depended on a point of interpretation, not your grasp of the subject matter. So it sounds to me like you're doing great!
answered 13 Mar '12, 02:27
I agree that it is frustrating when there are grading issues, however, self worth should not be dictated by having a high GPA. Overcoming difficulty and succeeding where once you may have failed is in my mind to be commended. You yourself said you feel that you are learning new material and feel like you enjoy it. So why limit your enjoyment because you are below a 4.0 mark.
Anyways I wanted to wish you the best of luck on future assignments and hope you find this course as rewarding as I am.
answered 13 Mar '12, 02:31