The stupidest, most counter-productive aspect of all these MOOC systems is the artificial schedule imposed on the course. While I've been able to take a couple to completion, I've had to let some by the wayside due to scheduling. Once that happens, you're disincentivized to catch up because of being behind and those that affect scoring. When I've gone back to finish courses that I had to leave by the wayside for the moment, sometimes I've lost access to the materials because the course has shifted to its next "semester". There's absolutely no reason for that. While there are a few courses like music or writing where you are collaborating or cross-reviewing other people's work, most of them are standalone lectures, homework, and tests.
If you paid for it on the old Spark platform (over a year ago) those classes were migrated to their new system so you might need to resign up, but you shouldn't need to repay. The URL to use for requesting is: http://learner.coursera.help
One thing I like about Udemy (disclaimer: I work there) is the lifetime access policy for premium content.
I was under the impression that would remove access to old courses by June 30 for those who hadn't paid. Removing access for those who've paid goes too far.
It is tragically common for people (esp. kids) who would be fully capable of understanding the material to be hustled along at a pace that is determined by factors unrelated to their personal needs, forcing them into less-effective learning modes.
These artificially time-limited MOOCs potentially turn us all into such kids. If I'm trying to learn something for which my preparation was 20 years ago, I'll be as good as anyone after I finish the course, but I need more time to do it correctly. If I'm trying to learn something but only have an hour a week to allocate to it, it's my turn to be the "slow learner", but given the necessary time, I'll know the material as well as the fastest learner by the time I finish.
But MOOCs impose a schedule unrelated to my individual circumstances, and I can take it or leave it. It would be so much better if they just told me what to read, and whenever I finished reading, I could watch the corresponding video lecture, then I could go to an open, ongoing forum to read the accumulating Q&A for that lecture and post my own questions or comments, then on to the problem sets with answers and discussion again on the forum, followed by quizzes and tests (multiple versions of each, so I could take them, repeatedly if necessary, for my own guidance, not grades)...and I could plow through it all in a week or chip away at it for a year, as suited my needs.
If they wanted to offer credentials, they could separate the teaching from the ultimate certification testing.
As it is, in most cases a good textbook still meets my needs so much better than all this advanced teaching technology.
However, OCW coupled with Youtube 1.5x playback is heaven.
To tell you the truth, I find it a great system because it gives me a sense of the time frame I should realistically be completed the course.
Although, at the same time I tend to do deep dives on a course and complete them as fast as possible blowing past the schedule anyways.
If you don't want to subscribe to a self-imposed schedule the audit option basically allows you to learn the material on your own time.
Something that annoys me is courses that are listed in the course list but were once and done and never coming back, or "maybe someday" classes.
I don't have data on completion data on timed vs untimed courses. The former's popularity is suggestive, but confounded by marketing, more people online, prestige, packaging of courses, lecturer/tutor availability, cohort forum, etc.
But I do have one anecdatum: I took Ullman's Automata, even though all the lectures were already on youtube, and slides, tests and solutions on his homepage. I found the schedule very tough towards the end... I meant to later review some parts I needed more time on, but over a year later, I still haven't...
I think that comes from imitating "physical" courses, which are designed to be completed in a predetermined amount of time. As the sibling comment alludes to, it also gives some motivation for actually finishing them.
Having predetermined time schedule might be reasonable for stuff like course credit and motivating the students to complete the course on time, but killing the forum community and even restricting access to materials (or making the access an unnecessary hassle) seems very unnecessary if the objective really is to foster learning in general.
Aren't these MOOCs just largely loss leaders for the schools?
For a narrow set of classes, programming autograders and other online aids are probably useful. But then, to the degree people have issues, they're really on their own (absent an explicit "TA" model that you pay for).
Many of the courses on the old platform are slowly coming back on the new platform. When I built the list  of courses on the old platform the course count was 472, now its around 390. Some of the notables that I was excited to see come back are:
Neural Networks for Machine Learning with Geoffrey Hinton 
Computer Architecture from Princeton 
Programming Languages from UW by Dan Grossman 
Introduction to Natural Language Processing by Dragomir Radev 
Many of these courses were last offered a couple of years ago. Hopefully more courses form the list  start coming back.
Or do you have some Digital Ocean promotional credits left, that are about to expire? Spin up a (few) VMs with docker-containers running the warrior on DigitalOcean!
However it seems whatever they are crawling cannot handle this type of mass distributed crawler, for the past few hours My computer haven't done anything.
Credit Card, PayPal, Bitcoin. Brewster is an amazing Steward of the Internet Archive.
Video Tour: https://vimeo.com/59207751
Coursea Curse :p
I also included the quick script I used to generate them, for convenience.
I'd love to see a site that specialises in user contributed content along the lines of Wikipedia. It's funny though - take SAP as an example: I'd be just as happy reading a book that explains it all better than what is out there right now! A book that assumes you are into technology but have little skills or knowledge of the business processes that SAP gets intoned in, and which gives you a rundown of this before giving a detailed rundown on how SAP implements these processes.
Sadly, no such thing exists, but happily for me I stumbled upon http://www.accountingverse.com/ and http://www.accountingcoach.com/ (no, I'm not affiliated with them in any way) and it turns out they didn't cost anything and I finally "get" double-entry book keeping, financial transaction concepts like the general ledger, journal, accrual method and the fundamental accounting equation. Wish I'd known this earlier to be honest - as I say, I lament that there are no books on SAP core modules that go from concepts to the nuts and bolts of how SAP does things :-(
Just to provide a counter-point.. I've taken 5 or 6 of the classes in that sequence, and have found them well worth every penny I've spent so far. Probably you could argue that the same information is available elsewhere for free, but the classes have worked for me, and the way I study and learn.
Obviously YMMV, but they've been a bargain from my perspective. I think because, if nothing else, they provide some structure, sequencing and a token measure of accountability... whereas if I just said "Hey, I'm going to teach myself R from this book" it would be a lot easier to loaf around, waste time reading HN instead of studying, etc.
That said, I don't argue against the idea that online learning could still be better. In fact, I don't think we've even come close to tapping the full potential of this stuff.
I guess I'm asking, how is this legal?
If you manage to download one of the archives, please let me know what exactly is contained in it.
If I am forced to buy one of these new Coursera certs, I will donate every time to the Archive Team.
I know there are others but I really like his method of teaching, and can't seem to be able to find an archive of it.
That might be a source of income for coursera, probably enough to cover operational expenses of running the old platform with old content.
What I don't get is which URLs...