I believe that in the next few years, we will see many professors bringing their courses online, and this will hopefully result in significant improvement in the way the material is presented. Even dry material can be made substantially more palatable by a gifted lecturer.
I'm disappointed with the current production quality and style of Coursera lectures. Andrew and Daphne should realize that flipping the classroom is not enough. The whole point of flipping the classroom is that most learning happens _outside_ the lecture hall. In an online context, this means that the emphasis must be on creating engaging and useful exercises and a vibrant online community. It also means that lectures have to be _far better_ than those delivered in the classroom. Taking your old powerpoints and inking over them while running screen-capture software just doesn't cut it. Ask Vi Hart.
When Udacity completely separated itself from Stanford a few months back, I thought it was an insane move, and had all my bets on Coursera. Right now, Udacity is producing better content. When we come to a point that it is the quality of education that matters and not the branding, they might have significant advantage.
I think online education is under-utilizing the scale of the internet for course creation. With Stanford, Harvard, and MIT putting classes online, you just have a handful of professors giving lectures to a much bigger audience. But there are millions of professors around the world, and if just the top 1% all put their courses online, we'd have more styles of presenting the same material so students could pick the one that suits them. Imagine being able to take that game theory course but choose a Stanford professor, or a professor from a small college in the Midwest, or a superstar from IIT in India. Or being able to select a professor with a more academic tone, or a comedic tone, or one who uses sports analogies. This is where I think the real power of online learning is.
Completely agree with his review of the course material. It's very informative but also dry. I find myself skipping through the videos since they just read over the slides and underline important topics mostly.
It would be great if Coursera or the professors including tags on the video timeline that corresponded to new topics they discuss during the lecture.
Overall though I've been really happy with the material and thankful for the opportunity to learn through Coursera and Professors Jackson and Shoham. Looking forward to see how Coursera progresses
Lecture courses are boring because they go through a body of knowledge systematically. Some background is necessary before you get to the "good stuff", and much of that is not exciting. Animations and fancy graphics won't be able to change that.