Where there's a will there isn't necessarily a way
There is no license.

Methodology Design Narrative Template

(Information about the template at


  1. Situation

My involvement in this scenario was as a participant (a student on a Mooc).

Statistics make the technocratic parts of the world go round, and so every so often I go and relearn them. This time I found a Mooc which was marketably titled 'The Analytics Edge'. It was the kind of Mooc Edx is famous for - each week there was a screencast lecture punctuated with questions, followed by scenarios (called Recitations) also cut with questions, after each of those was a graded assessment, and finally four case study assignments. There was a competition too.

Unlike many Moocs, being essentially the same as the corresponding MIT class, it was challenging- the materials were very good and the assignments were some of the most authentic and well-designed opportunities for application I have come across in a long history of decontextualised statistics courses. Moreover the discussion was really helpful. The whole thing was top quality, a true gift.

This was beginners' stats based on regression analysis and I can't find fault with the course materials. I know that most people stop stats after learning the basics and then forget them within weeks but I felt that putting in the time with this course would have made these basic principles and practices unforgettable.

I was doing pretty well with the quizzes and assignments. All that stood between me and finishing successfully was time.  I effectively dropped out in Week 3 after falling behind from the beginning and finding that to do this Mooc justice I would have had to spend every evening and all weekend studying (most of my studying entailed pondering the questions, reviewing the videos, and writing notes about anything which I found surprising or illuminating - which was a lot - I seriously interrogated those videos).

I say 'effectively' because I plan to return to it this summer in audit mode.


  1. Task

I don't expect this Mooc to change, but I do wonder if recommendations could be made about how to engage with it. Is this just a matter of putting in the time (looking at Course Talk I'm not alone in finding the workload very high and I doubt any more than the standard 6.5% completed) or was there a more efficient way for me to study stats? Did I just take this Mooc too seriously - should I have stopped trying so hard to make the concepts stick?



  1. Actions (How did you try to address the issue?)


 Stop trying to understand it all - go for a big impressionistic sweep.

Activity goal(s) or intended outcome (“X”)

 Persistence when taking a course for self-improvement.

Free up time to watch and answer the questions posed (wrong).


Activity title & description

Relax and go with the flow

Activity materials

None - it's an approach.


The “how” (steps A, B, C, that lead to Y or the activity outcomes)


A. Resolve to complete the course even with a low score.

B. Complete the work, don't vex about it, take the assignments and fail them without becoming demoralised.

C. Read the feedback avidly. Maintain awareness of what you know you don't know.

D. Become demoralised.

E. Remind yourself that most people forget within weeks all the [X] they once knew, and yet [X] is an important literacy in a technocracy etc etc, so it's important to keep on keeping on.

D. Repeat A-C until the end of the course.

Activity outcomes (“Y”) (positive)




 You have refreshed your knowledge of [X]. This will help in unforeseen ways.


  1. Reflection

This only really makes sense with the areas they call literacies, without which you are compromised in your citizenship. Otherwise you'd be better of leaving the subject area to people willing to specialise.



Author(s): Trabi Mechanic
Published at: 18 Mar 2019 13:44 GMT
Original link (login required): https://ilde.upf.edu/moocs/pg/lds/view/976/