First Impressions: University of Geneva’s Coursera International Organizations Management

As with all of these First Impressions posts, please keep in mind that they are exactly that – my first impressions of a course.  It is plausible, perhaps even likely, that my first impression will be wrong and my opinion of the course will change over time.  Please read my Full Review posts about these courses (written upon completion of the course) for the full story.


Very formal

The intro video to this course is professional and concise, but it is much more formal than the others I’ve seen.  Perhaps this is a cultural difference, as this class comes from the University of Geneva in Switzerland, whereas my other homemade MBA classes have all been from US institutions.  Either way, the look-and-feel of the initial video sets the tone for a very serious, scripted, no-nonsense course.  We’ll see.

Formal look and feel of International Organizations Management

Formal look and feel of International Organizations Management


Multiple professors

This course is presented by multiple people.  I haven’t seen this setup yet on Coursera, but it looks like there will be a different professor(s) for each module in this class.  I like the idea of having an expert in a field be the presenter each week, but I wonder if the class will lack some continuity as a result?  I think it’s a fun idea, and I’m excited to see what this is like.

Multiple professors in International Organizations Management

Multiple professors in International Organizations Management

Update: Wharton’s Intro to Marketing course is also presented by multiple professors.


Short and sweet

At just five weeks long, this course is going to be quick.


No deadlines

Although this class doesn’t release all the material at once at the beginning of the course like Entrepreneurship, there are no hard deadlines until the very end of the course.  This is essentially another method of allowing us to self-pace, which I like.  As such, I didn’t really start this course until Week 2, but won’t be penalized for submitting the Week 1 quiz later on.  Fantastic.


Slow lectures

First of all, I’m always impressed when people are working in a second (or third, or fourth, etc.) language.  However, I think that the pace of the lectures are too slow so far.  As I discovered in Entrepreneurship, this is an easy problem to solve with video lectures – just up the playback speed.  In Week 1, I was able to operate comfortably at 2x speed.  The video-lecture quality seems ok so far.


Light workload

This course had the lightest estimated workload of all my homemade MBA classes at 3-4 hours per week, and is delivering on that promise; Week 1 took me about 2.5-3 hours.  Hopefully this continues throughout the course.

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