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Nov 17

First Impressions: Case Western Reserve’s Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence

The latecomer to my homemade MBA is Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence.  The course title and description piqued my interest, and now I have consumed a week of material here is what I think.

 

Professional video lectures

Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence (which I will shorten to “Leadership” henceforth) makes use of a very news-roomy green screen/studio setup much like Wharton’s Intro to Marketing and Darden’s Foundations of Business Strategy.  The look and feel is very high quality and polished, and I wish other universities would follow suit.

Leadership 1

Good use of video lecture features

In addition to a nice look and feel, this professor makes good use of the features available to students watching video lectures that aren’t available in class.

Leadership 2

For example, the professor introduces a question or an exercise and then asks you to “hit the pause button” while we complete the exercise or answer the question.  Then, a few seconds later, he resumes the lecture and discusses the activity you just did while the video was paused.  Basic? Yes.  Effective? Yes.  This is the right way to use a video lecture.

 

This professor is good

More specifically, this professor is a good lecturer.  In addition to making good use of the video lecture format, this professor looks right into the camera (feels like he’s making eye contact with us virtual students) and speaks to you directly.  The professor knows what he wants to say before he says it, and doesn’t ramble or go off on tangents.  It’s very obvious that he is well-prepared and focused.  The tone of the lecture is also very conversational, and it genuinely feels like a one-on-one lecture that is customized to me, the virtual student.

 

Lots of things going on

Most courses I have seen so far stick to a regularly small set of tasks per week including things like homework assignments, quizzes, and reading assignments.  This class is breaking free from the pack, and seemingly throwing every possible tool Coursera has to offer at us students.  There are homework assignments, quizzes, discussion posts (required), a final exam, something called personal learning activities, another (different) thing called action learning activities, and a course journal.  Needless to say, this is a lot to juggle and keep track of to make sure I don’t miss a deadline.

 

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.

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