For example, students have complained about not being able to complete in-video quizzes when they download the lecture videos. While our instructional team wanted to help them complete this work off-line—many students have very limited Internet access—we could not provide a way to do so. We pressed Coursera support-staff members for a solution, but they could not provide one.
My limited ability to make key pedagogical choices is the most frustrating aspect of teaching a MOOC. Because of the way the Coursera platform is constructed, such wide-ranging decisions have been hard-coded into the software—decisions that seem to have no educational rationale and that thwart the intent of our course.
I suspect that this will not be the first time we hear from a MOOC faculty complaining about some sort of failure of the the tech platform. Something important here is that Coursera is commercial company and the platform is closed and proprietary. At least if this were an open platform like EdX or Canvas there would be a chance to add the features that the teachers need to educate their students as they see fit, not as some random engineer or developer tells them it needs to be done.