Google please fix these questions

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This is how it feels to take a broken Coursera quiz

Prologue

I decided to take Google’s Technical Support Fundamentals course online via Coursera because I wanted to encourage another close friend to finish this course. I’m at the end of week 4 and up to this point the content was very good. But as everyone knows, there’s nothing more frustrating than taking a multiple choice quiz when some of the answers on the quiz are wrong. Please Google Developers, Coursera, and Design@Coursera fix these questions.

Question 2

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Answer

345.0.24.6 is NOT a valid IP address
255.255.255.0 is NOT a valid IP address
255.255.255.255/32 is a valid ip address but this was not an option.
See proof here:

Question 4

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Answer

The Internet is a way to access the World Wide Web

What’s difference between The Internet and The Web ? Geeksforgeeks

The Internet is a global network of networks while the Web, also referred formally as World Wide Web (www) is collection of information which is accessed via the Internet.

Question 6

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Answer

Internet Protocol — wikipedia entry

The Internet Protocol (IP) is the principal communications protocol in the Internet protocol suite for relaying datagrams across network boundaries.

Question 8

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Answer

The TCP/IP protocol could only be used in universities, governments and businesses.

Right back at you:

Please review the “History of the Internet” video in “The Internet” module for a refresher.

Update #1

I’ve ran into even more troublesome questions since these initial ones were found. This to me is a very disturbing trend. When a learner is trying to master a subject they need to have the same concepts that were taught consistently reinforced. Unfortunately Google has chosen to take some other path. Below I present an example of negative reinforcement where the quiz question contradicts the instructions previously received by the course:

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In the section, “Start with the Quickest Step First” we are instructed to do the following:

Here’s where the Start-with-the- quickest-step-first method comes into play. We want to get to a root cause effectively. But sometimes, there are multiple options we can use to isolate something. So how do we know which option to try first? It’s pretty simple. Try whatever’s fastest first.

And yet when we put this advice into practice in the quiz the learner is penalized. This is a negative learning reinforcement that teaches the learner that what matters most is NOT putting into practice what they learned. What matters most is finding the “answer” that was in the mind of the creator of the test. This is a very harmful practice that has many unintended negative consequences for new learners who are trying to grasp new subject matter.

Test question

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Obviously the Start-with-the- quickest-step-first method would lead one to believe that checking to see if the caps lock is on would be the step that would require the least amount of time to check. By telling the student that this answer is “incorrect” they are punishing the student for putting into practice what they learned. The student learns instead that when they are taking a quiz the “correct” answer is whatever answer was in the mind of the instructor when they wrote the test. This can have some harmful side effects in that it contradicts rather than enforces what the student just attempted to learn.

Continuing my evaluation of the course

I will continue to document the issues I am finding with this course but so far it’s not looking very good. Google really needs to have experts review these questions to see what impact they are having on learners so that they don’t inadvertently cause harm to students who are attempting to put into practice what they were taught.

Written by

Incentives architect for TandaPay

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