More growing pains for Coursera: in another slip-up, professor departs mid-course

For the second time in less than a month, an online course on Coursera has hit a stumbling block. This weekend, the professor of a ten-week course on “Microeconomics for Managers,” offered through the University of California at Irvine Extension program, told students that he would be leaving the class after only its fifth week, Gigaom reports. “Because of disagreements over how to best to conduct this course, I’ve agreed to disengage from it, with regret,” Richard McKenzie, a professor at the University of California at Irvine’s business school, said in an open note to students. The news comes just two weeks after another slip-up for the startup, in which Coursera suspended an online class (on how to run an online class, no less) after student complaints about technical glitches and problems with the design of the class. In a statement, Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller said McKenzie was not “removed” but “elected to reduce his direct interaction with students because he’s finding it a challenging time commitment to serve such a heterogeneous population of students, with different backgrounds and different access to technology and optional course materials.”

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