Since completing the original AI and DB classes, and doing pretty well, ever since the floodgates opened with Udacity and Coursera, I've been 'hoarding' courses by 'attending' dozens of them while not finishing any! The closest I came to completing was the SaaS course which was very useful in my attempts to transition to the Ruby/Rails ecosystem from .NET.

Any of you experiencing the hoarding syndrome? I also think I'll 'get back to it later' and this never happens. gah

asked 22 Feb '13, 16:11

man-with-the-silver-gun's gravatar image


edited 22 Feb '13, 16:13

Then you are better off than me. Although I've got the SaaS certificate I did not put that to any use (till now).
(23 Feb '13, 10:11) neuronx neuronx's gravatar image

I know what you mean. My policy is just to drop it. I don't tell myself that I will do it later. I just flat out quit, no expectations. Funny thing is that I do sometimes return. But its nice not to feel like a failure when I don't.


answered 22 Feb '13, 16:19

Ben%20Haley's gravatar image

Ben Haley

I don't feel like a failure, but I do get this nagging feeling in the back of my head that there's stuff to be done. Also, at this point the courses have become akin to possessions. I do feel a loss when a course goes offline. Okay I guess I'll contact a shrink lol. Thanks
(22 Feb '13, 16:22) man-with-the... man-with-the-silver-gun's gravatar image
Yeah I can totally relate. Another thought on this line. If you read a book a day for your entire life you might read about 100,000 books. All told this won't even put a dent in the library of congress. So its impossible to squeeze it all in. Instead its important that each moment is spent optimally. We need to optimize our use of today rather than thinking of all that we can cram in tomorrow. At the rate at which MOOCs are proliferating the same argument applies.
(22 Feb '13, 16:25) Ben Haley Ben%20Haley's gravatar image
Excellent point. When MOOCs were a novelty with little choice, it was a fun exploratory experience. Now, it will have to be a curated one. Its just like going to a 'real' school - having to think about one's goals, and pursuing the right MOOCs.
(22 Feb '13, 16:27) man-with-the... man-with-the-silver-gun's gravatar image

I think it would be very nice if Coursera/Udacity would offer something like a CS-Track Curriculum, i.e. a collection of 5-6 courses that you have to finish to obtain a combined certificate - something like a "mini-degree" - for instance in "AI & ML", "Basic programming" or "Biosciences". This would provide motivation to finish all of the courses.

I also found that subsribing to the "Signature Track" at Coursera is also a pretty good way to make a commitment to a course, as dropping it would implicate the loss of real money :-)


answered 23 Feb '13, 04:39

JosefK_'s gravatar image


edited 23 Feb '13, 04:40

I'm also suffering from CHS (course hoarding syndrome). When browsing the ever growing list of available courses on EdX, Coursera, Udacity etc. I get excited and enroll in too many. Lack of free time (besides full time work and family) then forces me to drop most of them. In the end I earn only a few certificates. But that's ok for me! ;-) The decision what courses to dump is the hard part, that sometimes hurts.


answered 23 Feb '13, 01:55

neuronx's gravatar image


edited 23 Feb '13, 10:06

I used to suffer from CHS before. But now as I'm just concentrating on my formal education, I just enroll to have access to material. I focus on my REAL college and ignore the MOOC's altogether.Study what you need ignore everything else.


answered 23 Feb '13, 02:21

akrocks's gravatar image


Me too. I pulled off three courses at once twice (the fateful Fall of 2011 and then the Spring of 2012), and although I'm very proud of it, honestly I don't think I'll ever repeat it. Plus I wanted to beef up my CV, but now I'm more content with my work, and besides I've moved to a different country because of it, and that means I have more things going on in my life. With many more course offerings right now the temptation is big, I would of course love to take half a dozen of them, but I'm undecided if I should drop all but one or attempt maybe two.

I've already completely missed one course I was very interested in, during the time I doing most of the moving work. I've enrolled in many courses without even looking at the dates too much: if when the email reminder comes I don't have the time, I won't even start them. But I haven't always been so focused, I got burned while trying to pull off a fourth (yeah...) course during the Spring of 2012. I only dropped it after I had invested a lot of time in it and completed more than half of it.


answered 23 Feb '13, 14:32

XavierP's gravatar image


edited 23 Feb '13, 14:35

Thanks fellas, I think hard focus may be the best thing. One can always enroll in a class that's ended to study by oneself, but I guess we should focus on a core of 2-3 courses max that we promise to complete


answered 23 Feb '13, 21:04

man-with-the-silver-gun's gravatar image


hi, I'm Ahmad.. and I suffer from CHS.

other CHSers: hi Ahmad

Me: It is taking over my life. using Excel sheets to organize all my courses and due dates. Not getting a Hair cut!.. my job performance is suffering. I don't know what to do. Please HELP!


answered 17 Mar '13, 09:44

atinzad's gravatar image


Yesterday I decided to drop a course. I had been more than half way through with almost full marks :-(, but I needed more capacity for three new courses that will start rsn :-).
(17 Mar '13, 10:40) neuronx neuronx's gravatar image
Yeah I do that sometimes but my problem is it's soo much easier for me to add a course then drop it... thus, the hording! Udacity is not a problem.. its Coursera; you never know if a course is being offered again and thus, you don't want to miss out
(18 Mar '13, 09:11) atinzad atinzad's gravatar image
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