“That’s Awesome!” – Competitive Strategy

What It’s About

The Competitive Strategy course from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München on Coursera presents content in a lot of awesome ways. The course is on-demand and has six modules. Each module contains four to six lessons along with one introduction and one wrap up video.

Why It’s Awesome

toothpaste warThe instructor of the course is good at using examples to illustrate concepts. When introducing concepts in game theory, the instructor starts with an example called the toothpaste war, in which he describes a situation of two toothpaste companies making advertisement decisions and the corresponding results. Rather than using some abstract concept or companies with unfamiliar products, he uses concrete real-world products that most people know. Then he brings up the critical components in game settings: concepts of players, actions and rules in the context of the toothpaste war. Toward the end of the video, the instructor summarizes the important content and briefly introduces content that will be covered in the next video as well as how the videos are related.

Counterexamples are used in the course to further define what does not belong to a category. For example, after the presentation of Nash Equilibrium and several examples that have Nash Equilibrium, the instructor introduces a soccer example that does not have one.

counter example

How We Can Help

Although the characteristics of this course determine that the course benefits from good examples, instructional examples are effective in other areas as well. However, your examples should be carefully designed, and they should not add unnecessary cognitive burden to students. Please contact CIT if you are uncertain about your instructional examples at learninginnovation@duke.edu.