MSEE Student Profile Survey Insights & Enrollment Form Survey

The analysis for the Student Profile Tool and Post Enrollment Surveys has been done as part of a research study on "CU Online Degrees with Coursera” while working as a UX researcher for the UXRD team at the Office of Information Technology (OIT), CU Boulder


I performed an analysis of the Student Profile Tool for the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering online program offered by CU. This survey was administered prior to students' enrollment in the program, with the primary objective of gaining insights into students' backgrounds and their expectations for the program.

MS-Electrical Engineering Student Profile Tool Survey

Survey Responses Received Between October 05, 2020 to May 10, 2023

Total Respondents



3/4 of respondents had completed an undergraduate degree



More than half of respondents have been working 1-5 years



The majority of respondents are employed full-time



The majority of respondents intend to pursue a degree

Key objectives for enrolling in this program

Advance my career

656 respondents (83%)

Learn new skills in electrical engineering

547 respondents (69%)

Flexibility to study when it's most convenient

422 respondents (53%)

No application, performance-based admission

311 respondents (39%)

Build my professional network

237 respondents (30%)

Primary concerns about succeeding in program

Balancing work with my job and commitments (617 respondents)


I have been out of academia for a period of time (3+ years) (324 respondents)


Cost of fees and tuition (222 respondents)


I have limited experience with online learning (158 respondents)


Support services important for success in this program

How did they hear about MS-EE on Coursera program

Coursera website
Search engine (e.g., Google)
Coursera email communications
Friend network
Company or a co-worker
CU Boulder email communications

Slate Post Enrollment Surveys

Qualitative Analysis

I conducted a qualitative assessment of post-enrollment survey feedback for all four online master's programs at CU. This analysis aimed to evaluate the students' experience during their enrollment in the respective programs.


M.S. Data Science
M.S. Electrical Engineering
M.E. Engineering Management
M.S. Computer Science

Clarity of Instructions

“The instructions for merging accounts, claiming emails, and creating identikey were confusing, poorly titled, the page to get the email address didn't look like the rest and I thought it was a bad redirect. Once I figured out what needed to happen and found the right pages to do things in the right order the process was quick but I found visually the pages are not intuitive and the instructions were lacking.” (01/14/23)

28 out of 391 students found unclear and confusing instructions, with scattered information

Linking Coursera

“I was waiting for the email to connect my CU Boulder email to my Coursera account. This did not receive even after a few days I paid for the course. Then I had to email the Boulder support to get this email. My friend also faced this issue.” (09/03/23)

27 out of 391 students found it difficult to link their Coursera account with CU

IdentiKey Activation

“There are a few issues when international students enroll. For example, the PIN is not set and sent automatically. As it was the last date of enrollment, and a weekend was approaching, I had to work overnight to call IT, get a PIN, which the system overwrote as I was setting up the identikey, which was followed by calls and emails.” (03/07/23)

16 out of 391 students found it difficult to activate their IdentiKey

Help and Support

“Coursera folks are helpful, but it take a long time. Instant feedback from a chat, or phone call would be better..”

11 out of 391 students asked for more assistance and support

Payment Options

“Hope there's a way for foreign students to pay without additional charges or interest rates just to do the payment. Current way of doing the payment transaction means higher charges than the advertised rate due to high foreign exchange rate and additional fees charged by Flywire.”

11 out of 391 students were dissatisfied with the payment options

Enrollment Time

“It takes too long to enroll in the course. I purchased my courses at least a week before, and I'm still not enrolled in them. I've audited the course so I'm still missing office hours and homeworks. The team should ensure that everything is ready to go by 8 AM Monday.”

11 out of 391 students had concerns about enrollment time

Email Setup

“Setting up the initial email through Gmail is the most tedious part, it refused to accept my login information.”

10 out of 391 students found it difficult to set up their email

Onboarding Course

“It is impossible to find the Coursera MSEE Onboarding course and I complete missed that I have to complete this course. Emails are sent with no direct link to the course, no reminder emails. I've paid almost $2500 for nothing because the University did NOT enroll me in this course. I then had to file a dispute and still waiting on the decision. I could have been much better if you send out tutorial with pictures on how to enroll or complete the course, it will help other students a lot.”

10 out of 391 students had concerns with the onboarding course

Non-credit to for credit

“It was hard to understand the actual required steps transitioning from non-credit to credit. I had already done 2.5 courses of the pathway when I enrolled. It's hard to understand the actual process. So much of the information is "sales-y" and trying to make it sound really easy. I was / I am convinced to move forward and just want more concrete information to understand how do I actually transition from non-credit to credit. When do I do the on-boarding course? How/when do I take the final exams for the courses I've already completed as non-credit? Questions like that.”

7 out of 391 students found it difficult to transition from non-credit to for-credit course

Course specific

“Improvement to some course contents. Some videos take more than 30 min, and it is just like attending normal lectures, while other videos take 15 min for example, and it is so interactive such that it relies on the learner himself/herself to search and find the information needed by citing for example some external sources to read and practise. otherwise most of the lectures and assignments are very useful.”

13 out of 391 students had concerns with the course material/assignments


The enrollment form web page can not be opened with a VPN. This is a bit confusing and I didn't realized that the reason is VPN at first, until I reached out for help. It doesn't make much sense to me, because I have to use a VPN from time to time to access the course materials due to network blocked issues or speed limits.

19 out of 391 students had miscellaneous concerns about VPN, TA feedback, BuffOne Card, ProctorU, change of program

Overall Analysis of Post Enrollment Surveys