"User" and user experience

letter U for udacity
letter U for udacity user user
you you used
letter U for udacity letter U for udacity user letter U for udacity user user used you you used used you

Not surprisingly, user agreements for edX, Udacity, and Coursera contain clauses detailing “termination rights,” which express, in great detail, the providers' right to terminate any users’ participation on a site “for any reason or no reason, upon notice to you” (edX, "user agreement"). Along similar lines, “terms of service” policies for providers also prohibit certain “content.” This includes

Content that defames, harasses or threatens others; Content that discusses illegal activities with the intent to commit them; Content that infringes another's intellectual property, including, but not limited to, copyrights or trademarks; Profane, pornographic, obscene, indecent or unlawful content; Advertising or any form of commercial solicitation; Content related to partisan political activities; Viruses, trojan horses, worms, time bombs, corrupted files, malware, spyware or any other similar software that may damage the operation of another's computer or property; Content that contains intentionally inaccurate information or that is posted with the intent of misleading others. (edX, "terms of service")

This laundry list of don’ts is shocking but virtually invisible to users. To put it another way, despite their relative “openness,” it seems that Udacity, Coursera, and edX have a restricted yet precise sense of what kind of participation they do not expect from participants. The nature of this more restricted notion of participation stands in stark contrast to the more ambiguously characterized idea of participation appearing in each provider’s “honor code.”

[Go to "Used" and user-behavior]