What is Coursera?
A known brand in online education, Coursera was founded by Stanford University professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, both of whom are Computer Science experts and educators. The online learning platform was founded five years ago which was gathered from both professor’s experience with the online courses offered by Stanford University.
Since its initial course offerings, Coursera has worked with several major universities and various other organizations to develop rigid online specializations, courses, and degrees touching many fields including social science, biology, business, mathematics, computer science, the arts, and digital marketing. In just a short year, they have managed to garner millions of registered users with over 2,400 courses.
Coursera is not just an educational platform, but it also directs registered users towards the expansion of their specializations. Courses are effectively created to provide them with the skills they need and for every subject, they are engaged with.
Each Coursera topic includes not more than two hours of video lectures which are given on a weekly basis. Individual subjects have varying durations and some last for up to ten weeks at maximum. Quizzes and weekly exercises are given on a weekly basis and final projects and exams are often given to gauge student learning.
On-demand courses are also available for students who want to take their time completing a whole course. These types of a program often have all the materials available online without the need of course updates on a weekly basis. Coursera currently has over a hundred on-demand courses which can be accessed anytime. This self-paced learning is ideal for learners who have less time for regular classes and would only like to allow their vacant time learning.
Coursera is a fee-based online education platform and training ground with an extensive list of course. Prices are based on the topic area and level of skill learning and qualifications. It now offers monthly subscriptions based on specification models and e-learning components. Following its partnership with a partnership with several entities from across the world and its commitment to help the IVMF (Institute of Veterans and Military Family) in the US, Coursera is now being managed by Jeff Maggioncalda as its CEO.
Coursera under the New Administration
The new reigns of Coursera are bringing the e-learning company into a new level of global dominance. Although the previous leadership has brought in a Series-D funding worth of a total of $64 million, Jeff Maggioncalda is pushing the existing leadership into higher grounds. It aims to maintain is leadership and position as the largest MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) company in the world and push the B2B partnership with many industries.
In the previous years, the online education provider launched several business units including its consumer base model, the Coursera for Business, and Online Degrees. With its steady dominance, Coursera is expanding its focus to several business units aside from its consumer-dedicated services. The e-learning platform is trying its hand at corporations offering an expanded course that helps every sector get the much needed online education to help with their employment and work.
Curriculum for the Coursera for Business was developed exclusively in partnership with some of the leading institutions in the world. UC San Diego, the University of Virginia, Google Cloud, deeplearning.ai, and Yahoo! created courses specially designed to help businesses transform their talents and be part of the revolution happening in the digital world. Courses are spicifically created to meet the demands of the work environment and keep them updated with the training solutions and innovations.
Coursera is also offering a wide array of topics for individuals in partnership with some of the leading colleges and universities around the world. They are holding an aggressive stance in marketing their brand offering an initial course for free and the subsequent ones for a price.
With a massive list of topics catering to most industries, Coursera maintains its lead as the most reliable and predominant e-learning site. They claim to have reached a million user faster than social media conglomerate, Facebook and first to offer a complete line of courses for distant learners.
Benefits of Using Coursera
Compared to other MOOC, Coursera has proven itself as one of the top e-learning sites offering a diverse set of courses for every learning advocate and professionals aiming to have certification at their own pace. Some of the most discernible benefits of using Coursera to help you achieve your educational goals include:
Diverse catalog. Coursera offers a wide array of topics covering more areas than any other online education providers. They cover many areas including high-demand business courses, humanities, computer science, biology, and self-development courses among others. Users looking for a specific topic to help them with their education and employment goals can easily find the topic they need by exploring their catalog and signing up for the e-learning course.
Flexible compliance and deadlines. Unlike the traditional classroom setting where students are bound on a timeline and deadline, Coursera offers a flexible curriculum where users are able to complete a course at their own pace. The e-learning service provider also makes it easy for course enrollees by introducing several industry leading implementations including the auto-cohorts topic assignment and soft-deadline performance fulfillment.
Straightforward and convenient forums. With over 30 million users around the world, Coursera forums offer the best platform to help users get through their courses. It provides the best venue for students to gain access to discussions and help them understand topics better. The Coursera forums also beat several other MOOC including edX with active users from around the world.
Peer review and co-cohorts system. Not just providing an extensive list of courses, the Coursera e-learning platform has a powerful way of presenting topics and engaging students into learning. Peer reviewed topics and assignments allow users access to more activities and projects which help them understand every part of their course outline. This unique feature of the Coursera curriculum is uncomplicated to use compared to other MOOC providers and various other e-learning systems.
Secure identity verifications. Coursera has a strong verification mechanism for learner identities. It features the Webcam Photo ID Verification and the ID typing pattern which are remarkably secure. The typing pattern can easily verify a user’s identity which makes course access convenient.
Monetized courses. Being a for-profit service provider, Coursera is able to expand its course offerings easily. They have partnered with several colleges and universities in the US including Stanford, Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan, and the University of Virginia among others. The company also has expanded its services to the Universidad de Chile, the University of Science and Technology of China, and the University of Zurich among others.
Features of Coursera
Opening a new learning experience to individuals and companies in need of widening their horizon, Coursera gathers its courses from materials collected and compiled from top universities, colleges, and organizations around the world. These courses are simplified and organized into a highly informative program which is presented into a series of continuing and progressing courses.
Extensive course catalog
Coursera has one of the most extensive online courses in the industry. They have covered almost every possible subject available to learners including subjects about arts and humanities, computer and data science, languages, engineering, personal development, and almost all subjects regarding the sciences. These categories are further divided into subcategories which allow users to dig deeper into the subjects they want to learn about.
Coursera has collaborated with over a hundred and forty universities and institutions across the world. They have also partnered with 28 countries allowing them to provide their courses in several languages. With a wide breathe of e-learning topics, Coursera dominates the MOOC industry and continues to grow their services to many people across the world. It allows anyone to get certification from top universities and colleges without leaving their homes.
Different from instructional videos most users find on video-sharing sites, Coursera offers its courses in a myriad of ways. They are made to provide interaction from learners and help them be more engaged with the information being offered. Courses are made to appear like those from textbooks but in a more informative and interactive way. All topics are created with texts and images which are found throughout the whole course.
Another way where Coursera makes a difference is how it is able to randomize assignments given to individual learners. This allows every learner to continue through the course and complete every step of the curriculum. Learners are also given assignments through the course of their continued studies in the hopes of allowing them to master topics which they find hard. Enrollees can retake courses with its randomized assignments providing an additional level of engagement.
Multilingual support and multi-device engagement
Coursera supports all possible smart devices which makes it one of the most useful e-learning platform. It supports both iOS and Android devices and the MOOC’s mobility access has broadened its user base across the world. Anyone enrolled with a specific course, can easily access their topics anytime and anywhere.
Courses offered by Coursera does not just originate from the US but is a culmination of effort from different parts of the world. The service provider’s partnership with several institutions around the world has carved the totality of what Coursera is about. Users can also access their courses or simply sign-up for a certain course from their mobile devices. Assignments can also be submitted using a mobile device, and they can continue with their course, download lectures, and view their performance with or without an internet connection.
Social forums and engagement features
Users who are engaged in the same course can easily communicate with each other and share their knowledge by using the social engagement features of Coursera. People engaged with the same topic can relate to each other and communicate course materials which they find hard to understand.
This forum is not limited to an area but is accessible all over the world. This unique feature of Coursera creates a global classroom where people from different countries can debate ideas, facilitate for effective learning, and create a dynamic learning environment where concepts and subject understanding can easily be exchanged.
The peer-graded assessments of Coursera make it one of the most unique and engaging MOOC in the industry. This feature allows users to assess their co-learners assignments and thereby learn through the process itself. This process provides accurate feedback which cannot be administered by automated grading systems.
Getting feedback from your co-learners and giving your own feedback on the work of others is what the peer-graded assessment of Coursera is about. It allows an effective two-way learning process where all users gain the benefit of learning from each other’s works.
Coursera offers a free sign-up for people who would like to have access to all the features offered by the e-learning community. Many courses, however, are not offered for free, but there are many courses which can be accessed free of charge. These courses often include the supplementary materials needed to complete the course. But getting a certificate for the completed course is available for a certain amount. This paywall is something which might often be surprising for learners but is a normal come-on used by most e-learning service providers.
The individual courses offered by Coursera and many of the degrees and specializations offered have varying costs. Prices appear before enrolling for a certain course. It is also included on the information page found on the course outline. Users can only see the pricing details once they log into their own accounts and courses are either available for a subscription or an individual purchase.
Most of the specialization courses available in Coursera are available for the subscription which either costs from US$39-$79 per month with a 7-day trial offered free of charge. Billing occurs after the expiry of the initial offer but users are allowed to cancel their course subscription anytime within the 7-day free trial. One good thing about Coursera is that enrolled learners will not be billed until they have completed their course and received the accompanying certification.
Qualified users can also take advantage of the financial assistance offered by the service provider by using the Coursera Audit Mode. The Audit Mode allows users to see all information relating to the online course they choose to take including the first set of materials offered for free. This process does not allow you to submit required completion tasks or get grades for your individual work. Course auditing is allowed for every course and guarantees you get a whole overview of what you are expected to learn.
Financial aids are given to those who cannot afford the Course Certification and only applies to courses where the financial aid applies. Users can get access to this feature by signing the Honor Code waiver and the Code of Conduct T&C.
Teams and small organization can have unlimited access to all of the Coursera Catalog for $400/user/year. This helps organizations learn new skills for their employees and includes a 14-day refund guarantee. The Team Plan is available for companies with 5 users and up.
Custom pricing is also available for the Enterprise Package with 100 users and more. It includes many of the features of the Team Plan with additional access to the Learning Pathway Development, Advanced Analytics, and Insights, and various API and LMS integrations.
Supporting most specializations and online degrees, Coursera can be accessed using the latest gadgets and device. The platform is fully functional with the iOS and Android systems and guarantees and optimal performance with Windows and most of the leading OS platforms.
Coursera’s mobile learning through the exclusively built application offers a powerful way of getting updated with the latest course updates. Courses are shareable and can be easily added to your portfolio and LinkedIn account profile. Coursera was developed for the global community offering its course videos subtitled in more than 30 available languages.
Coursera currently offers 2,700 diverse courses, over 250+ specializations, and 4 degrees with full certification. They have garnered a total of more than 150+ partnerships with Universities and continues to expand its global presence.
Coursera has robust online support for account setup, payments, enrollment, and common troubleshooting of problems. You can view the available options here to help you get started with your online e-learning course. The Learner Help Center helps you find topics that you might have a hard time relating to your account with the e-learning service provider.
Though there is no Customer Service available on their website, most learners will find their query requests or questions answered by the Learner Help Center page. Partnership requests for universities, government agencies, and various other organizations can contact the service provider by filling out the form here.
Companies and government agencies interested in providing a upskill to their workers can also get special pricing by contacting the Coursera for Enterprise page here.