/ 07 May 2020


Coursera has been one of the most popular platforms for online learning for nearly a decade, offering thousands of online courses that anyone can enroll in free of charge. It also offers 17 online degrees and nearly two dozen programs leading to certificates in various fields. 

Last year the company added a new subscription-based platform for universities called Coursera for Campus that allows member institutions to incorporate Coursera courses into their own degree programs. 

The company recently announced that it will make Coursera for Campus free to higher-education institutions that have been affected by the coronavirus. The offer is valid worldwide except in countries where Coursera is prohibited from doing business under U.S. export controls.  

“Universities can sign up to provide their enrolled students with access to more than 3,800 courses and 400 specializations from Coursera’s top university and industry partners,” the company’s chief executive, Jeff Maggioncalda, said in a blog post. The free access for universities will last through the end of July, he said, and students who enroll in Coursera courses on or before July 31 will retain access through September 30.

Coursera was established in 2012 by two Stanford University professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller.

Types of Courses and Programs:

Options for online learning on the platform include: 

Courses: Individual courses are provided by universities and generally take four to six weeks to complete. They feature video lectures, self-graded and peer-graded assignments, and online discussion communities. Courses generally are not for university credit, but those who complete courses can receive a shareable electronic certificate for a small fee. 

Specializations: Specializations are series of related courses designed by universities or corporations to help students master a specific subject. Depending on the number of courses in it, a specialization can take anywhere from several months to a year to complete. Students pay tuition (financial aid is available) and receive a certificate from the sponsoring university or business. 

Professional Certificates: These job-related courses are heavy on technology-related skills such as data science, information technology customer support, and cloud architecture.  One course is for those who want to teach English as a second language. 

MasterTrack Certificates: These are semester-length courses that are largely technology and business related and allow students to take modules that are already part of a university master’s degree program. The courses can be counted as credit toward the degree if the student is accepted into the full degree program. 

Online university degrees: Students can earn a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in these one- to four-year flexible online programs, which include accounting, entrepreneurship, business administration, and computer science.

How Does it Work?

Individual courses are divided into week-long segments composed of several videos with quizzes and assignments at the end of each week. After students fully complete the course, handing in all assignments and passing exams, they can get a shareable certificate. Courses are taught mainly in English, but some are in other languages, including Chinese, German and French. More than 380 courses are provided in Arabic or with Arabic subtitles. The videos are recorded, but the courses do have some interactive learning tools, such as forums where students can discuss topics related to the course and instructors can answer questions. Some assignments are also reviewed by fellow students, allowing for more interaction and peer learning.

Costs and Financial Aid:

The individual courses are free, but students have to pay a small fee for the shareable certificate and extra class work and quizzes if they wish to have them. The cost for a single course ranges from $39 to $49. However, there is a financial-aid program for students from developing countries. Also, there are some grants for Syrian students, in collaboration with the Syrian Youth Assembly, a nongovernmental organization led by Syrian youth and registered in Germany.

The costs of MasterTrack online degree programs range from $2,000 to $5,000. No financial aid is available, but students can pay in installments. 

The cost of online master’s and bachelor’s degree programs also varies widely. A sampling of prices for programs currently listed include $15,000 for an Online Master of Computer Science from Arizona State University, and $25,000 for a similar degree from the University of Pennsylvania. For a Global Master of Public Health from Imperial College London, the cost is £12,000 (about $14,000) for British and European Union students and £20,100 (about $23,000) for other students.

No financial aid is available through Coursera, though individual universities may offer grants for Coursera courses. Students may also be eligible for loans through the U.S. federal student loan programs, for which some non-U.S. citizens are eligible.

Ease of Use of the Platform and Visual Style:

The platform’s website and mobile app are easy to use and the instructions for enrolling in and completing courses are straightforward. The app can be used for most of the features but not all of them.

Academic Disciplines and Subjects Included:

Business, computer science, data science, information technology, health, math and logic, personal development, physical science and engineering, social sciences and language learning.

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Copyright © 2018 Al-Fanar Mediaحقوق © 2018 الفنار للإعلام


Copyright © 2018 Al-Fanar Mediaحقوق © 2018 الفنار للإعلام