What is Coursera? Is Coursera good? How does Coursera work? If you are seeking honest answers to all these questions, you’ve landed on the right page. Here, we are going to do a detailed Coursera review so that you can decide if this is the right platform to pursue your desired course or not.
Let’s read on!
What is Coursera?
Coursera is one of the prestigious online educational platforms that offer courses on various digital, business and other popular topics.
Coursera offers courses on practically any topic of interest for technical professionals as well as the business world. Some of the top-rated courses taught on this educational platform relate to arts and humanities, computer science, data science, information technology, life science, businesses, language learning and many more.
Coursera is a perfect learning platform for individuals who can’t make it to traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms due to various reasons; maybe they can’t quit their jobs or are occupied with kids, etc. Coursera gives you the flexibility to juggle your career and lifestyle because there is not a fixed schedule to learn. You can access Coursera’s courses from anywhere and anytime on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone using Coursera’s mobile apps.
Cost is another reason people give up on learning. However, all Coursera courses are free unless you want a course completion certificate. Even if you want a certificate, these courses won’t cost you a fortune. Given the forum participation opportunity, you will interact with peers across the world and share your ideas with them, which is very helpful in implementing your projects.
Want to sign up with Coursera? Click here.
Overview of Coursera
Coursera was established in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Daphne Koller, and Andrew Ng. They came up with the idea to set up Coursera to share their knowledge and skills with the world. Since then, the platform has grown into a well-known name in MOOCs.
Coursera doesn’t create its own learning coursework. Instead, it works closely with post-secondary educational institutions, government agencies, and top universities to facilitate expertly-created offerings online. Currently, Coursera works with more than 150 university partners from 29 countries. Its university partners include top names such as Stanford, Duke, Michigan, HEC Paris, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Penn, Princeton, and many more. Recently, Coursera started partnering with tech giants like Google, IBM, MongoDB, and PwC to involve industry experts in designing highly-relevant course material.
The company offers more than 2,700 courses, 250+ specializations, and more than four accredited degree programs. Generally, Coursera courses are free to audit. But, to access graded assignments and earn a course completion certificate, you need to pay, which is worth your money. Many of these courses are part of Coursera Specializations, which are the series of related courses and sometimes, also a Capstone project. Since its launch, Coursera has taught more than 25 million learners through their 2000+ classes.
Coursera’s offerings cover both individuals as well as organizations who want to train their teams. It offers courses in many most-spoken languages, including Spanish, English, Turkish, Russian, French, Portuguese, Chinese and traditional Chinese language. Thus, people from any corner of the world can access the high-quality courses offered at Coursera without any language barrier.
The Coursera’s curriculum covers a diverse range of subjects, similar to many small and midsize colleges. Click here to browse the full course catalog of Coursera.
Free Coursera courses feature video lectures and exercises. The free courses don’t typically offer official college credit. However, to receive a signed “certificate of completion,” you must pay a fee. However, certificates are not available for all paid courses as well, as of now. You can share your certificate with potential employers; so we recommend opting for paid courses. Also, you will still find many courses that are completely free, even with the graded assignments.
Coursera classes typically run from four to six weeks in duration. Each course includes several hours of video lessons each week, graded assessments, quizzes, and forum participation for peer-to-peer interaction among students. Some courses end with final exams.
If you want to excel in a particular skill or topic, you can enroll with Coursera specialization. The company offers 250+ specializations, including advanced machine learning, business foundation, data structure and algorithms, MySQL, graphic design and many more.
A Coursera Specialization is a micro-credential that combines several relevant courses, usually 4 or 5 courses, into a group. Some of these specializations include a Capstone project as the final course. These projects are assessed by student peers. Shorter specializations often include as few as three courses and take 4-6 months to complete. On the other hand, some specializations can go as long as 10 courses and may take a year to complete.
If you want a specialization certification, you have to pay for all the courses included within the specialization. You can take each course separately, but you can’t jump tohands-on capstone projects without completing all the other courses in the specialization.
Coursera works with industry partners who support the specialization by providing data, case studies, and guest lectures. Some of these partners also help with the development of the course material and offers rewards to learners who deliver an outstanding project.
Coursera specializations cost on a subscription basis between US$39-79 per month. You will be billed after a 7-day free trial. If you like to continue with the specialization, you can pay, complete the course and receive your certificate. Otherwise, you can cancel your subscription within the free trial time.
Coursera gives you the golden opportunity to pursue a degree program from the top universities without quitting your job or relocating to a new city. Coursera has partnered with many of the world’s top universities to provide learners with an affordable, high-credential university degree.
Coursera offers degree programs in the following four areas:
- Business: iMBA, iMSA, MBA, Master’s in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Computer Science: Master of computer science,Bachelor of computer science, Master of computer and information technology
- Data Science: Master of applied data science and Master of computer science in data science.
- Public Health: Global master of public health and Master of public health
Coursera degree programs usually take 1-3 years of study. At the end of your program, you will earn an accredited master’s degree that serves as a regular university degree.
Can you take Coursera courses at any time?
Yes, you can access any course on this leading digital educational platform on your smartphone through its mobile app.
To download the app on an Android device, click here.
To download the app on iPhone, click here.
Getting Started with Coursera
Log on to Coursera.org and start browsing the available courses. Choose the desired course, and if it’s a specialization, you will notice a popup asking you to enroll for a 7-day free trial. Otherwise, you will notice options to either audit the course or pay one time for earning the course completion certificate.
You will also notice a ‘Full course, no certificate’ option with many courses. For these courses, you will get access to the entire course content, including assignments and excluding certificate, for free.
You must know that Coursera courses feature a starting and an ending week. These courses are synchronous, which means these are only available at that time. On the other hand, there are asynchronous courses that students can take any time they want.
Click on the course title to know about it in more details. The course page gives an overview of the course, shares syllabus, lists FAQs, creators of the course, pricing, ratings & reviews, and course enrollment commencement date. The page gives a good read of the course content for each week.
If you like a course, click the blue ‘Sign Up’ or yellow ‘Enroll’ button to take it.
Coursera’s offers Highly Interactive Learning Style
Daphne Koller did deep research into pedagogical approaches and how artificial intelligence can boost student engagement for Coursera. All Coursera’s classes rely heavily on doing things to reinforce learning. For example, video lectures interrupt learners many times to ask questions about what they’ve learnt so far while pursuing the course. Learners receive immediate feedback on homework assignments. It keeps learners engaged, attentive and motivated.
The official website of Coursera is very easy and simple to use. Its intuitive and user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate through the website, even for the first-time visitors. Students get grading of essays and quizzes and feedback from professors timely, which is significant, considering the high enrollment figure with each course.
- Accredited university-backed courses
- Industry experts and university professors teach courses.
- Take courses for free; pay only if you need a certificate.
- You can access courses through their official website or mobile apps.
- New courses are updated from time to time.
- Interactive video lectures
- Instructors are available from universities only.
- Most of the courses are for beginners only.
- Limited languages.
As you see, Coursera offers 2700+ courses designed by the expert professors from the world’s top universities; the platform is the place to go if you want to learn online. It is one of the few online educational platform offerings accredited courses, specializations and degree programs for both academic purposes and professional development.
Classes are extremely inexpensive,and the duration of the courses is reasonable. Coursera courses give you the flexibility to learn at your own pace without compromising with your schedule and lifestyle. In short, it is education made fun, easy and accessible to all in the world.
So, start with Coursera right now.