Online courses are becoming more and more privileged. For some, it is a way to learn without going through classical and academic times. For others, they allow escaping the exorbitant costs of universities. In the last ten years, MOOC has become popular.
MOOC (Massive Opening Online Courses in English) are virtual courses that attract millions of people every year. They allow learners to take a system that is more flexible and at their own pace. To take a MOOC, participants must register on a platform and find the right courses. Among these platforms, Coursera is one of the leaders and pioneers in the world of MOOC.
The race is an online course platform created in 2012 by two Stanford University computer science professors, including Andrew Yan-Tak Ng and Daphne Koller. In the fall of 2011, they taught online at Stanford. Soon after, they took inspiration from this idea to launch the Coursera project. Four U.S. universities immediately participated in their project, including Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania, which offered courses on the platform. Classical procedures are followed by specialization courses and courses centered on more specific subjects, then diploma courses.
Coursera works in collaboration with renowned universities. Started with only four prestigious universities, the site welcomed 149 universities in 29 countries in 2017. In addition to working with academic institutions, Coursera has also developed a partnership with major companies such as IBM, Google, and PwC. Currently, the site is one of the busiest MOOC platforms. It welcomes more than 25 million users and offers more than 2,700 distance courses.
The success of this platform is thanks in part to increased financial support. In April 2012, the founders secured $16 million initial funding, and in 2013, the venue found support from the Word Bank group with an investment of $63 million. In 2015, EDB Investments made a financial contribution of $61 million, and in June 2017, they secured $64 million in financing from GSV Asset Management, enabling the startup to secure funding total of $210 million.
To take a course on the Coursera platform, participants must register and create an account. They can then search for terms they want to join. The times are usually developed by university professors but can also be courses conceptualized by professionals from the major companies partnering with the site. Most of the website courses are in English, but times in other languages are also available. Studies in French are available on this site and other languages such as Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, German, Hebrew, Italian and Ukrainian.
There are different types of courses on the platform:
- Classic courses: These are usually short-term courses, including 4 to 6 weeks. However, some systems require a slightly more extended time. On average, it takes 3 hours per week to work on the course. They are presented in pre-recorded videos of about 20 to 30 minutes. When the training time is over, learners are invited to evaluate their achievement by answering the quizzes.
- Specializations: If the classical courses allow for simple training, the specialization courses offer the opportunity to deepen a particular field. The training takes place for 4 to 6 months. Participants may request an outstanding follow-up by a professor or expert incumbent. These courses are paid for, and a certificate of completion is awarded to students at the end of the period. It should be noted that Coursera ensures that a certificate is issued that is recognized within companies.
- Initial online training for businesses: many MOOC numbers only give individual courses. Coursera dedicates a space dedicated to companies, including “Coursera for business.” These are courses of initial training types.
Follow the courses on the Coursera platform requires the participant to get involved in the training. Although the MOOC is intended to suit the students’ rhythms, self-control and assiduity are also needed to be more successful. For courses sanctioned by a certificate, they must pass exams in the form of QCM and do essays that will be corrected by the professors. Certificates are only issued if the grades are more than 80%, valid for all types of courses.
Mooc is defined as a training that is open to all and is generally known to be cheaper or even free of charge. Coursera offers several rates for these courses. The platform provides its members with complimentary classes, as well as paid courses. Free access to terms varies depending on the field and the universities that offer them. Currently, most times are partly open, for example, for watching videos. However, students must switch to paid modes if they want to obtain a certificate at the end of the course, priced between $29 and $99. However, it should be noted that Coursera still has a few free times sanctioned by a certificate once the apprenticeship has been completed.
Rates for specializations vary depending on the academic institutions that offer them. Most often, courses for this type of training are offered in a subscription that is between $39 and $79 per month. Most of these courses have a free trial mode for seven days.
After seven days, if the participants are not satisfied with the courses they have signed up for, they can withdraw without being priced. Besides, if learners enter online training via Coursera to obtain a university degree, they must pay between $15,000 and $25,000, and the courses last between 1 and 3 years.
Coursera generally has a positive track record with its users. The platform is above all appreciated for the quality of the courses. Learners are satisfied with the way their learning is going. Professionals who have converted to other activities say they are confident with their training.
Other users say they have found more inspiration by taking a classic course and have not hesitated to engage in different sessions in other areas. Companies also testify to the training of employees who have promoted their performance and know-how. However, many members asked about the process of accessing free courses on the platform.
Coursera is a MOOC platform that offers quality courses worthy of excellent schools. Its partnership with prestigious universities is an asset for learners who want to benefit from their certificate. Rates are reasonable and allow participants to choose quality courses based on their means. Free lessons are well-received, but users seem not to hesitate to opt for systems with certificates. The positive point that should not be forgotten is the interactivity between learners through discussion forums, including teachers’ participation and which allows them to solve a problem by the exchange of information.