(Designed by Freepik)
In this age of technology, knowledge is mostly just a click away. In fact, taking a course, specialisation or degree online is also possible. There are many massive open online course (Mooc) platforms like edX, Udemy, Coursera and Moodle, which offer online courses ranging from learning coding, business skills to finance management, literature concepts, etc.
In this post, we will talk about Coursera, a Mooc plarform, founded in 2012 by two Stanford professors, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. They started out with sharing their own courses online, and reached hundreds of learners. Today, they have partnered with 149 top universities and educators from around the world to offer thousands of online courses and certificates. They have catered to 25 million learners!
Their aim is to make knowledge accessible to any learner coming from anywhere in the world. For this, they offer various online courses, specialisations and degrees.
2000+ Online courses by Coursera
Courses are available in the fields of business, data science, computer science, personal development, leadership, technology and more. The courses are 4-6 weeks long, and cost about USD29-99. They include peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums. At the end of the course, one earns a certificate.
Three popular courses from their list:
1. Machine Learning by Stanford University
The machine learning online course is open to all. It teaches the best practices and techniques of Artificial intelligence (AI) and other related applications. The course imparts both theoretical knowledge, as well as practical skills. The study material and assignments are based on various case studies; hence, learners get to implement techniques that are similar to the ones that enable self-driven cards, speech recognition, smart robots, web search, etc. (Andrew Ng’ Machine Learning: Master the Fundamentals)
2. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects by University of California, San Diego
This is a valuable course for people from any industry. It teaches learning and memory techniques used by experts in various fields. It also teaches how the mind works, and how one can adapt or change their thinking to be more successful. These techniques are applicable to all disciplines including arts, science, math, literature, and sports. The course, Learning how to learn, teaches one to organize their time, thoughts and activities to by successful at anything.
3. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) by University of Michigan
Covering the first five chapters of the book “Python for Informatics”, this course teaches basics of using simple instructions in Python for programming computers.
180+ Specialisations by Coursera
A Specialisation programme with Coursera consists of multiple courses that help one master a skill online. In 4-6 months, learners have to undertake various assignments and challenges related to the chosen specialisation. This enables them to apply their learning to practice. Learners earn Specialisation Certificates at the end of the programmes. These specialisation programmes cost anywhere between USD 39-79 per month.
Three of the top Specialisations:
1. Python for Everybody Specialisation by University of Michigan
This programme has 5 courses that help one learn fundamental programming concepts. It teaches how to use Python to programme and analyse data. One does not need any prior experience to undertake this Specialisation. (Master Python in 5 Online Courses from University of Michigan. Enroll today!)
2. Business Foundations Specialisation by University of Pennsylvania
This programme has 6 courses, spread over 5 weeks (4-6 hours per week), that teach core business skills and language in business operations, marketing, finance and accounting. Learners have to tackle real business challenges while undertaking projects assigned during the programme. (Master Business Foundations from the Wharton School. Enroll today!)
3. Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals Specialisation by Duke University
One learns the basics of Java, a programming language that is popularly used to make web and android applications. Its 5 courses teach skills of a software engineer, and cover foundation programming concepts to design, test and debug programmes like interactive webpages and filter function on content on a page.
Four Online Degrees with Coursera
Coursera has partnered with universities from all over the world to make online degree programmes accessible to learners anywhere, anytime. For these accredited master’s degrees, one has to study for 1-3 years. It costs about USD 15000-25000, and offers degrees in business, computer science, and data science.
Coursera for Business and Government
There are 1800+ courses from renowned universities that businesses and other organisations can employ to train their employees. The courses include video lectures, assessments, and online discussion forums. Big and small organization can pay USD 100, USD 250 or USD 400 for 1, 3 or 6 courses per person, respectively. Bulk discounts can be availed by organisations looking to train more than 1000 employees. Government and non-profit organizations can also enroll their employess with these courses at special rates.
Two popular business courses:
1. Digital Marketing Specialisation by University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
This is one of the popular courses with Coursera. It teaches the dynamics of driving marketing and sales online. It covers topics like social media marketing, search engine optimisation, and digital analytics, which teach professionals about relevant digital marketing concepts and tools and their applications. It’s a course from the University of Illinois Masters of Business Administration degree program. (Learn Digital Marketing from University of Illinois on Coursera. Enroll today!)
2. Design Thinking for Innovation by University of Virginia
As the name suggests, this course teaches design thinking to use the available resources to make operations efficient. It trains professionals to identify opportunities where there aren’t any seemingly. It gives one a problem solving approach to everything they do.
Coursera aims at making education accessible to anyone, anywhere with the help of a community of 150 partner universities and education institutions across 29 countries. Besides partners, they work with developers, mentors, translators and testers that work towards the goal of accessible education.
The mentors’ community helps learners with questions raised in discussion forums, and they create new discussion threads to make learning more engaging. This is a group of volunteers with relevant skills, who in return get to connect with mentors from the same field and to share their knowledge with thousands of learners around the world.
The translators’ community helps subtitle the course videos, and check the existing translations for correctness. Coursera encourages translators to do these tasks at their own pace, in their spare time, to make education accessible to as many people around the world as possible. The beta testers’ community reviews the content of the courses, and provides test results to the instructors to improve the courses.
With Coursera, learners from around the world have access to:
- Education anytime, anywhere through Android and iOS Apps
- Academic support from the mentors’ community and Coursera’s Learners support team
- Course certificates that can be shared and added to one’s resume and LinkedIn profile
- Thousands of courses from various fields with video subtitles in over 30 languages
Therefore, if you are looking to up your skillset or are looking to upgrade the skills of your students or employees, then enrollment with Coursera’s online programmes is a time-efficient and cost-effective way.
We will cover their field-wise courses in future posts, and also compare their courses to other available Moocs online. Stay tuned!