Coursera: Free online education platform

Short analysis


Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.

Their main mission:

  • Envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education.
  • Aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

How It Works

  • Discover a course and sign up for free: Choose from 400+ courses created by the world’s top educational institutions.
  • Learn on your own schedule: Watch short video lectures, take interactive quizzes, complete peer graded assessments, and connect with classmates and teachers.
  • Achieve your goal: Finish your class and receive recognition for your accomplishment.

The Approach

The Coursera experience

It’s simple. It’s mainly to help students learn better — and faster. That’s why they designed their platform based on proven teaching methods verified by top researchers.

Here are 4 key ideas that were influential in shaping the vision:

  • Effectiveness of online learning

Online learning plays a significant role in a lifelong education. In fact, a recent report by the U.S. Department of Education found that “classes with online learning (whether taught completely online or blended) on average produce stronger student learning outcomes than do classes with solely face-to-face instruction.”

  • Mastery learning

Based on an approach developed by educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom, Mastery Learning helps students fully understand a topic before moving onto a more advanced topic. On Coursera, they typically give immediate feedback on a concept a student did not understand. In many cases, they provide randomized versions of the assignment so a student can re-study and re-attempt the homework.

  • Peer assessments
  • Blended learning

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.