A new online education platform founded by Stanford Computer Science Professors is on a mission to change the world by educating millions of people with free classes from top universities and professors.
Coursera offers non-credit classes in categories across the Math, Science, Business and Humanities fields featuring videos, quizzes and electronic assignments created by 16 top universities from the US, Europe, and Canada. Already, a million students from 190 countries have enrolled in the Internet courses that launched last September from four universities — Stanford, Michigan, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania.
Coursera’s venture into online education arose in the wake of MIT and Harvard launching the first such education platform called edX, which created a seismic shift in higher education.
“Higher education is ripe for innovation: it is too expensive and limited to a few,” said John Doerr, with a venture capital firm that invested millions in Coursera. “The potential is profound with these opportunities for personal — and economic — growth and development.”
Coursera combines mastery-based learning principles with video lectures, interactive content, like auto-graded exercises that give students instant feedback and a global community of peers engaging in online forums that facilitate discussions among international students.
“We see a future where world-renowned universities serve millions instead of thousands, allowing many more people to live their dreams,” said Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller. “Students learn best not by passively watching video, but by thinking, practicing and doing,” said Andrew Ng. “Our education technology is developed around these concepts, and helps busy students quickly master material.”
The Coursera venture started last year with Stanford, Michigan, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania offering free online courses. On Tuesday, a dozen universities joined the partnership. They are: Duke University, University of Washington, Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, University of Virginia, California Institute of Technology, Rice University, University of Toronto, Johns Hopkins University, University of California-San Francisco, University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and EPF Lausanne, a university in Switzerland.
Visit Coursera.org to learn more and sign up for courses.
(READ about Duke’s involvement in the Charlotte Observer)