December 18, 2012

Learning about Coursera -- a MOOC worth exploring

Andrew Ng

Andrew Ng, Stanford University computer science professor, is the co-founder of Coursera, a for-profit company that partners with colleges and universities to provide free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

It's hard to believe that the company only started up in April! Stanford Professors Launch Coursera With $16M From Kleiner Perkins and NEA.

The list of participating colleges and universities is impressive -- thirty-three as of this date.

"Brilliant!" I thought as I listened to Andrew on the Google+ EducationOnAir
Re-think College: Discussing Cost, Expanding Access, Harnessing Technology, and Student Success.

Here's his bio.

Who can take a Coursera course? Anyone over 18. And students 13 and above can take the courses with parental permission.

The variety of courses and topics is impressive. Here are the 210 offerings for 2013.

And here's the Coursera team.

Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller speaks about "What we're learning from online education" on TED. Food for thought.


The company has already encountered controversy: Minnesota Gives Coursera the Boot, Citing Decades-Old Law.

How would Coursera make money? Check out: Inside the Coursera Contract: How an Upstart Company Might Profit From Free Courses.

Here are the nitty-gritty FAQs about Coursera, if you're ready for details.

Coursera isn't the only MOOC organization to consider, of course. Here are three excellent ones I recommend exploring:
  • EdX, a partnership between MIT and Harvard
Coursetalk is an online community that helps you to identify the best MOOCsand the three organizations above (in addition to Coursera) have the best reviews so far. Coursetalk is a very handy site indeed.

Yes, I know there will be more MOOCs in our future, and No, I'm confident that online learning will never be as rich socially and culturally as "face-to-face" with our teachers. But what an amazing opportunity to learn for all of us!

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@mauilibrarian2