I’ve reviewed many Coursera courses on this website, as well as posting a review on their educational platform as a whole. Coursera rolled out their new mobile learning platform a month or so ago, and I’ve had some time to play with it and experiment a little. I thought I should post my thoughts on it here.
Anyone who’s taken courses on that platform will know that one of the big challenges for getting through the experience is just keeping up with the 2-3 hours per week of videos that need to be watched. Whereas the quizzes and assignments could take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours to complete, an additional 2 hours just to watch the videos requires a lot of dedicated time that some people find difficult to carve out at home.
The Coursera mobile app allows you to watch the class videos on the go. You have the option of downloading them in advance (on your home wifi, for instance), or streaming them over your phone’s data plan. If you have a commute that allows you to watch videos, or even just those moments where you find yourself with some time, this could be a great study option.
It runs on the iOS and Android platforms, which covers the iPhone, iPod, iPad and a wide range of small and large screen Android devices. I’ve been watching videos on my iPod Touch.
The app does not (yet) allow you to take quizzes, assignments or exams. So you’ll have to use a computer for that. That’s a difficult challenge on a small screen device, and I guess the developers weren’t ready to conquer that. I think delivering the videos only this way actually is a major enhancement to the learning experience so I can’t fault them for that.
Overall, I think this app will increase the chances that you will successfully complete online courses, since you can view or review the course videos during those idle times during the day. It is not by itself a learning platform yet, but it’s a good start.