Home | Reviews | Site Reviews | Review of Coursera – 700 Courses and Climbing

Review of Coursera – 700 Courses and Climbing

coursera-header

It’s hard to argue that Coursera is NOT the current leader in the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) space. They have 107 partner Universities and Colleges, and 542 courses on offer. The courses are modeled around actual college classes (which have to be adapted to some degree). But you are basically learning the same things as college students who have paid thousands of dollars to be there. All for free.

Coursera also offers “Signature Track” certificates, which require you to prove your identity as you are taking the tests, allowing you to get a verified credential that could potentially be used on a resume or for a promotion at work. It’s a difficult problem to solve, and they have found at least a unique solution to it.

Coursera has the following features:

  • Hundreds of courses to choose from in almost every academic subject
  • All courses primarily delivered through video, with some classes offering PDF and other support
  • Forums
  • During the video lectures, some courses pause to ask a question about what was learned
  • Weekly tests, and exams
  • Supports peer reviewed work for longer or more complicated content (like programming assignments)

It’s not a perfect system, and I think it can be improved. But Coursera is on a growth path that allows them to tweak their system over time. Things that can be improved include:

  • A mobile app (Update: They launched one. I review it here.)
  • Courses that can start at any time, instead of waiting to a school year schedule
  • More flexible in-lecture quizzing
  • More organization around the course home page while it’s in progress; it can be confusing to know what the site wants you to do next
  • A cleaner course catalog
  • Lack of advanced courses – most of them are “introduction to” level
  • Organized groups of courses, such as a complete Bachelor of Arts equivalent program or a complete MBA program

I’ve taken a number of courses at Coursera, and here are some of my favorites:

As you can see , I tend to take a wide variety of courses, not all concentrated on a single area.

Clearly, Coursera is still in the beginning stages in delivering university and college-level education to the world. Ultimately, it is a platform and relies heavily on it’s partner universities to create compelling content. But it’s hard to separate the platform from the content, and so the criticism around missing higher-level courses still sticks. Still, on the whole, having 500+ courses to choose from, and no two exactly the same, means there is a good chance you’ll find something there that interests you.

On the whole, I love what Coursera’s got, and can’t wait to see the months and years ahead as it gets better.

(Updated 3/16/2014 with additional content)

 

It's hard to argue that Coursera is NOT the current leader in the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) space. They have 107 partner Universities and Colleges, and 542 courses on offer. The courses are modeled around actual college classes (which have to be adapted to some degree). But you are basically learning the same things as college students who have paid thousands of dollars to be there. All for free. Coursera also offers "Signature Track" certificates, which require you to prove your identity as you are taking the tests, allowing you to get a verified credential that could potentially be…

Review Overview

Variety of Courses
Quality of Courses
Website Ease of Use
Offers Credentials

Great but not perfect

Currently the leader in official college and university courses, with more than 100 partnerships and hundreds of courses to choose from.

User Rating: Be the first one !

Check Also

Video Review of Khan Academy – A Guided Tour

Back again with another video tour, this time of Khan Academy. Now Khan Academy is …

23 comments

  1. Pingback: A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior, with Dan Ariely | Course Mania

  2. Pingback: Introduction to Finance, with Professor Gautam Kaul | Course Mania

  3. Pingback: Review of Lynda.com | Course Mania

  4. Pingback: Creative, Serious and Playful Science of Android Apps Starts Today! | Course Mania

  5. Pingback: Are Online Courses Equivalent to In Class Courses? | Course Mania

  6. Pingback: Coursera + LinkedIn = Love? | Course Mania

  7. Pingback: Can’t Decide What Course to Take? Try Curiosity’s Spark Quiz | Course Mania

  8. Pingback: Review of Coursera App for iOS & Android | Course Mania

  9. Pingback: Review of Memrise | Coursemania

  10. Pingback: Review of Udacity | Coursemania

  11. Pingback: Startup Engineering with Balaji S. Srinivasan | Coursemania

  12. Pingback: New Course of the Week – Financial Markets with Bob Schiller | Coursemania

  13. Pingback: New Course of the Week – The Science of Gastronomy | Coursemania

  14. Pingback: New Course of the Week – Marriage and the Movies | Coursemania

  15. Pingback: Financial Markets, with Bob Schiller | Coursemania

  16. Pingback: Review of Coursera App for iPad | Coursemania

  17. Pingback: New Course – Introduction to Forensic Science | Coursemania

  18. Pingback: Learning How to Avoid Climate Change | Coursemania

  19. Pingback: New Course of the Week – Social Psychology | Coursemania

  20. Pingback: Video Review of Coursera | Coursemania

  21. Pingback: Review of edX – Not Just MIT and Harvard | Coursemania

  22. Pingback: Review of Brainbench – Career Related Testing | Coursemania

  23. Pingback: 10 Totally Awesome Places to Learn How to Code (+1 More) | Coursemania

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *