Coursera offers courses from the top universities, for free.
Learn from the best professors by watching high quality lectures, achieving mastery via interactive assignments, and collaborating with a global community of students.
Coursera is committed to making the best education in the world freely available to any person who seeks it. We envision people throughout the world, in both developed and developing countries, using our platform to get access to world-leading education that has so far been available only to a tiny few. We see them using this education to improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.
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I just finished the nutrition 101 course from University of San Francisco. The professor Katie Ferrero did a wonderful job. Although I knew most of the material previously there was much that I still learned. For my own satisfaction I did take all of the quizzes. Because I am not looking for credit I did not care what my score was. But I was interested to see that there was still much to learn. I understand that there were over 20,000 students taking the class. From a few hundred countries. And I’m very grateful to have this free source of knowledge. My only regret is that all older windows XP computers with Internet Explorer eight and below won’t work with these courses. I think it will exclude a large number of people.
I started an introductory Coursera course full of optimism. It was a subject I had some passing knowledge of so I thought I would at least be able to finish. I was wrong. Despite being a reasonably intelligent person I was frustrated and feeling stupid within a few weeks. The courses are not comprehensive, you are not taught what you need to know to do the problems. The only way you would finish a course is if you had learned the material previously. And that is my suggestion. Buy a couple of books and teach yourself, Coursera won't teach you a thing.
Coursera in my opinion is the future of education. I started on one of the first courses on computers and programming 101 which was rather easy for me. However, I did learn something of course and the professor was really fun to listen to. Another course I signed up for was much more demanding as students needed to do quite an amount of reading (literature), write an essay and assess essays written from other classmates. You needed to complete 7 out of the 10 assignments to get graded. However, even if you do not have the time to follow the whole course, watch the lectures and do the exercises, you still gain knowledge. You get the chance to see real live professors, read material, documents and essays and do something more than just mindless internet surfing. As the Greek philosopher Socrates said "As I grow I learn", you can learn something in an organized way. There are also forums where you may ask questions, get answers from your peers or even from the professors themselves, form study groups with others from your area or simply interact with people with the same interests as you. All in all it is 100% educational and really helps non-English speakers improve their understanding of English in many fields as there are subtitles accompanying the lectures.
The only drawback is the lack of enough hours in the day for people like me to fully take advantage of this great collaboration of these fine institutions!
I've completed a course at Coursera and have to say it was a complete waste of time, verging on very stupid. The whole thing appears that way. The Gamification aspect of the courses is very off-putting and a bit childish. I wouldn't waste time doing another course with them.
I am uncomfortable with the set-up and noticed that certain postings I'd made 'anonymous' suddenly had my name appended to them. I am therefore suspicious of the Coursera staff, in fact I found that a bit creepy. It appears that if you post a comment they don't like, they will attempt to out you.
The students on the courses were mostly very stupid people who trolled, and some actually were outright plagiarists. Joke of it is, these same muppets grade your assessments. After a few short weeks you should get the picture. I believe Coursera will soon fail. This cannot be profitable. Anyone who invested money in this must be quite mad.