Coursera is and can be your online learning platform to help you get your dream course from the comfort of your home. Why? Because Coursera is your online campus.
With Coursera, anyone can access online education because Coursera embraces the MOOC model (Massive Open Online Courses). It's an open-ended mode where the courses have unlimited access and participation on their website.
So if you're looking to specialize or want a degree program from your home, Coursera courses may be what you seek. But, what encompasses Coursera? How does Coursera work? Hang on, and let's see how Coursera functions. Let's roll.
Coursera; What Is It?
Professor Andrew Ng of the Computer Science department at Stanford began Coursera in 2012, and as of 2021, Coursera has grown to over 92 million users.
Coursera bridges your passion for starting a university degree or expanding your career skills and the institution of preference by partnering with the top universities and companies around the globe, offering affordable and quality courses online.
It provides post-high school courses like online degree courses and over 500 groups of Coursera specializations, professional certificates, and Mastertrack courses. Its diversity makes it ideal for anyone, whether professional or starters, to enroll with them.
Coursera has over 6000 courses and over 1.6 million materials and is partnered with top universities from over 48 countries. Complete courses at Coursera are affordable because some are as low and free, while others go as high as $500000.
How Does Coursera Work?
Coursera's typical course presentation is in the form of video lectures, exercises like quizzes, online questions, and readings. Courses offered in Coursera last 4-12 weeks with one to two hours of video weekly.
These courses vary in quality because some have quizzes, weekly activities, final examinations, honors graded assignments, and the final project, while others don’t.
It categorizes the courses into specialization categories, focusing on your area of interest. The non-specialization courses take 4-12 weeks, while the specialization courses take several months. Finally, the degree programs take three years.
Here are the starting points of learning with Coursera.
Create an account by signing up, then choose your subjects of interest.
Then pick up the specific course and whether you want accreditation or just the skills.
At this point, start studies, readings, class discussions, quizzes and assignments, and other course requirements.
1. Create an Account and Choose the Subjects
Signing up in Coursera is easy. You first enter your name. Then you can give your first name or favorite nickname.
Afterward, go ahead with your official email, and make a strong password. You could still log in through your Facebook account. They will send you an email via the email you gave to verify.
Now choose the topics you'd like to learn or the one you're interested in. Choosing the courses here helps Coursera personalize your user experience. And voila! You now have an account.
2. Select the Course You Want to Do
Next, you will select the specific skill or course you want. The trick here is determining whether you want a certificate accreditation or are okay with the skills alone.
That's because most courses allow learners to obtain a learner's certificate, which you will show off to whomever it may concern. Other courses are in the Specializations group, which allows you to master particular academic fields.
However, certificate and Master's degree programs come at an extra cost unless you have a monthly Coursera Plus subscription.
Coursera has about 1500 courses at the university level spread over nine disciplines. You'll discover them as you navigate through Coursera. However, based on your preferences, Coursera will provide recommendations.
Note that specific courses are always offered while others follow specific run times and enrollment dates. Please check for this data before enrolling because you may enroll early in the year for a course that starts later, which may be very costly in the timewise.
3. Go Ahead With Your Coursera Course
You have chosen the program you want to enroll in, maybe two. Coursera courses are engaging. You must check your weekly modules for course data.
With Coursera, you get to engage your classmates in discussions and academically healthy chats over what you're going through. You also get to show your skills by completing quizzes and assignments.
The challenge here is the difference between learners because of the different programs they are studying, which means the assignments will be somewhat different. But you want to submit your assignment on time and not surpass deadlines.
The Coursera Business Model
Monetized MOOC model helps limit the free, open-access of the courses, which is sometimes challenging. However, the initial constitution of Coursera was with the internet in mind but without a mind for monetization. So monetization has helped to build a serious online community.
The business model requires all users to pay before taking courses. Coursera's business model has stabilized in offering products with different price ranges. You have over 3000 free-audit courses and guided Projects starting from $9.95. Specializations are $39-$399 per month, and online degrees at $9000.
How Does Coursera Pricing Work?
Coursera has free courses and paid ones. The paid courses range between $449 and $19. Once you make a transaction, you get a 7-day free trial refundable within those days.
For the Master's degree programs, there's no free trial. Most people pay for a single course certificate by purchasing it individually to avoid confusion. The price range varies because degree programs are between $9.99 and $500000, which universities typically charge.
Free training has over 2000 various courses like maths courses, linguistics, etc. But Coursera offers a filtering system to give you a personalized user experience. The good news is that you can view over 1.6-course materials and pay for certification upon completion.
So the average cost of completing a Coursera course is $49, and you ask for help to apply for certification. The guided certification process costs $9.95, but it costs $49 yearly for the Specialization option. Plus, the advertisements are a shorter commitment taking below 2 hours.
The Coursera Pricing Dynamics
The prices for different courses have a price range. For instance, individual courses range from $59-$99. On the other hand, the courses with specialization options range from $39-$399, which requires you to subscribe.
For guided projects that garner specific skills, start at 9.95 USD, while MasterTrack certificate programs' prices begin at 2000 USD, which you can pay per month as seen earlier.
"Coursera for Business"
Coursera for Business (CFB) started in 2016. Coursera partners with enterprises requiring online personnel training platforms. Over 50 firms offer training via Coursera.
Businesses like Novartis has over 108000 employees from across the globe. Coursera has business training on managing such businesses through the Service point-five and learning platform point-six.
Coursera charges a $400 yearly fee for each employee for the businesses enrolled in this training. This way, Coursera regards this feature as one of the key pieces of its monetization strategy.
Coursera Plus; How Does It Work?
Coursera plus becomes crucial when you need downloadable content and where you need to access many materials; therefore, you could use a slight price reduction. Therefore, subscribing to Coursera requires a $59 monthly subscription fee.
With Coursera Plus, you can access specialty and multiple courses at a subsidized price. Moreover, the courses come with unique advantages like a free certification without additional costs. Coursera Plus has various courses for non-commercial clients and professional ones from basic to advanced professionals costing $159 a month.
So is Coursera Plus worth it? Yes, it's worth it because it determines the total cost of Coursera packages.
Coursera offers courses by professors from major institutions like Stanford, Michigan Universities, Yale university, etc. Therefore, a Coursera certificate, whether a specialization certificate, a degree certificate, etc., is worth as much as the one who went to the physical university premises.
For example, Laurie Santos, a psychology professor who lectures at Yale University, says that Coursera is her most comprehensive teaching platform to teach masterclasses and learning skills.
The Instructor's Perspective
To teach at Coursera, you must be working with one of the institutions that work with Coursera.
You cannot facilitate, upload, and teach classes without credentials here because Coursera's quality requires standards. Therefore, you must be an experienced, high-quality instructor.
The learner's Perspective
Coursera breaks classes into weeks and presents them to learners to choose and determine when they can complete training.
The courses range from 5 to 7 weeks. Also, you can have 5-day sessions. In addition, learners can access other resources, apps for note-taking, messages, and discussion forums.
How Coursera Works: Final Thoughts
Coursera differs from one-on-one campus treatment experiencewise because of the technicalities and course presentation. However, Coursera is among the best ways of learning from your home's comfort.
It features professors from top universities and colleges, and you can use most materials there for free. As a result, the working of Coursera courses is straightforward and affordable.