Brazil, China, India Lead the Way for Coursera’s Free Online Classes

It was recently announced that Coursera had reached the 1 million mark, in terms of the number of students that have signed up for the courses that are being offered, but the surprising news is that a large percentage of these students aren’t from the States; in fact, it seems as if China, Brazil and India are the nations making the most of these courses with a total of 61.5% of the signups coming from outside of the U.S.

What Coursera Has To Offer

Coursera has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the world of online education, and with more than 117 courses ranging from ancient Greek mythology to algebra, students can take their pick when it comes to signing up for a class. The fact that some of the most renowned institutions in the country are the ones offering these classes (including Duke, Princeton and Penn State) makes this an even more exciting opportunity for those that would like to increase their skills and further their knowledge of a particular field.

Signing Up For Classes

In order to sign up for the course of their choice, students simply need to register with the site and they will receive access to the relevant materials. Once they have passed the course, they might or might not receive a certificate stating that they have accomplished this, although it should be noted that they will not yet be able to receive credit for the modules – but there is no knowing whether this might just change in the future.

From Humble Beginnings

While the organization was only established in April, since then there has been an influx of students signing up for the chance to try their hand at a university course, and these students include people from around 196 countries. Even though students are standing in line to begin classes, according to one of the founders of Coursera, Andrew Ng, only around half of those that enroll will complete an assignment or test, while 50% of these individuals will complete the entire course. When you look at it this way, it seems more likely that a quarter of a million students have completed courses through this organization.

Broadening The Reach Of Higher Education

It seems that while students are excited about being able to challenge themselves with these courses, institutions are interested in being able to reach as many prospective students as possible, and so these classes are beneficial to everyone within the industry of education. The initial aim will be to offer courses and determine how students experience them; this research will then be used to improve on the older models, allowing them to become more efficient and even more attainable to the average learner. Students at university will also benefit, seeing as lectures can be placed online for learners to watch, allowing them to make better use of the time they have within the classroom. Coursera is definitely on to something; spreading their reach across the world is not a matter of distance, but a matter of time.