When the founder of the online higher education platform, Daphne Koller, was asked about the goals of Coursera in terms of its future, she answered that the aim of the platform is twofold; to uplift those who are struggling financially through education and to make education more easily available to the masses. About a year ago, many might have thought these goals to be unrealistic, but there are already 33 institutions who have signed up with this organization and there is no indication that this growth will slow down any time soon.
Getting to Know Daphne Koller
Koller and the co-founder of Coursera, Andrew Ng, are both professors at Stanford University and so they are no strangers to higher education. Koller attended the Provost Lecture Series at Duke University on Monday and it was there that she spoke about “big data” and all of the issues associated with it. Since Koller’s specialty is computer sciences, she was able to provide a very enlightening speech, and she included Coursera as one of the main topics of interest. She then went on to answer questions ranging from the way that the platform works to its goals in the long term.
The Need for Higher Education
When Koller spoke about the importance of bringing higher education to the masses, she spoke about the incident that occurred at the University of Johannesburg where a mother was trampled while attempting to enroll her child at the institution; it is cases like this, Koller states, that highlights the need for higher education, especially in those areas of the world where it is hard to come by. Koller states that allowing access to higher education in this manner, “… is a tremendous humanitarian goal.”
Coursera to take the Higher Education World by Storm
Koller’s online learning platform already has over 1.5 million people signed up for classes, and these students are signing up from all over the world. The lectures which are presented to the students are recorded on video, which allows students the chance to watch the lectures at their own pace; they will then need to submit assignments and complete tests in order to finish the courses. Koller has described it as “… a real course experience. It’s not a bunch of static course material sitting around a website.”