With the downfall of many European nations economies, it seems that many more people are benefiting from the online education opportunities that are being presented through organizations such as the Khan Academy, and this has shown the world that the stigma behind “online learning” might be wrong in more ways than one. Since the benefits of these courses are becoming more and more apparent, those that are able to offer online courses are making a concerted effort to do just that; and this is opening up a world of possibilities for those interested in enhancing their education through this medium.
Coursera: Taking The Online World By Storm
Coursera is a learning platform that was started by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, two professors whose aim was to make higher education available to a wider range of people. The platform has been making waves in the online education field and while many organizations and institutions have begun to make investments into this promising new initiative, Coursera itself is yet to benefit financially from their offerings. The platform has already begun to offer courses in the social sciences, as well as the humanities, and the universities in partnership with the institution include renowned establishments such as the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Michigan.
It seems that the Coursera could not have been established at a better time. With the rising costs of higher education making it difficult for students to obtain a qualification, as well as the fact that high speed internet is becoming more and more affordable around the world, students now have a better chance of being able to access these courses, no matter where they live or what their finances are like. According to coauthor of a book on higher education and the changes taking place within this field, Michael Horn, the “potential impact” that online learning will have on the field of education is “huge”.
Changing The Way Education Is Delivered
One of the biggest benefits that Coursera has to offer is the fact that online video lectures are going to provide the basis for the classes. In terms of land-based education, lectures take up a lot of valuable class time, and many experts are of the opinion that students learn better when they are actively involved in discussions. Brick-and-mortar institutions are also benefiting from Coursera’s offerings because they allow students the chance to watch the lectures before attending class, where they are then drawn into conversations about the topics they are studying, and gain a better understanding of the materials.
Interacting With Others Online
One of the major disadvantages that have always been present in the online learning industry is the fact that students and lecturers were never able to communicate with each other in the same way as they do within brick-and-mortar establishments. This doesn’t only affect the manner in which they experience their educational opportunities; it also prevents students from getting to know one another and feeling as if they are part of a community. With Coursera, this problem with be taken online, with forums allowing everyone to get in touch or discuss course-related content with each other in a manner that was never possible before. It seems that Coursera might just be on to something, and they intend to benefit millions of people all over the world with their initiative.