University of Washington Tags Coursera to Offer Free Online Classes

The University of Washington has announced that they will join in the current trend of offering free online courses to anyone interested in taking them, but they are also going one step further and offering certain paid-for courses that will allow students the opportunity to receive credits from their online studies. This initiative is part of the MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, platform and prospective students are lining up for the chance to take advantage of these offers.

Coursera Leading The Way For The Future Of Education

As many other institutions announced their partnership with Coursera, an online course management system founded by two Stanford professors, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, the University of Washington announced that they too would be participating, and this boosted the course offerings from 43 to 111. As of now, Coursera is the proud partner of 16 institutions that will be offering these online courses to interested parties around the world.

The Trend Of Online Learning Picks Up Speed

The moment some of the most prestigious universities around the country announced that they were partnering with Coursera, a range of other institutions made the decision not to be left behind, and this has ensured that students have their pick in terms of the establishment through which they would like to study. The day that the University of Washington made the decision to announce their partnership, they had 2 courses listed as available, but by the end of that same day, over 2,500 students had already signed up for them. These two courses were; information security and risk management in context, by Barbara Endicott-Popovsky and Scientific Computing, by J. Nathan Kutz.

Fee-Based Courses For Credit

The University of Washington does not plan on stopping with their free online courses; they also plan to include a range of fee-based online classes that will allow students the opportunity to obtain credit, or a certificate from this institution. The costs of these courses have not yet been established, but it is thought that they will range between $2000 and $5000. In terms of testing for these courses, the university will make use of separate testing centers throughout the country so that students can take their examinations when the time comes for them to complete their courses.

The Layout Of The Online Courses

The University of Washington has already begun advertising 38 online courses that can be completed for a certificate, and these will be restructured in order to fit in with the platform developed by Coursera. The lectures that are based on these courses are divided into shorter segments, about 10 to 15 minutes long, and once the student has completed each one, they will then have to take a test that will determine what they have learned from the segment. Since students need to sign up for the courses on a specific date, they will usually have the opportunity to go through the courses of their choice together, and this will promote group discussions and peer-to-peer interaction that is usually only found in a brick-and-mortar establishment.