How Coursera is Innovating Higher Education – on a Massive Scale

What could be better than free? With online education, some are finding that, not only are the courses free, they may also be better for learning and teaching.

What could be better than free? With online education, some are finding that, not only are the courses free, they may also be better for learning and teaching. Stanford’s, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng with Coursea and GoogleX’s, Sebastain Thrun with Udacity are showing the way to bring much needed higher education to everyone and maybe spiking our creativity along the way, according to a recent Forbes article.

“One million students have signed up for college-level classes being offered online by California-based Coursera…61.5% of Coursera’s enrollment outside the USA, with Brazil, India and China leading the way…Coursera uses the Internet to teach 117 courses, covering everything from calculus to finance, world history and Greek mythology. Its faculty consists of professors from more than a dozen leading universities in the U.S., Canada and Britain – including Duke, Princeton, the University of Michigan and the University of Edinburgh. Students sign up free of charge. While Coursera doesn’t yet offer formal academic credit or traditional degrees, such credentials could be part of its expansion plans in years to come.”

“We should spend less time at universities filling our students’ minds with content by lecturing at them, and more time igniting their creativity…by actually talking with them,” says Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education. (TED talk posted August 2012.)

As Coursera’s surprising momentum shows, the world is hungry for quality education; online delivery of sophisticated courses is now practical worldwide.

Some institutions are starting to accept Coursera and Udacity course credits and course attendee meetups are springing up in most major cities around the globe. Imagine, 100,000 students getting the same learning online that 200 students get in the lecture hall – and, at their own pace! The multiplier effect could be one of the most important innovations of our time.

How will your organization leverage a smarter world?

By Chuck Frey

About the author

Chuck Frey Senior Editor, founded InnovationTools.com and served as its publisher from its launch in 2002 until the partnership with Innovation Management in 2012. He is the publisher of The Mind Mapping Software Blog, the definitive souce for news, trends, tips and best practices for visual mapping tools. A journalist by trade, Chuck has over 14 years of experience in online marketing, and over 10 years experience in business-to-business public relations. His interests include creative problem solving, visual thinking, photography, business strategy and technology. His unique combination of experience and influences enables him to envision new possibilities and opportunities.

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