Coursera Will Now Offer All College Students Free Access To Its … – Forbes


Coursera announced today that it will give college students across the world free access to its … [+] entire catalogue of courses, certificates and guided projects.
In its latest response to the coronavirus pandemic, Coursera will give college students around the world free access to its entire catalogue of courses. The company, a leading online learning platform and one of the pioneers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), made the announcement today, opening up enrollment in any of its thousands of courses to millions of students.
Starting today and lasting until July 31, college and university students – from two- year and four-year schools around the world – can sign up to take courses and earn certificates on Coursera for free. Current undergraduate, graduate, or recently graduated students are eligible for the offer.
All that’s required to enroll is that a student have a verified school email. Once enrolled, students have until Sept. 30, 2020 to complete the courses or programs. Students satisfactorily finishing courses or programs will receive certifications of completion – also for free – making it possible for the course to count for credit at their home colleges or universities. There is no limit on how many courses a student can take. Think of it as super summer school.
The offer covers more than 3,800 courses and 400 different specializations. Also included are professional certificate programs (such as IBM Data Science or Google IT Support Professional certificates) and a relatively new component that Coursera calls “guided projects.” These are hands-on learning experiences ​that develop job-relevant skills like​ ​data analysis, ​app development​, and​ ​social media marketing. The projects are interactive, feature step-by-step guidance from experts, and typically take under two hours to complete. Examples include creating data visualizations with Tableaucreate an informative presentation with Google Slides, and using TensorFlow to classify images
Coursera’s new offer to college students follows a series of free product launches that the company made as the extent of the pandemic became better known.

Coursera proclaims its mission is to serve the world through learning, and its various responses to the pandemic have helped a large number of students continue their education in the face of severe disruptions to on-campus learning. The strategy is a continuation – at unprecedented scale – of the company’s business model, which has relied on a hybrid menu of free and paid-for courses.
As a result of its aggressive responses to the pandemic, Coursera has strengthened it position as an online learning platform. The company claims that more than one million higher education students have already turning to its offerings during the pandemic, and that figure is sure to go much higher as a result of the latest offer. And the New York Times reported that Coursera added 10 million new users from mid-March to mid-May, seven times the pace of new sign-ups in the previous year.
When I asked Shravan Goli what he envisioned as the impact of Coursera’s new offer, he told me, “Millions of higher ed students continue to search for ways to continue learning during this challenging time. We are driven by our mission and commitment to make learning accessible to as many people as possible and hope this new initiative can help students around the world learn job-relevant skills from the safety of their homes.”