Coursera: Learning Without Limits

Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller are computer science professors at Stanford University

Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller

Imagine having access to lessons from top universities with classmates from all over the world as you gain knowledge in subjects that interest you or help you advance along your career path. Sounds like something very expensive, doesn’t it? Coursera makes this possible free of charge by bringing you into their digital classrooms with hundreds of online courses right at your very fingertips.

Fellow students come from every corner of the globe and acclaimed professors hail form the most prestigious international universities, including the Ivy Leagues, for the multiple week courses in an array of subjects. Just like any typical class, a syllabus is distributed and professors lecture and assign homework. What makes it atypical is that these MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) don’t take place on a campus, but rather directly in your home or office. Students are encouraged to review slide shows and complete the assigned work at their own pace. Each course has its own forum where students can interact with one another and contact the professor with questions (much easier than “office hours”!), giving a real sense of community.

My upcoming course list

My upcoming course list

Ranging from neuroscience to art history, Coursera’s courses are designed to give you a deeper perspective of a subject that interests you or to brush up on your current degree with new concepts and information in the field. Most courses are offered in English and the multilingual course selection is quickly expanding. Created last year by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, computer science professors at Stanford University, Coursera has already reached millions of eager to learn students.

In a time of economic crisis and recession, learning is an investment that opens the mind while enhancing a CV. As Albert Einstein once said:
Let’s not pretend that things will change if we keep doing the same things. A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation. For all crises bring progress. Creativity is born from anguish…It’s inventive in crisis that is born, as well as discoveries, and big strategies.
(Photo credit: caltech.edu, npr.org, coursera.org)

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