Study for free. Improve your career prospects. A Coursera review.
Coursera is a globally recognized eLearning platform to provide broad access to online programs from top universities. It's free to join and more than 24 million learners have already improved their skills through one of the many programs offered. Keep reading our Coursera review guide to see if this platform would be suitable for your needs.
Coursera Review – Overview
Founders – Coursera (view website) was founded by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, both full professors from the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. They knew that they could help more students in two months online than they would be able to achieve in a lifetime of classroom lectures.
Students, Universities – Apart from the 24 million students that have benefited from the more than 4,000 classes on offer (and this only during the past five years), Coursera boast more than 200 university partners, all of the educational institutions that enjoy a high level of respect globally.
Accessibility – Every effort is made to make quality training available to everybody. To this end, Coursera goes to great lengths to make its programs accessible to those with hearing or sight disabilities and even those suffering from learning disabilities.
Specializations – Apart from the 4,000+ classes on offer, Coursera also offers more than 160 specializations and two degrees. Here's a list of the most popular Coursera courses.
Classes: 4,000+ | Universities: 200+
Degrees: 20+ | Professional Certificates: 13+
Pricing: Free. Coursera Plus: $44/month.
Apps: iOS, Android | Info: View website
Coursera Review Rating: ★★★★★ | 4.9
Coursera Review – Structure and Features
The Coursera platform offers a host of information, but it is straightforward to use. You will find the information you need quickly and without hassle. The website's layout also allows you to browse sensibly without getting lost in layers and layers of information.
Catalog – Most potential learners have a very good idea of the type of class they are looking for. However, you may also be browsing for programs that will help you start a new career or enhance your current curriculum vitae. In both cases, you will find what you are looking for.
Coursera Categories – The lectures are grouped into categories, such as Business, Computer Science, Personal Development and many more. These categories can be viewed by simply opting for the “Find a Course” option.
Sub-categories – Once you choose a specific category, you will be presented with a list of all the programs that are available in that category. To make things even easier, the classes are further sorted into sub-categories. In this list, the University presenting the class and the scope of the program (e.g., specialization of 5 classes) are indicated.
Keyword Listing – If you do not see the category you are interested in, you can still find the programs you are looking for. For example, you may be interested in psychology, but there is no such category. All you need to do is type the word “psychology” into the search box and you will be presented with a list of all lectures dealing with this topic.
2. Search Options
General – The Coursera website provides various ways to find the class that will suit your needs. The easiest way of exploring the catalog is to browse the various categories. This can be accessed by using the “Find a Course” option. This will result in a list of categories.
Category Listings – When you select a specific category, you will be presented with a list of all the programs in that category. Only basic information about each class is provided, but you can access very detailed information if you choose to do so. You will also be given more information about the university involved and the lecturer presenting the course. This may also help you decide whether the program is for you.
Search Function – There are other ways to access class information. One of the simplest methods is to use the extensive yet easy-to-use search function. You can search for virtually anything. For example, you may want to see only programs that are part of a specialization or class where a specific topic is covered. The possibilities are truly endless.
Alternatives – Another great way to find the ideal class for you is to follow and review the trail of other visitors to the site. This can be done by selecting the “Students who viewed this class also viewed…” option. Besides, it may be helpful to browse the suggested programs based upon your search criteria.
Feedback reviews from previous students can be a very helpful resource. Coursera review testimonials provided by students are presented as it was given. Negative comments and suggestions are not edited or deleted. In this way, you can get an independent review and opinion about any class that caught your attention.
Search by University – You may even want to see and review programs that were designed by specific universities or that are presented by specific lecturers. This is perfectly possible on the Coursera platform.
3. Course Information
When you browse through a list of programs, you are initially provided with only basic information regarding each course. (The class name, the type of class, and the name of the university presenting it.) You can then zoom in to a specific class, review and access more information.
Nobody wants to wade through masses of information that may just turn out to be irrelevant. That is why information about programs is presented in layers, each layer providing more and more detail.
Specific info – If a particular program catches your attention you can review and access more information about that particular course. You will be told how much time you will need to commit each week when the program is next scheduled and its learning outcomes.
There is also a detailed review of the class or, in the case of a career track, all the classes. If you need prior experience or qualifications to enroll in this class, you will also find that information.
In every instance, you can access even more detailed information by activating the “More detail” option. You will then be presented with much more detail. The topic covered for each week with each lecture's title, practical assignment and quiz is also listed.
4. Additional Information and Help
Detailed information on each class is important, but you may also need other information to guide you towards starting your studies. The Help section, at the bottom of the page, is the first place to review and visit.
- There is an entire section on how to set up and personalize your account.
- Another section deals with all matters related to payments and refunds.
- The Trouble Shooting section deals with common problems and how to solve them.
- If you cannot find the topic on which you need help, you can use the search box in the Help section.
- You may also find it helpful to visit the Frequently Asked Questions section.
- The support team at Coursera (academic and administrative) will respond to your queries and answer your questions promptly.
5. Coursera Review – Coursera Plus
While audition is free for most listings, you may want to start a new career or land a job in a competitive industry. Thus, you will need certification. If you are serious about your education and carer, Coursera offers recognized certification you can use for your CV.
Coursera Plus bundles all that together, but you will also get access to top educational programs from IBM, Google, Facebook, and other in-demand employers. YOu can choose from more than 15 certification programs. Hands-on projects and examinations are included. Visit the website to see and review Coursera Plus here.
6. Device Compatibility
All Coursera courses can be accessed through a wide variety of desktop and mobile devices. It does not matter whether you use iOS or Android. In addition, you can download a free app that will enhance your whole Coursera experience. You can also connect with Coursera through their blog, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
7. Coursera Refund Policies
The Coursera Plus (view) refund policy is clear and reasonable. You should keep the following in mind:
- Refunds are not offered for payments made under a subscription plan unless you cancel your subscription before your free trial period ends.
- Once you enrolled and paid for a program, you can request a refund, but this must be made within 14 days of the payment.
8. You signed up. What next?
Once you have downloaded the Coursera App, you can enroll in the class of your choice.
- Simply click on the class you want to take and choose Enroll. You simply set your enrollment options and are ready to go.
- If you enrolled for a current class, you would be able to immediately access the materials. If this is not the case, you need to wait until the next time the program is scheduled.
- As an enrolled student, you can ask for help, advice and support at any time. You will also have access to student forums, where you can exchange ideas and discuss class aspects. Coursera will never allow you to become a student in isolation.
Coursera Review – Pros and Cons
Wrapping up our Coursera review, let's look at some of the pros and cons.
The big name universities that back all the programs are a very big plus. This means that you can be absolutely sure that you will learn from reputable educational institutions and be lectured by highly qualified and experienced lecturers.
The programs have been designed with busy people in mind. Lectures can generally be completed within 30 minutes and in most cases, you need to dedicate only 3 or 4 hours to your studies each week. Time constraints will therefore not be an obstacle in your path.
Many students think that it is complicated to study from home, without the support of a group of other students and real-live lecturers. This should not be a problem, however. The Coursera support team is indeed very supportive and you should find valuable advice and help by participating in student forums.
There is a myriad of providers out there that offer great content to learn skills from programming and business to creative arts and psychology. Read our round-up reviews of Skillshare classes, LinkedIn courses or Udacity courses or Udacity nanodegrees to get a broad overview of the options available to you these days.
Coursera Review 2022 – Verdict
Summarizing this Coursera review, the modern world is fiercely competitive and you can only hope to succeed if you remain at the cutting edge at all times. This is what Coursera offers you: up-to-date, well-designed lectures that are presented by acknowledged experts from eminent universities.
For people like me, who simply cannot take time out to attend classes traditionally, classroom-based lessons, Coursera offers a lifeline and the chance to keep sharpening my skills.
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