Coursera believes that online courses complement and supplement traditional education (versus a common misconception online will “replace” traditional.) Our research shows that Coursera’s platform, when used concurrently with a traditional classroom setup, is ideal for “blended learning” (i.e., students watch lectures pre-class, then class-time focuses on interactive work and discussion.) Additionally, we agree with Brad Zomick of SkilledUp—an online learning aggregator—who acknowledges an online course “isn’t an alternative at all but rather a different path with its own rewards.”
The advantages of Coursera and our apps for mobile were straightforward and conspicuous from the start: we’re free, open, and flexible to learners’ unique needs and style. Over the past two years, however, the evidence proves there are many more tangible benefits to open, online learning.
In SkilledUp’s “The Advantages of Online Courses [Infographic]”–crafted from findings of leading educational research–four observations stand out from the overt characteristics:
Speedier Learning - “Research shows that online students achieve same or better learning results in about half the time as those in traditional courses”
More Active, Engaged & Motivated - Learners thrive “when working with coursework that is challenging but within their capacity to master.”
Tangible Skill Building - with an “improved attitude toward learning”
Better Teaching Quality - Courses are taught by experts, with various multimedia and cutting-edge technology, and “are usually better organized than traditional courses”
This is only the beginning, Courserians! Everyday we hear your incredible stories on how open online courses enrich your lives and enhance your careers. Meanwhile we study the steady stream of scientific, big-data research proving their worth on a large-scale (such as UPenn’s latest research on the welcomed diversity in Coursera-hosted Wharton MBA courses.) Our motto “Learning without Limits” reminds us that open, online courses give tremendous opportunity to those that might not otherwise have access (or time, or money) to study at a high-caliber institution.