When it comes to time management, we recognize that work, life and family commitments can make it tough to keep up with coursework at times. At Coursera, we have built our platform to give students opportunities to learn on their own schedules, and today, we’re delighted to offer another option for flexible learning, one that follows students whenever they are — introducing Coursera App for iPhone!
The new app, available now for iOS and soon for Android, allows students to stream course videos from the convenience of their phones - whether during the daily commute, at the gym, waiting in the grocery line, or simply when away from their desktops. The app also allows students to download lectures for offline viewing without interruption, as well as browse hundreds of courses across more than 20 subjects categories.
For now, the app supports:
• Course browsing
• Course searching
• Course enrolling
• View personal course dashboard • Video downloading and streaming
• Video speed changes
• Syllabus access
Courserians wishing to take part in the discussion forums, read supplemental materials or complete assignments will need to visit Coursera.
From current students to working professionals to lifelong learners, anyone can now master a new subject or explore something new, the official Coursera app lets you learn-on-the-go!
A few weeks ago we had a company-wide Make-a-Thon. What happens when you give a bunch of Coursera employees free reign to create something inspired by their daily work? A music video is born.
As an ode to more than 5.6 million Courserians around the world, we poured our hearts (and musical abilities) into this video of pop star Katy Perry’s new song, “Birthday.”
The video was written, directed, edited, and produced by Coursera employees (with the help of some AMAZING Courserians who submitted their dancing videos from countries like Brazil, Spain, China, Bangladesh, UK and US)!
The video offers a sneak peek behind the scenes here at Coursera. We have a new office space and our team of passionate individuals is devoted to having fun while supporting our mission - to change the world by helping to advance worldwide education.
2013 has been an incredible year for us at Coursera, and we wanted to share our thanks with you. It’s time to celebrate… and get funky. Feel free to share the fun and as always, learn, learn, learn!
Part of scaling our work means growing our own team to support partnerships, services and products, which means we’re hiring! Check out our Careers page for current opportunities. We’re a smart, creative and passionate bunch tackling challenging problems on the way toward creating education for everyone.
Editor’s Note: Below is a message from our 2 Co-Founders, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng on some new additions to Coursera’s executive team!
In the past year and a half, Coursera’s community has quickly grown to more than 100 universities, 500 courses, and 5 million students, and the numbers continue to grow at a remarkable pace. Figuring out how to scale up online education has been a fascinating and unique challenge, and we face much work ahead as we continue to actualize our mission of delivering education for everyone.
With this in mind, we are very fortunate to welcome to the Coursera team two of the technology industry’s most renowned product innovation veterans, John Ciancutti and Tom Willerer. John, as Coursera’s first Chief Product Officer, and Tom, as Coursera’s first Vice President of Product Management, will be instrumental in our efforts to scale our products and enhance our user experience. Among other tasks, they will be tackling improved recommendations, student learning insights and social connectivity, as well as looking for additional talent to scale their team.
Before they dig in, we’d like to offer our community a chance to get to know these two leaders in the product design world.
John Ciancutti, Chief Product OfficerJohn is a veteran leader in Silicon Valley, known for his long and successful career at Netflix, where he went from one of the first engineers to running all of product engineering, and more recently for his leadership at Facebook.
During his twelve year tenure at Netflix, John led personalization, search, social integration, and the Netflix user experience on web, phones, tablets and television-connected devices. In his earlier years as a software engineer, he helped design and develop the first personalization systems for the company, developing Netflix’s reputation as one of the most advanced movie recommendation services in the world. Following Netflix, John moved to Facebook, where he led product management and engineering as Director of Engineering for products such as Facebook Pages, Location Services, Photos and Video.
John graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1997 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a focus in artificial intelligence and adaptive systems. He is a member of the 2012 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
Regarding his new role, John says:
I am incredibly excited about the Coursera mission: creating access to high quality education for everyone in the world. Our opportunity is to make the Coursera product as powerful for students around the globe as it is for those sitting in the classroom. With the growing scale the company has already achieved, the massive amounts of data we’re creating every day and the global reach of every course, I am confident that the remarkable, growing product team at Coursera will get this done. I feel privileged to be able to join the team at this formative moment.
Tom Willerer, VP Product ManagementTom comes to Coursera having served for six years at Netflix, where he became one of the company’s most highly regarded leaders in his role as Vice President of Product Innovation. Tom co-led the product management team at Netflix and was responsible for setting the vision and managing the teams responsible for Product Marketing, Messaging, Social and Individual Profiles. Among his accomplishments during his time at the company, Tom pioneered ways for members to exchange recommendations with friends, and helped Netflix grow from 8 million U.S.-only subscribers to 40 million subscribers in 41 countries.
Tom holds a business degree from Indiana University, where he was a pitcher on the varsity baseball team, and a Masters in New Media Studies from DePaul University.
Commenting on his move, Tom says:
Coursera has assembled an incredibly talented team committed to a powerful mission. I can’t wait to focus on continuing to build out a world-class product experience that makes learning deeply satisfying and motivating for students around the world.
With these two outstanding additions to the Cousera team, we’re on our way toward faster product innovation and better student experiences. - Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng
At Coursera, we envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education. We strive to create and deliver experiences that break down daily barriers that stand in the way of successful learning. Today, in support of our goals, we’re delighted to announce a new initiative- Coursera Learning Hubs - that will offer people around the world physical spaces where they can access the Internet to take a Coursera course, while learning alongside peers in an interactive, facilitated setting. All for free.
Coursera Learning Hubs Initiative Partners
From Lila Ibrahim, President of Coursera:
Coursera’s Learning Hubs initiative aims to extend opportunities for students to connect to a great education. Together with leading organizations, we hope to empower local communities worldwide with technology access, content facilitators, and a peer group of learners based on existing infrastructure. Learning Hubs will provide the benefits of in-person social learning with online content from over 100 Coursera partners in a blended learning experience. We believe this is an important step in reducing geographic and connectivity barriers.
From Meghann Curtis, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs,U.S State Department:
We are excited to be partnering with Coursera. Together, we hope that we can identify new models for blended online and in-person learning, offer students new skills and knowledge, and help connect them to U.S. higher education institutions.
Local Access and Support
Starting today, we’re actively looking for additional partners to host Learning Hubs within their own communities. If you are interested in starting a Learning Hub or have questions about program details and requirements, check out our Learning Hubs page.
We’re very excited for the possibilities that Learning Hubs will open up for students receiving increased access and support, and for educators looking for data, best practices and models for blended learning!
Last week we reached some major milestones within our community, which now surpasses more than 100 institutional partners, 5 million students, 700 professors, and 500 courses. Such growth could not have happened without the hard work, dedication, and passion of our teams.
As we continue to scale our company to support broader growth, we’d like to acknowledge an internal milestone as well with the hiring of Jessica Neal, our company’s first VP. Jessica will be critical to our recruiting and HR efforts, and will play a key role in helping us build up Coursera’s team and culture so that we can, in turn, build better products and experiences for students.
Jessica comes to us from Netflix where she spent more than 7 years and was most recently the VP of Talent and Talent Acquisition. While at Netflix, she built the internal recruiting team that scaled the organization from a DVD by mail service to an innovative and successful video streaming platform. Later, she took on the important role of Human Resources to support employees and leaders across the company. In addition to driving company growth, Jessica was also instrumental in evolving the company culture. Jessica got her start in recruiting as a head-hunter at an agency focused on placing technical talent, after receiving a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts.
Read on to hear from Jessica herself about what drew her to Coursera and what she hopes to accomplish in her first days at the company.
What led you to join Coursera?I was ready for a new challenge, and found myself inspired by Coursera’s mission, its core team of employees, and the fact that the company is truly doing really innovative work within education, a field with major impact and great potential for advancement through technology.
Coursera has also identified within the company a core set of values that I can really relate to - including putting students first and caring for teammates. It’s a culture of passion-driven work, support, and collaboration, and it aligns nicely with the philosophy that, if you have a culture that enables people to be successful and lead initiatives they believe in, this in turn affects your company’s success. In the case of Coursera, it will allow us to better achieve our goals of educating the world, and is a great foundation to build the company upon in the coming months.
What would you define as Coursera’s culture?At Coursera, you have a nice intersection of intelligence and passion. There’s a strong drive and hunger among employees to do amazing things and change the world. Every person that I’ve met here has inspired me not just with their talent but with the way that they care for the company and each other.
What are your priorities at Coursera?We’re rapidly growing our teams to build better products, support partners and faculty, and give students better experiences, which means we’re looking in all directions.
One thing that I think will make Coursera really attractive to prospective employees is that we offer an incredible opportunity to tackle complex problems. We’re creating a platform for delivering education that simply didn’t exist two years ago and we’re constantly experimenting to make it better. For our engineers this means focusing on challenging technical problems, while for others working on product and design, it might mean trying to figure out how to create an online education experience that works as well for someone in a remote area with limited access to computer as it does for someone here in Mountain View.
We’re thrilled to have Jessica here to help our team grow. If you find yourself interested in specific job opportunities, please check out our Careers page.
Today we are honored to announce that we have reached the triple milestone: 100+ institutional partners offering 500+ courses to 5 million+ students on Coursera’s platform.
In celebration of the triple milestone, we’ve created an infographic that highlights the extraordinary growth of Coursera and our community. Thank you to everyone who has joined us along the way, and welcome to all those who are joining us for the first time.
Coursera Co-Founder Andrew Ng shared his reflections on this exciting day:
“Two years ago, Coursera was still a budding idea. My team comprising four Stanford students and me had just launched our first two courses, each of which eventually reached over 100,000 students, thus helping kick off the MOOC movement. When we first put these courses online, we could not have envisioned the growth and community response that we witness today, among universities, professors, and students from every corner of the globe.”
Adding to this, Co-Founder Daphne Koller expressed:
“We are privileged to host this vast breadth of amazing courses across a broad range of disciplines from many of the world’s leading institutions. It is remarkable that such a powerful network has developed just 18 months since the official launch of our company. With so many countries, languages, and educational backgrounds represented, we are proud to be a part of a movement promoting lifelong education for everyone.”
We’re thrilled to announce that 13 new institutions representing 11 countries have partnered with Coursera, bringing our total number of partners offering courses on our platform to 107.
Joining Coursera today, we have Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Eindhoven University of Technology, Koç University, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), IESE Business School, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), National Geographic Society, National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), Saint Petersburg State University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Università Bocconi, University of Lausanne, and University of Manchester.
These new partners span countries including China, Denmark, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States.
A note from our Co-Founder, Daphne Koller:
"We are proud to welcome to the Coursera partnership this group of outstanding institutions from 11 different countries, demonstrating the ever-growing global impact of this movement, and providing students everywhere access to an even more diverse set of perspectives. Through these partnerships, we are particularly delighted to expand also the breadth of languages in which courses are delivered, thereby offering yet more students the opportunity to benefit from a high-quality education."
Learn more about our newest partners:
Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
CBS is a world renowned business school, offering both undergraduate and graduate business programs, all with an interdisciplinary and international focus. The university is known for its research excellence in classical management disciplines as well as disciplines that place business in a wider social, political, and cultural context. The first three courses to be offered from CBS on Coursera will be Consumer Neuroscience & Neuromarketing, Leadership in 21st Century Organizations, and Social Entrepreneurship.
Eindhoven University of Technology
Based in the Netherlands, Eindhoven University of Technology’s strengths lie in collaborating with the high tech industry to provide high quality education and research in science and engineering. Of the several MOOCs Eindhoven is developing is a course on Sports and Building Aerodynamics.
Koç University is one of Turkey’s most innovative universities, focused on scientific, technological, economic, and social development. The institution is internationally recognized for its interdisciplinary research in Administrative Sciences & Economics, Engineering, Natural Sciences, Humanities & Social Sciences, Law, and Medicine.
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
KAIST was established in 1971 as Korea’s first graduate school specializing in science and engineering education and research. The university’s strong faculty conducts internationally recognized research in cooperation with academic institutions and companies all over the world.
IESE Business School
IESE, the graduate business school of the University of Navarra, has pioneered business education in Europe since its founding in 1958 in Barcelona. IESE distinguishes itself in its general- management approach, extensive use of the case method, international outreach, and emphasis on placing people at the heart of managerial decision making. With a truly global outlook and campuses in Madrid and Barcelona, a center in New York and offices in Munich and São Paulo, IESE currently runs programs on four continents.
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT)
MIPT, also known informally Phystech, is one of the leading universities in Russia. The university is known for its emphasis on practical research in technical fields, with a focus on theoretical and applied physics, applied mathematics, and related disciplines. The first two courses to be offered will be on the topics of Electricity and Magnetism and Biomolecular Modeling.
National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the member-supported Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation, and exploration projects and supports education programs that teach students to understand how our world works and how people, places, and environments interconnect.
National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE)
HSE is one of the largest leading universities in Russia known for its emphasis on interdisciplinary study. While the university features over 20 departments, it specializes in economics, social sciences, mathematics, and computer science.
Saint Petersburg State University
The oldest and one of the largest universities in Russia, SPSU is based in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. The university has more than 25,000 enrolled students and over 5,500 faculty members teaching in a broad range of subjects. The first course to be offered on Coursera will be Introduction to Bioinformatics, to be taught in Russian.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
A leading research university based in Shanghai, China, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has been regarded as the fastest developing university in the country for the last decade. With special strengths in engineering, sciences, life sciences, and business, it now offers a comprehensive range of disciplines in 27 schools with more than 41,000 enrolled students across 7 campuses, and accommodates teachers and students from more than 100 countries.
Università Bocconi is a research university of international standing in business, economics, and law based in Milan, Italy. Founded in 1902, Bocconi is structured around five schools: Undergraduate School, Graduate School, Law School, PhD School, and SDA Bocconi School of Management, its graduate business school. Its business and economics programs rank among the top universities in Europe and the world.
University of Lausanne
Founded in 1537, the University of Lausanne is composed of seven faculties in which over 13,000 students and 2,700 researchers work and study. Based on the shores of Lake Geneva, it is considered one of the leading research institutions in Europe. It will offer courses both in French and English on topics such as Ethics, Sustainability, and Doping.
University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is one of the largest and most reputable universities in the United Kingdom, best known for its research and academic strengths in the life sciences, engineering, humanities, economics, sociology and the social sciences. Coursera courses to be offered from the University of Manchester will include: An Introduction to Population Health, Global Health and Humanitarianism, Our Earth: Its Climate, History, and Processes, and Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries.
Many of you have already gotten a taste of the possibilities for gamification thanks to Professor Kevin Werbach’s popular course from the University of Pennsylvania. Today, we’d like to highlight a professor who is doing some really innovative work to “gamify” his own Coursera course.
Professor Ping-Cheng (Benson) Yeh of National Taiwan University is the first professor to create a multiplayer social gaming platform for his course, Probability, which is now in session. It also happens to be our first course taught in Chinese!
As Benson (pictured right) explains in the video below, his game, PaGamO, is designed to engage students and incentivise them to complete homework problems. The game has been incredibly popular so far, drawing participation from a huge portion of the students in the course. A week after launching PaGamO, students in Benson’s course complained that the game didn’t offer enough problems for them to solve! According to Benson, “Students got so addicted to solving the problems, that they went right through them.”
PaGamO is simple enough to pick up quickly. It’s based on an interactive map of territories in the shape of hexagons - a setup used for many popular games, like Settlers of Catan. To score points (and complete assignments), students must occupy new territories by solving homework problems. The top ten performers get recognition in a prominently displayed leaderboard. “The fun comes from the competition among peers,” says Benson. “Showing students’ rankings on the site gives them strong motivation to engage.”
So what does Benson have planned for his next project once his current Coursera course comes to a close? Benson and his team of twelve students at National Taiwan University are developing a way for other professors to use PaGamO technology in their courses. Any subject that requires closed answer questions could use PaGamO to instantly gamify their course.
A word of advice for professors who may want to use PaGamO for their courses - make sure your game has as many homework problems archived as possible, or else you’ll have students clamoring for more!
* Thanks also to the following students and friends at National Taiwan University for their tireless work to help create PaGamO: Sheng-Wen Chiang, Ta-Chun Shen, Yan-Lin Chen, Yen-Chun Chen, Tzu-Han Hsu, Po-Cheng Chu, Yao-Jen Chang, Lang-Chi Yu, Paul Hsia, Wei-Hsuan Tang, Chia-Ling Lee, Pen-Lin Lin, Steve Tsai!