Coursera partners with the top universities around the world. Our learners benefit from the scholarship and passion of a diverse pool of instructors who are experts in their fields and shape industries around the globe. But our instructors also benefit from their ability to reach and interact with thousands of Coursera learners. Here are a few recent examples.
New Research Opportunities
Professor Diana Kleiner’s course (Roman Architecture, Yale University) discusses several historical architectural ruins that are inaccessible or out of reach to many. But through discussions in the forums, learners around the world were able to share with the class unique images of these largely inaccessible ruins, and by doing so have brought the course to life and have expanded Professor Kleiner’s scholarship
“I am thrilled by the range and diversity of images of Roman architectural ruins that were provided by learners in my MOOC, some in parts of the world I have not yet visited. We may never be able to walk down one of the colonnaded streets of Palmyra, Syria, but exposure to them through the eyes of those who live there has greatly enriched the course experience both for the learners in the course and also for me as an instructor and scholar.“ – Diana Kliener, Yale
Attracting New Learners
Professor Bert Blocken (Sports and Building Aerodynamics, Eindhoven University) was able to extend his interaction with some of his learners beyond the boundaries of his course. Three students who took the course contacted him, asking to join his lab as PhD students. Two of these were fully funded, and the third applied for PhD funding with Professor Blocken and received it. All three have joined his lab, and are currently conducting a study on cycling aerodynamics.
New Professional Outcomes
Professor Madhu Viswanathan (Subsistence Marketplaces, Illinois) gained considerably visibility for his research on communities in distress as a result of his MOOC. Partly as a consequence of that, he was recently invited to serve on a newly forming advisory board of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which will focus on livelihood strategies for refugees. He’ll continue to fuel his experience with relevant content in his course to discuss current issues and challenges with global poverty.
Awards and Accolades
Dr. Barbara Oakley (Learning how to Learn, UCSD) recently received the American Society of Engineering Education’s Chester F. Carlson Award, which is the top national award for innovation in engineering education. The award is presented annually to an individual innovator in engineering education who, by motivation and ability to extend beyond the accepted tradition, has made a significant contribution to the profession. Dr. Oakley attributes the award partly to her groundbreaking work on her Coursera MOOC. Coursera is pleased to be working with Dr. Oakley as our first Innovation Instructor, where she will help provide input on product features, content design and more, to help improve the learning experience for learners.