Meet Ramone, a learner in New York who’s taking courses on Coursera to supplement his PhD program, and to improve his career coaching skills. He shares his story below.
Enhancing my knowledge
My goal for learning on Coursera was to access additional resources to complete my course work for my PhD. I am a Doctoral Candidate attending Long Island University, studying Information Studies. I recently and successfully completed the course curriculum for the Information Studies program at LIU and am presently writing my dissertation.
I use Coursera as an additional resource for course materials, and to enhance my knowledge and help me complete my assignments. Each semester after enrolling in my classes at LIU, I would then check Coursera’s catalog to look for matching and corresponding courses. I would enroll in the Coursera courses and cross-pollinate the ideas. This form of synthesis allowed me to conceptualize more unique ideas to apply to my work.
Courses with both academic and career benefits
As I mentioned, I took courses from Coursera that matched or corresponded with the course curriculum from LIU’s Information Studies PhD program, including:
● Qualitative Research from UC Davis
● Academic Information Seeking from the University of Copenhagen
● What is Data Science? from IBM
● Tools for Data Science from IBM
● Data Science Methodology from IBM
I also work a full-time position with an IT training institution as a career coach. Taking career development courses helped me become more knowledgeable and perform my job better. I was able to teach my students how to better prepare for the job market and plan out their career paths. By making these improvements, I earned acknowledgment from my supervisors at work. These were the courses I took:
● Foundations for Learning: Being a Professional from the Commonwealth Education Trust
● Learning to Teach Online from the University of New South Wales
● Getting Started with Google Sheets from Google Cloud
● Successful Career Development from the University System of Georgia
Expanding my perspectives
I would describe learning on Coursera as an exciting intellectual engagement, with knowledgeable instructors and a plethora of resources—most of which I never knew existed, which is what made it interesting.
What surprised me was how well-designed each course was. In addition to online support, learners could also engage in chat discussions related to the course topic, and make new professional connections. These are also a great source of idea diffusion and cross-pollination. Every online course is very well thought out, and planned out.
What made me happiest about learning on Coursera was the video lectures, and the exposure to a vast array of new academic ideas and pedagogy—particularly from the international-based courses teaching the subjects I selected. The knowledgeable professors, along with the resource links, make each class an absolute pleasure of an academic adventure.2