We have many challenges here at Coursera, and one of the ones we think about daily is this: How can we offer a high-quality university-level class to thousands of students, without losing the benefits of a physical classroom, where you can actually see your classmates and know that you’re a part of a community with a common goal?
One of the ways we do that is with our class discussion forums, where you guys discuss everything from where you’re from, what you thought of the assignment, and your thoughts on the future of the world. We love seeing the feeling of community growing in those forums, and now, we want to make that community more concrete by letting you share more details about yourself in the brand new Coursera profile settings. Here’s what my profile looks like after filling it out:
After you fill out your profile and opt to share it with the rest of the Coursera community, we’ll add a link and avatar to your forum posts, so that classmates can learn more about you after reading your posts. After we released this feature, all of us at Coursera immediately went to the forums for the classes we’re taking, and started browsing the linked profiles. There’s something that’s so much fun about finding out where your classmates are from (everywhere!) and what they do in life outside of the Coursera microcosm — and we hope that something also contributes to making your Coursera classroom experience more engaging. Here’s a snapshot from the Gamification forum:
We also let you share your profiles with the world, if you’d like. For example, check out my profile, some of our team’s profiles ( Minjeong, Payam, and Julia), or an instructor profile (Dr. Chuck from Internet History, the class I’m taking right now).
This is just our first draft of profiles, of course. We will likely give you ways to share more information in the future (like your educational experience, what languages you speak, etc), and also find more ways to connect you with your classmates. Please, try them out, and hopefully you enjoy them as much as we do. ☺
– Pamela Fox, Frontend Engineer1